Having a starter that uses the instant potatoes; does it is still get left out on the counter and fed twice a day?
Does the feeding plan/schedule call for feeding with potato flakes at each feeding?
In general, yes, you need to feed an active starter regularly. 2x per day is a good schedule to maintain starter activity.
I don't know what kinds of sugars are available in hydrated potato flakes, but if the enzymes in the starter can convert them into what the yeast and LAB need, then you are good to go. There is one advantage to using potato flakes (vs flour) that I had not thought about - the potato flakes are sterile and should not contain anything to compete with the yeast and LAB in the starter. There will be a difference in the outcome though since there is no gluten in the potatoes and I don't know how much volume growth you will see as the starter matures or what the visual signal is that it is mature.
In regards to feeding a potato flake starter: I feed with 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup flour and 1 cup tap water and every 4th time I add 1-2 table sppons instant potatoes. I use two cups starter when making my bread and add 1/2 Cup sugar, 1/2 Cup oil, 2 tsp salt, 6 to 8 Cups flour and 1 1/4 cups tap water, mix, place in oiled bowl, cover and let rise overnight. I devide into 3 loafs place in oiled pans and let rise a second time until they have doubled in size. I back at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes brushing with butter ever 10 minutes.
If you refrigerate your starter: the morning before you bake your bread feed your starter with the above mixture, let it rise all day in a covered dish, that afternoon use two cups starter and return the rest to the refrigerator. Must be used no sooner than 3 days and no longer than 10 days, if you choose not to make the bread by the 10th day devide, feed your starter with the above mixture and return to refrigerator.
Your recipe for the bread sounds very good. I already have a recipe that has a potato flake starter, but it is different and uses yeast as well. I'd like to try the one you posted, but have a question. If I make the starter according to your directions, since it will be brand new, will it still make the bread rise? In other words, the first time it is made, does it have to become "mature" or can I use it the first day.
Thank you in advance, Jean Pearce, (VA)
Because that recipe came from a family friend who passed away and I can no longer get some of her starter I made my own. I was not sure if the steps to feeding the starter were the same as begining the starter so I used one I found on the internet and then began feeding as per my family friends recipe. The steps to start the starter I began with are 1 pak. or 1 Tbsp. yeast, 1 Cup warm water, 1-2 cup sugar and 3 Tbsp. instant potato flakes. I then began feeding it as per the instructions on the recipe I posted above.
This bread you will find is a bit more dense than most sourdoughs I think and also a bit sweeter. Which is why I love it so much. Even the starter always has that fresh bread kind of smell and never really ever smells truly sour. My first batch after only having the starter going for a week was wonderful, however this second one is a bit slow. I expect after a month I will be happy with each and every batch.
Thank you for that explanation, that is more like the recipe I have. I will try it again, before, it called for feeding every 3 days and that was too much waste for me. It was also before I got into TFL and Peter Reinhart's recipe for a starter which I have and maintain. It is a little over a year old. But the potato flakes give a good flavor to the bread, I am going to do this again, it has been years since I made this recipe. Thanks for bringing this up, Happy Bread Baking to you!
Ooops, I made a mistake it is not 1 -2 Cups sugar but 1/2 Cup sugar.
Hope I am not too late with that. It really is a very good bread. Gald I could inspire you.