The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Lazy firm starter

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Boulanger's picture
Boulanger

Lazy firm starter

Hi,


I have converter my wet starter to a firm starter according to Maggie Glezer instructions in an attemp to make it more potent . I tried to make sourdough bread whith it many times before and it always lack vitality. Most of the time, it took 12 hours to double in size instead of 4 hours like most recipe indicate. Now that it is in a firm state, it double in 8 hours but according to Glezer it should quadruple in 8 hours.


 


What's my problem ? how to make it quadruple in 8 hours?


 


Thanks for your input

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Hi Boulanger,


I don't think you have a problem.  A sourdough culture is a living organism, responding to the many variables in our homes, including room temp and the temperature of the water we mix into it.


If your firm culture is crowning within eight hours, use it.  I would be more concerned with how it tastes and raises the bread, rather than whether it quads in eight hours.


As to a sourdough loaf doubling in size within four hours, using a proofing box with controlled humidity and temperature it probably would. Maybe.  But just like the culture, there are many variables involved in our homes and sourdough is just not going to behave like a bread leavened with commercial yeast.  It doesn't watch the clock, nor should we.


Have you used your firm culture yet?  If so, how did it perform?


P.S.  Something I've been experimenting with of late is turning my oven light on and doing the bulk fermentation in the oven since I live in a climate with cool summers.  The temp inside the oven is around 86F.  It helps with the timeline.

Boulanger's picture
Boulanger

Thanks LindyD


So doubling in 8 hours is not so bad? Good,  I will refresh my firm starter for a day or 2 more and I will try to bake something with it .


I have a small incubator with and electric mat and a thermostat that I use for my tomato and pepper seedlings. I think this could make a wonderfull proofing box for both starter and dough . 


Boulanger


 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Your're absolutely correct in using  your incubator for a proofing box, Boulanger. Nothing like multitaskers!


I did the same with my SD culture today, using my oven.  Made a late decision to mix up a sourdough boule, but my culture had peaked overnight.  Refreshed it and placed it in the oven, with the light on.  About four hours later, it was domed.


By the way, my experiment with proofing in the oven tonight worked very well.  I normally don't time my proofs, but tonight had set my timer to buzz every hour.  Put the dough in a glass lidded, covered container and stuck it in the oven.  Four buzzes later, it had not quite doubled, but that was good enough for me to pull it, shape it, and place it in the fridge for overnight retarding.