The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough starter with pineapple juice

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tibre's picture
tibre

Sourdough starter with pineapple juice

I have a starter started with pineapple juice.

I am saving one quarter cup and adding one quarter cup of flour and water each day.

How do I make enough of the starter to bake with and have enough left to keep feeding.

thomaschacon75's picture
thomaschacon75

You could regenerate a bathtub full starting with just a teaspoon of starter.

Build up your starter to whatever amount you need for baking, then use whatever you have leftover to regenerate it. It doesn't take much.

I use a quart jar. I build the starter up to about half full (or full if I need it), use the starter for whatever bread I'm baking, then add some flour and water to the jar until it's like thick pancake batter (I don't measure unless a certain starter at a certain hydration is needed), say about 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 water. I let the jar sit out on the counter overnight and, by morning, it's regenerated. Yes, there's enough starter on the inside of the jar to regenerate a whole new batch, plenty more than what's needed. I once accidentally washed my jar, but had some left on a spoon, which I used to regenerate a whole new jar.

If I don't plan to bake for a while, I put the jar in the refrigerator and forget about it. I usually feed it before putting it to sleep. Wake it up by letting it come to room temperature and give it a few feedings. The longer you leave it in the refrigerator, the more feedings you need for it to come back to strength. I've left them in the refrigerator for months and they come right back to life after a couple days of feeding.

tibre's picture
tibre

So you are saying to eventually quit just keeping a quarter cup of the starter and feeding it and throwing the rest away.

What I am understanding is I start adding the flour and water to the full mixture and do this until I have a cup and a

quarter to make a loaf of bread and a little left over to start the feeding process all over again. Am I understanding this correctly?

thomaschacon75's picture
thomaschacon75

Make as much starter as you need for your bread and keep a little leftover to make more starter for later baking. As long as you have a little bit of starter (called an innoculant), you can create (innoculate) as much starter as you want, 1 cup or 10 gallons.

If you don't plan to bake bread for a while, create a jar of starter and then put it to sleep in the refrigerator. When you want to bake, wake it up by bringing it to room temperature and feeding it flour/water until it looks happy again.

Note: To get a starter going, it's helpful to have a schedule: add this much flour, this much water, this many times a day, this many days, etc; but, once you have it going and it's strong enough to leaven bread, you can stop worrying about measuring and just eyeball it. (Measuring becomes important for more advanced baking, when you hear things like "1000 g white starter at 67.5% hydration", but it'll be some time before you need to worry about things like that.)

A lot of books and tutorials forget to mention that you can put a sourdough starter to sleep. Too many people give up on sourdough baking because they think they have to continually feed the starter day after day after day, like it's a child that needs parenting. That's not the case. If you don't plan to bake, put it to sleep until you do and forget about it. Yeasts are very, very resilient.