The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

a few questions plz :)

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rolls's picture

a few questions plz :)

hi, i started my starter a few months ago following the birk st method in the book. at first i would follow the exact feeding amounts of water and flour.  but with time,  i got lazy and now i just keep it in he fridge and from time to time, refresh it, but i don't measure the flour and water.

i don't know much at all really about sourdough, but despite my neglect, it seems to bounce back nicely and looks bubbly.

i have no idea what im doing, and not sure how i can tell if its ready to go solo or not. i usually jus use a small amount with my regular yeast breads.

i'd love any insight whatsoever. is it wrong to not measure when feeding? am i stuffing up the chemistry somehow?


thanks heaps :)

Jay3fer's picture

I wouldn't say it's "wrong," but for recipes, it's helpful to know the basic hydration of your starter - like how thin or thick it is.  Some recipes like a thick one, almost like a dough, some prefer thin, like pancake batter.  But as long as it's bubbly and happy, you're basically doing fine.  I assume you mean you're leaving it out of the fridge for a while when you refresh it?  Not just adding the stuff and throwing it back in there?  Because that WOULD eventually kill the sourdough - you'd take so much out without giving it a chance to ferment and grow.

I think most people know their starter is ready to "go solo" when it has proven its ability to leaven in a given amount of time.  For Maggie Glezer's thick starter, which I use, she suggests that it triple or quadruple its volume in 8 hours before using it in a recipe.  I don't know what the guideline would be for a thin starter, but if you refresh it, say, in the evening, and it's very bubbly and noticeably much bigger by morning-time, it's probably ready to go.

(if you  leave it too long, of course, it will start deflating, so you don't want to leave it too long before checking)

rolls's picture

Thank you so much for that informative reply. U cleared up so much for me. Ur right I do leave it out of the fridge wen I feed it though I hav sometimes placed it rite back in so I'm so glad u told me bout that. I think it is ready judging by ur facts so hopefully will giv it a go soon thanks heaps :)