The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to ruin a perfectly good starter

coffeetester's picture

How to ruin a perfectly good starter

So I came home and threw on what I thought was the bottom oven. After about 15 minutes I notice a fairly bad smell. All of a sudden I go to the oven and there is my starter sitting in a 500 degree oven. The controls are too easy to mix up between the botom and top. I am soo glad I had a backup in the fridge. This will also prompt me to start my proofing box so I dont have to use the oven.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

but what about a baby bottle warmer?  Yogurt incubator?  Have you checked the cupboard over the fridge?  Or how about using a thermos type coffee cup and use warm water when refreshing, it should stay comfy in there.  Oops, dangerous without a warning label.  You could also go back to a flour thinner ratio for the counter top a 1:1:1  for instance if it doesn't rise and fall in 12 hours.  

The important part of a feeding ratio is the flour, equal or more than the starter amount.  Whether you decide to add equal amounts of water or double the water or reduce the water is up to you.  A more liquid starter ferments a little faster but the rise can be somewhat low but it should bubble with up to pea size popping pretties and the peak will be a slightly domed starter.  When it starts to fall, it gets a dimple in the middle and looks a little matt instead of shiny.   Then when the starter is mixed into the thicker dough it shows off.   Bringing out the fridge starter may be a good thing.  Don't forget to thicken up the discard and put it back in the fridge as a back-up.

More info:  If you make a more liquid starter, make more of it and then when ready stir it up and use the starter to provide the water in the recipe.   There are recipes out there.  They tend to be volume recipes and ask for cups of starter in the dough.  One and a half or two, or even 3 cups of starter is normal.  You might also find conversions in weight.

rhodriharris's picture

Just a thought but i also grow jalepenos, tomatos and lettuce indoors, although they can stand the cold when mature and established, when they are young they need warmth/room temperature.  They sell heated propogator mats which heat to about 19/20 degrees.  Simply roll out the small mat which is from around £15 for a 25cm by 25cm and sit your plant pots on top, cover and it provides a warm area all year round.  Of course this is a plant growing related product but i see no reason why this wouldn't work if all else fails, should be readily available at every garden centre.