The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

new starter & loaf (re flat starter...)

kamamav's picture

new starter & loaf (re flat starter...)

So last night I restarted my starters; one with the old method(left) and one with the method suggested by Mini Oven(right).

As you can see, thr new method is MUCH better! I believe it probably topped it's proof time somewhere between 4-5 a.m. since this is what I woke to at 5:30. I am def happy with it.

Instead of throwing out the starter last night at feeding time, I used the 'leftover' for a new loaf, with a new formula.I used 1 1/2 C (old)starter, 1 1/8 C water, roughly 5 C flour(including what I used to knead), 1 T each oil & honey, and 1 tsp salt. This is after 1st 2 hour proof, shaping and scoring.

It took 3 more hours to proof enough for baking.(ok really I fell asleep, but it didn't appear overproofed. whew!) I baked at 450 for ten min, like my original formula called for, then 40 minutes at 400. I ended up with a beautiful proof-compared to what I have had- and a nice dark golden loaf. It is still a little dense crumb, but lightest loaf so far.It still seems very slightly on the moist side, but again better than before. If you can tell, the crust is a little heavy and hard. I am wondering if this is due to the high temp. Anyway it was actually nice to eat, I had a slice for b-fast, and with lunch. 


I am excited to have this, but do realize this is with my old formula starter. I am anxious to use the new starter formula, which is rising now. I am going to experiment with making rolls and see how it works. I will let y'all know. Thank you so much to those who pitched in and made suggestions.

I am a seasoned baker, except this is still a challenge for me. My sis says it should be a science project, with all the percentages and measurements I keep spitting out! I am so excited to work this, and I am looking forward to learning more about this "science project" as I go! I have already started a second AP feeding, and also am experimenting with a 2nd WW starter. I will keep you posted, again thanks a ton! Kamamav

cranbo's picture

Nice job. That wonderful browning indicates a nice complete fermentation. 

If you want a less dense, more open texture, you'll need to increase the hydration and resist the temptation to add additional flour to make the dough less sticky. 

Also consider using stretch-and-folds (in lieu of kneading) to build dough strength; this will help with airier texture too. 

Finally, use a thermometer to check the temps if the baked loaf seems a little moist. For a hearty country loaf, internal temp should be 200-210F. The higher the internal temp, the drier it will be. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

to having more food available.  Use the starter, save just enough to repeat the process and I believe you will see a greater increase of yeast activity as you feed your starter more food.  It is still the same culture, only fed better to favor the yeast population within the starter culture.

The crumb photo does show an increase in yeast opening up the crumb.  Congratulations!  :)

When conditions for growing the sourdough culture are not favorable, cold temperatures for example, a large portion of starter & a small feeding is needed to maintain the culture,  However, you have ideal conditions for growing the sourdough starter and only a small amount of culture is needed to increase the amount of active starter.  So you can easily maintain a small amount of culture, then when needed, feed more flour to increase the volume and boost yeast numbers with just one or two feedings.  

CB85's picture

That looks good. I like the shape of the loaf, too. I am also excited to see your bread with your new and improved starter!