The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New starter

  • Pin It
mthompson's picture
mthompson

New starter

Hi. My new starter is 7 days old. I just made it with all purpose flour and water. I have about 450g of starter now after all the feeds. From day 3, the starter was doubling well within 2-3 hours after a feed. I feed with 50g flour and 50g water every 12 hours. Today, after the last feed, it rose to double and then started falling. By the time it was time for the next feed, it was completely flat. I fed it with 50g water and 75g flour and now it's nicely doubling again. I have a few questions - 

1. When do I refrigerate it? I live in tropical climate and I may use it once a couple of weeks or less. So how do i maintain it?

2. When is my starter ready to use? It smells sour already but after 7 days is it ready to use?

3. What would be a good recipe to start with? I want to bake a bread - loaf or a boule. I only have access to regular all-purpose flour and whole wheat. No bread flour or anything else like rye. thanks in advance! :)

ghazi's picture
ghazi

your starter is ready to lift some bread, although the true flavor will start to show within a month or so.

Here is a simple AP bread recipe can be made with 50/50 or just whole wheat

300g flour

180g water (10 -15g more water if `100% whole wheat)

40g starter (if only AP flour) if making 100% whole wheat would use 50g

6g salt

Mix flour, water and salt until combined. Add starter and continue to mix (knead)  until its  smooth and elastic that feels nice on your hands about 15 min by hand more kneading for whole wheat

Put in bowl to double in size. You might want take out after an hour and just reshape into a tight ball (do not degas dough be very gentle) It should start feeling pilowy

After it has risen a bit , around 4hrs time at 70F or might take longer depening on activity of your starter at this stage. Sourdough baking does take muchlonger to rise, with the small quantity of starter I gave you could take longer up to 8hrs though flavor is better (slower rise = better flavor) patience rewarded

Shape into your favorite loaf and leave for final rise

Bake in a preheated oven at 250c with baking stone first 5- 10 minutes with steam first minute or so. Then turn down to 200 or 180c depending on browning and shuffle loaf around half way through bake

You can put in fridge once your happy with the bread its giving you. Feed, let rise 1 hour on counter and put in fridge for a week until next feed. if you keep a stiffer starter 50% you can keep in fridge up to 8 weeks without a feed, given it has enough food

Hope this helps

 

mthompson's picture
mthompson

Thanks so much! So I will leave it outside the fridge for a couple of weeks and keep feeding every 12 hours then. Until the flavor develops. 

About the recipe - so after I knead the dough (i can do it in the stand mixer right?), i leave it for an hour. Then shape into a ball? Then leave to rise for up to 8 hours. Then shape again? Do I punch down the dough and then shape it for the final rise? How long will the final rise take? 

Thanks again! Really appreciate it :)

ghazi's picture
ghazi

is absolutely fine, just make sure to knead less about 10 min on medium low. Until its stretchy

Since this wont be a sticky dough, shape into a tight ball leave to rest . It doesn't necessarily HAVE to double but it will look puffed and springy when touched then it is done,

Within the first hour take it out of the bowl and reshape this is a technique more for wet dough to get tighter,. Its called Stretch and fold (where you actually stretch the dough and fold from all corners). Though it could help any dough in the case of this one it just needs to be shaped again because it wont be able to be stretched much. just take out after about 45 min or so and shape tightly but gently into a taught ball again leave to rise until about double, remember it does not have to double but it should look puffed and pillowy

Yes after gently taking out when (bulk) fermentation is done. Gently shape into your favorite loaf . The final rise will take anywhere from 2- 3 hours. Its always less time to wait in the later stages of making SD bread because yeast gets more invigorated. The (bulk) rise anywhere from 4 - 12 hours is where the flavor comes from. Even putting in refrigerator overnight makes for a slower rise. (simply put bread that takes longer to rise tastes better, all the natural starches in the grain have been converted to sugars )

With SD baking you always want to be gentle when handling the dough, its crucial not to knock out all the air.

 

mthompson's picture
mthompson

Thank you!

i've understood now :) will probably bake it in the coming week. Will keep you posted.

 

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and feeding the starter equal weights or more of flour.  Tropics does speed things up a bit so your times will be faster and shorter than the average.

If you find your starter peaking half way to the next feeding, feed the starter more flour  (and water to match preferred consistency.)  :)

mthompson's picture
mthompson

hi. Yes I feed the starter 50g water and 50g flour every 12 hours. I have discarded only a few times but mostly I just add to it. Mainly because I'm trying to build up 500g of starter for a couple of recipes I want to try. Is it absolutely essential to discard each time? 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

if too much is building.  Reduce to 50g starter or less and feed 50g each flour and water.   It doesn't take long to make 500g if the starter is healthy.  All you would have to do is take 50g peaked starter and feed 300g flour & 300g water and watch it rise over 8 hrs -12 hrs.  It should have peaked by then at tropical temps between 78°F and 85°F easily.  If not, let it ferment until it does peak, reduce to 50g and repeat the feeding.  This process should then be building yeast numbers.

If the starter is 450g and peaks, to keep it healthy, it should be fed at least 450g flour and 450g water making 1350g starter.  The next feed (without a discard and after the peak) would be 1350g each flour and water to make 4050g (or 4 kg) starter and so on.  As you can imagine, the starter will soon occupy the bath tub if not reduced to 20g to feed.  

It is important that once yeast is raising the new starter with fresh food additions (a change from the slower initial starter growing routine) that it be reduced or it gets too big.  It is important to reduce the size of the starter to keep it manageable and healthy.  There are tens of thousands of hungry little microorganisms in every spoonful!

 

mthompson's picture
mthompson

Oh my!

now I understand. It just breaks my heart to throw away that beautiful, bubbly starter! But I do understand what you're saying. I just discarded 250g and fed it with 125g flour and 125g water. Hopefully that keeps Bub happy for a while!

ghazi's picture
ghazi

Sorry, yes I forgot to mention about discarding. I automatically somehow think you will know this by reading somewhere else before you started your journey.

Essential information to keep your starter happy:)

mthompson's picture
mthompson

thanks! Yes I had read it but didn't fully understand until now. Will have to go against my nature and throw that beautiful starter out. Thanks!

ghazi's picture
ghazi

Good. Once your happy with the bread its making you, say another 2 weeks. Go up to feeding 1:1:1(starter,flour,water)

As the yeasts grow they want more food. So keep this in mind. You can stay at that ratio for as long as you like. Its the basic way to keep starter healthy

I feed my starter 1:5:2.5 now since I have had for over 6 months. I guess you get the picture here the more yeasts means you can build larger from smaller inoculations thus increasing yeasts numbers . As Mini Oven was saying I haven't looked back since doing this