The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starter feeding and consistency questions..

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Simonbrewerbaker's picture
Simonbrewerbaker

Starter feeding and consistency questions..

New member, but long time reader...

Ive maintain a sourdough starter for a while now, the first one was back in Ireland, where I maintained a 100% hydration  mixed flour starter and baked in a dutch oven, I now live in California and have just started maintaining a 65% starter from Peter Reinhart's ABE, I didn't really like the consistency so I broke off a piece and started another 100% starter, and I am baking with a pizza stone and steam bath. Ive had great oven spring with all recipes and both baking techniques.

So I have a few questions....

1)

In regards to starter, my 100% starter seems pretty healthy, when I feed it,(every 24 hrs) it doubles in size in about 6 hours, but even when next feeding comes around, it hasn't fallen very much from double the size..Does this mean its not as healthy/trained as possible? Would 12hr feeding intervals make any difference?

2)When I bake breads, with packaged yeast, my bread seems to turn out fine, when I bake with sourdough, the bread ends up with a damp chewy consistency, is this to do with over handling/the starter or am I simply not baking it for long enough?? Ive had this problem both back in Ireland and here in California, my starter in Ireland seemed very healthy.

108 breads's picture
108 breads

My question is whether you have adjusted your recipes to reflect the amount of starter you are putting into your doughs, specifically the amount of flour and water. Usually, if I am adding a tiny bit of starter, I do not adjust, but if I am using more than 10g I do. I subtract from the recipe amount the presumably 50 percent flour in the starter and 50 percent water. For 100g that is 50 each of flour and water.

Confession time: Sometimes, like today, I forget to do this. A little nervous about the result.

Happy baking!

Simonbrewerbaker's picture
Simonbrewerbaker

For the breads I baked in Ireland, I used the Tartine country loaf recipe, and for the first loaves Ive baked in the US, Ive used a 66% starter, which was the starter called for in the recipe book.

 

All weighed on digi scales.

dosco's picture
dosco

To what internal temperature have you been cooking your "damp" loaves?

-Dave

 

Simonbrewerbaker's picture
Simonbrewerbaker

Hi Dave, Ive checked them an they've hit over 95'c/200'f

Simonbrewerbaker's picture
Simonbrewerbaker

I've noticed over the past few bakes I've noticed I'm not getting any ears on the crust, and in getting a few very large holes in the crumb but the rest is pretty dense.

I've trawled past posts on the forum and find an awful lot of conflicting information