creating a pre-ferment or poolish using an active starter & knowing when a starter s ready !
Hi there, i have been a keen reader of blogs of this web site for some time now without actually signing up myself. So today decided to jump in !! I am a keen baker and have been baking with fresh / dried yeasts for a while now. Although im getting the hang of baking in general, i am completely new to the strange and wonderful world of sourdough . Last week i finally decided to start my own starter from scratch. I read up as much as i could (could handle) , and got going. I ended up taking quite a relaxed approach to my starter, opting for the " feel as you go " approach, as this as always boded well for me with baking in the past .
My hydration level for my starter was essentially equal quantities of flour and water ( 50 g - 50 g ) , adding the same amount daily for around three days. On the third day my starter was looking active and was smelling of a mix between a nice pear type smell, and a more nauseous paint stripper smell ! But as i have read up on, this i all normal so i continued. It is now day 5 and ive split my starter into two jars as i felt i couldn't just throw half of it away to accommodate more flour and water, thus i know have to starters to look after weighing a very approximately 400 grams each.
My real question/questions is/are , how do i practically really know when my starter i ready from today onwards ( keeping in mind this is day 5 ) , and when and if it is ready, what is the formula ( as apposed to a recipe ) for adding your live starter into any recipe you would want to add it in. If anybody has experience in this matter, i would literally be very grateful for any feedback , as i would really like this particular starter to work out for me. Thank You , craig.