The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

I don't bother to refresh anymore

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cognitivefun's picture

I don't bother to refresh anymore

Storing my starter in the fridge. I just take it out, take half of it and use it to start my loaf, add flour and water and put back in the fridge.

No waste.

Seems to be fine without feeding, "activating"...

JeremyCherfas's picture

It depends, I suppose, on how often you bake and how liquid your starter is. One of mine is at about 67% and I never have to refresh that. I use all of it to make a batch of dough, remove 35 grams after the first rise, and put that into the fridge. Lasts a month easily without any problems. My other starter is 100% and needs to be built up -- I keep only 50 grams -- before being used, and I feed that if I haven't used it for two weeks.


KenK's picture

Do you wait until after the first rise; remove the portion that you are going to save, and then add salt to the dough?

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I found that the method Cognitivefun uses will work most of the time with my active starter. However, as I posted earlier this month, the winter conditions and cooler room temps have slowed my starter.

Yes, I can take a larger portion of starter out the fridge and a longer time period to get a well proofed loaf. OTOH, if I do a simple one or two stage build for the starter, my times are shorter and the crumb looks much better. Baking a couple of loaves and a pizza every week doesn't add up to more than anecdotal evidence.

I'm also trying to refine my techniques to obtain a more consistent result. Reading "The Bread Bible" and "Secrets of a Jewish Baker" simultaneously may be counter-productive but the weather is conducive to couch potatoe activities.

In six more weeks, the weather around Kansas City will improve and I'll be able to initiate the new year's gardening activities and walk off some the residual carbohydrate deposits. The house will be warmer and my starter will be ready to be exercised as well.

I'm waiting for the first crocuses to bloom and the peonies and narcissus to emerge from the cold, hard soil in the flower beds.

Ambimom's picture

I do almost the same thing.  I generally bake no-knead bread every week to ten days.  I take my starter from the fridge, stir it a few times and then remove 290 grams of it and put in a bowl.  Then I replace 150 grams of AP flour and 150 grams of water into the starter jar, stir it again, and set on the counter loosely covered for approximately four hours before returning to the fridge.  In the meantime, to the 290 grams of starter, I add 880 grams of flour, 2 TBS salt and 20 ounces of water.  Lately, I've also ground flax seeds and added it to the mix. I mix the whole thing, knead 10 or 15 times until everything is absorbed and set aside on counter for 12 to 16 hours.  Works every time.

sybram's picture

How much flax seed do you add?


Ambimom's picture

I generally fill my electric spice/coffee mill grinder to its capacity...probably 1/4 cup.  I grind until it's a fine powder and add it to the flour.  Apparently, the benefits of flax aren't there until you grind the seeds.  I suppose you could do the same thing in a blender, but it's easier in the spice/coffee grinder.

cognitivefun's picture

seems once the starter is active and foamy, you can store it in the fridge and remove some, use that, and add flour and water and put back in the fridge and it seems to work for me just fine. At least so far.