The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Timing Question of When Starter Can be Used In Final Dough

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Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Timing Question of When Starter Can be Used In Final Dough

Okay, I know this has been discussed here but I can't come up with the treads so I am starting a this one.


I will start by saying that I am new to using sourdoughs in my loaves.  


When building a loaf I usually feed my starter for at least a day prior to using it in the final dough.  I feed my starter after it has ripened but, since I am a home baker and do not keep it the temps constant, ripening times vary which really isn't a big problem until the final feed...


To try to keep this really simple, which I know is kinda impossible because I have found during my short stay here that nothing is EVER as simple as I think it will be but I am giving this my best shot!


Situation:  My starter is under ripe but I need to move to the next step due to timing issues....like sleep at a reasonable hour.  Can I go ahead and mix my final dough with starter that hasn't completely matured?  Won't it just continue to 'feed' once mixed in with the rest of the ingredients? 


Thanks

scottsourdough's picture
scottsourdough

Yes it will, and usually everything will work out fine, as long as you allow the rise to go on as long as it needs to.


But working with an under-ripe starter is pretty much like just using a lower percentage of starter in your dough. So be aware that it will react somewhat differently, depending on exactly how mature the starter is.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

 That is what I was thinking but just wanted to double check....I live at an altitude of 5280' so my doughs tend to rise more quickly and i do cut back on starter so this would be another way to achieve that end....gives me more options which I like.


Thanks!

Davo's picture
Davo

Good advice there, I reckon. One thing I will note is that when I can see this happening, I don't like warming the bread dough up more than normal, as I find the bread can end up a little brittle (I suspect the gluten gets eaten out). But I am happy to do that with the levain stage ("starter" if you like). So if I get home and find that my starter has been cold or the missus has put it in the fridge half-way through it's ferment, I'll warm it up a bit like by putting it in a microwave with the door cracked open so the light comes on, and let its last hour or so be at a warmer temp. Like I say, I don;t like speeding up more than my normal conditions in the bread dough stage, though.