The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

starter develops skin while rising

metropical's picture

starter develops skin while rising

my starter has developed a skin when I feed while I'm waiting for it to rise.

Normally it does a rather nice double in about 6 hours.

Though it is rising, it'a no quite double, and I suspect it' somewhat impeded by the skin.

Should I add more water to the feed?

House is at 60f most of the day.

cranbo's picture

maybe a dumb question, but do you cover your starter? 

where do you live? it's winter time in my part of the world, so things are considerably more dry (including my own skin! :) ), that could be contributing.

I've never had a covered starter develop a skin, AFAIK


metropical's picture

nope, never have before, but maybe now ……………..

winter here too

BreadBro's picture

Yeah, you need to put plastic wrap over anything that is rising. The air currents in the room will form a skin over the dough and inhibit rising.

Xenophon's picture

How do you keep it while it's rising?  If in the open (open lid jar or something) and your heating is on then I can imagine a skin developing as ambient humidity will be very low.  I keep mine in a largish jar with a loosely fitted top so the carbon dioxide can escape, never experienced problems ( in summer it's about 40 centigrade in my New Delhi kitchen with air humidity dropping to about 15%).

metropical's picture

tight wrap or loose?

I'll do that next time.

It's a 40oz jar 5" opening.

MisterTT's picture

but don't let it trick you into thinking that fermentation is significantly different with it and without it.

metropical's picture

don't care if it happens, but it does seem to physically limit the rise of the starter, which I like to see for confidence.

silly me.

Antilope's picture

to store and feed my starter. When I feed my starter I leave the lid balanced loosely on top. The starter has room to rise and fall and doesn't dry out. I place this in a pie or cake tin just in case it overflows. My starter doesn't form a skin, and can freely bubble as much as it needs to. When I store the starter in the fridge, the lid snaps tightly in place, but will pop open if it needs to.

hanseata's picture

Whenever I stay in a hotel that supplies disposable shower caps, I take them home - my hair can get wet, but my doughs should not get dry.

For up to 400 g of starter a large yogurt container is a good option, too.