The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starter Question

eddieh70301's picture

Starter Question

I have a starter that is about 60 days old. It's Peter Reinhart's recipe. I don't use it that often, maybe once a month. When I do bake, it is usually on the weekends. It's been in the fridge for most of it's life. I feed it approx 100 g ap flour and 100 g water once or twice a week. When I need it, I start a two day feeding schedule with 100g/100g ratio. It more than doubles within 4 hrs after each feeding. When it is time to make my dough, I measure the amount of starter I need and put the rest back in the fridge.

It seems to be working fine and it smells great.

Here's my question. I've read hundreds of posts on various sites and it seems like 90% discard a portion of their starter and feed with 100g/100g+ two or three days prior to use. Can I continue to just feed my starter two days before use and not discard any?

Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see the benefits of discarding most of a starter and start feeding it when the starter is perfectly fine. I have Reinhart's BBA and Forkish FWSY.  Both concepts are basically the same but I just hate to waste.

placebo's picture

A common rule of thumb is to feed the starter enough food to double the amount at a minimum. That means if you have 100 grams of starter, you'd feed it 50 grams of flour and 50 grams of water. If you're starting with 200 grams of starter, you'd feed it 100 grams of flour and 100 grams of water. The more starter you have, the more flour and water you feed it. If you don't do this, you'll be underfeeding the starter.

The idea behind discarding starter is to keep the amounts manageable. If you double at every feed, you quickly end up with way more starter than you need.




dabrownman's picture

60 G at 100% hydration over 2 builds and let it double each time throwing away nothing .  For the final build i feed it 20 g of flour only let it sit on the counter for an hour then in the fridge it goes.  I use 10-40 g a week baking 1 or 2 breads out of it.  When it gets to 10 g I do it all over again which is the only time it gets fed.  No muss, no fuss, no waste and minimal flour.

Happy Baking