The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What Just Happened

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DailyBread's picture
DailyBread

What Just Happened

Hi guys, and gals,


I just had a weird experience.  I fed my starter Tuesday.  It's a very reliable starter, purchased from King Arthur.  Yesterday, I made the sponge, let it rise at room temperature for 1 hour, then put it in the fridge over night.  This morning around 6:00 am I got it out and let it double.  It took until 11:00 am to double.  I added the salt, sugar, and the rest of the flour, and kneaded for 8 minutes, then put it back in the bowl to rise again.  I just went in (12:00) and it was nearly doubled!


I am happy that my starter is feeling its oats, so to speak, but I have never seen it go to town so fast.  Usually, it takes a couple hours to double at this stage, then maybe an hour for the loaves to proof.  I put it in the fridge again to slow it down some.  I need to run some errands.  I plan to take it out again around 3:00pm, shape around 4:00 pm and bake around 5:30 (all times approximate of course.)


So, what just happened?


Best regards,


DailyBread

Nickisafoodie's picture
Nickisafoodie

I often read that natural starters take several hours compared to yeast.  I use a 100% rye starter with flour I grind myself.  My rise times are usually one hour, rarely more.  My only conclusion is that the higher nutrients from fresh ground combined with the fact that rye ferments quicker is why.  I've seen posts that say 8-10 hours to double!


In any event, likely the combination of:


1) given your starter is fresh from KA, you experience more vigor than normal;


2) when further considering the recipe included added sugar, those hungry wild critters lined up at the feed trough;


3) Lastly, the percentage of sponge probably helped if it was say 15 or 20% or more of the recipe- providing a great jump to the final rise after mixing all ingredients


Cheers!

DailyBread's picture
DailyBread

Hi Nick,


You may be right.  It makes as much sense as anything I can come up with.


The starter is unusally vigorous compared to one you start yourself.  KA claims it has been working for over 200 years, and I have been keeping it for two years.  I have tried various do it yourself starters, and this for me has been the most successful.  It seems pretty "sailorproof" against abuse too.


I didn't know bread yeast could break down sucrose.  Good to know.


The percentage of sponge is high, The starter alone is 30%.


Best regards,


DailyBread

Nickisafoodie's picture
Nickisafoodie

I too generally run about 30% starter.  Think of yeast as we do in wine or beer making.  they devour sugar and excrete Co2!