The Fresh Loaf

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Building my STARTER: How BUBBLY should it be before going to next stage?

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Rico Laguna's picture
Rico Laguna

Building my STARTER: How BUBBLY should it be before going to next stage?

Folks, I apologize if this is a silly question but this is my first attempt at building a starter. Actually its the seeding stage according to Reinhart's "Artisan Breads every day book"  Im following his step by step guide to building the SEED that then creates the STARTER.


 


My question is, Do you have to be EXACT with the desired results when moving from phase to phase as you develop your SEED?.....Because in Phase 2 and 3 it states to move on when the mixture is bubbly and foamy and doubles in size.    Well, for me, the mixture did double in size, but it wasnt extremely bubbly, it had a few (4-5) small bubbles on the top so I moved on to phase 3 in which the instructions call for 2 ounces of flour to 1 ounce of water.  If I didnt wait long enough, can I make up for it in the next phase?...How exact do these steps have to be?......is there plenty of wiggle room to self correct this without having to start all over again?  (Its been about 5 days now and I dont want to start all over)


 


 


Oh and while I have your attention, a side question....What is the difference between creating a seed, to create a starter, to add to my dough vs just creating a yeast dough and letting it ferment for several days in the refrigerator?? 


 


I make pizza douqh using Reinharts cold ferment Neo Neopolitan Pizza dough recipe and let it build nice boozy flavor for a few days in fridge before actually making my pizzas.  What differences should I expect by creating a starter and making pizza dough with it?...and also, if I am adding a starter to my pizza doughs, should I still be cold fermenting the dough for several days as well or is it self defeating the purpose of using a starter??


 


Sorry for so many questions but Im trying to understand this stuff....thanks


 


Rico

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

to see what happens.  Patience is a key to the starter making.  The temperature will also make a difference.  Temps under 72°F will take longer.  75°F is ideal.


A dough fermenting with instant yeast contains a different yeast strain than a dough made with the flour's own yeast.  What you are doing in the step by step starter process is setting up conditions for yeasts to grow and multiply and then concentrating the yeasts to a useable level.  


Also search: Pineapple Wink Starter


for technical information on those two threads and others.  


Mini

Rico Laguna's picture
Rico Laguna

OK thanks for the info...Also, I noticed that I am in about Phase 4 (7 days into the Seed/Starter process) and notice that the starter is now at a dough's consistency and it has really been doubling in size and fermenting well BUT, Im still not smelling that alcoholy, boozy, apple ciderish smell......There's still a faint aroma of the pineapple juice that I used in the first 2 phases. (last 2 phases I have used Poland Springs spring water)


 


Any thoughts?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Na ya, that would mean that the yeasts have eaten all the food (flour) you gave it and is hungry.  Just give it a little more time it will get that way.  If you could describe the pineapple juice as pineapple wine, you might be closer.  Be careful not to overfeed your starter at this point.  What is the temperature?  

Rico Laguna's picture
Rico Laguna

Well, I dont think Im overfeeding it....but I do take it out every 8 hrs or so and knead it because it keeps doubling and rising.  This last phase its a bit on the dry side because I am using the ration of 3:1 wheat flour to filtered water


 


 


I just put it in the fridge...but I havent yet moved onto the next phase which calls for 12 ounces flour to 9 ounces of water and keep only 4 ounces of this seed culture


 


 


I just dont want to move on until I know that it is ready for the next stage....Im not sure because I still dont have that beery, boosy cider smell that I usually get when I just ferment yeasted pizza dough a few days in the fridge.


 


Its hard to describe the scent...its like a Fresh Pineappleish smell...perhaps it could also have a wine aroma to it.  But its not a strong fermented smell that I was expecting.....does it just need more time?...more feeding?....move on to the next phase?


 


Thoughts?...thanks!