The Fresh Loaf

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Sourdough - bought a 150ml 'mother'... What next?

profondojones's picture
profondojones

Sourdough - bought a 150ml 'mother'... What next?

Hi all,

 

I am a crumpet maker in London trying to diversify my range and offer sourdough which I have never worked with before.

Today I received a 150ml container of sourdough mother. There were limited instructions on the container starting to feed it with an additional 150g of flour (type unspecified), and 150ml water (temperature unspecified). 

I weighed up the amounts - I used Strong White bread flour which is what I have available, and cold water. I emptied the mother from it's small container into a tall Kilner jar (Mason jar) and added the flour and water. It was difficult to mix due to the restricted mixing room withing the jar (perhaps I should have done this in a bowl first then emptied the resulting batter into the jar). Consistency looked ok.

It is now sealed and standing at room temperature.

My main concerns now are whether or not I have ruined the starter already by using cold water? I read after that warm water was needed... 

Please let me know your thoughts and any advice on how often to feed and what quantities to use would be much appreciated! Also, when would I be able to begin using the starter and is the amount I feed equal to the amount used? 

Please help!

Many Thanks,

Ian

Ambimom's picture
Ambimom

If you store it room temperature, you will have to feed it every day.  The only rule is BE CONSISTENT.  Feed the same quantities of cold water and strong white bread flour.  Here is a good tutorial:  https://search.kingarthurflour.com/baking/Sourdough-Starter-Instructions

Establish a routine that works for you; and be consistent.  Don't decide to feed it with a different flour or a different liquid.  If you want to experiment with different ingredients, when you feed, create a new "mother" with the discard and to this you can feed a different flour or liquid.

Good luck.

profondojones's picture
profondojones

When you say the same do you mean always 150ml water and 150g flour? How often? 

Thank you!!

Ambimom's picture
Ambimom

You can increase the volumes but always use the same ratio of water to flour and don't change the type of flour.  

Frankly, you will get to know your mother.  It's a living thing after all.  You can tell by how it smells and how it looks whether it's happy or not.  The mother I have is from a 150 year old source.  Mine is now 15 years old.  I keep mine in the refrigerator between feedings and baking but you bake everyday, I don't.

The best advice I can give you is to find a routine that works for you and be consistent.  

 

David R's picture
David R

Yes it will need to be protected, but if you seal it, pressure builds up (if you've seen exploding jars of kimchi, you'll understand immediately).

profondojones's picture
profondojones

Am I best moving this from the Kilner jar into a normal non-pressure Tupperware? Or simply a bowl with cling film? 

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

No need to move it.

profondojones's picture
profondojones

If I take the orange seal of the jar (it is a traditional clip top) is that sufficient? That will remove the pressure. 

Is it best to move to a bowl when feeding so o can mix more efficiently? Or ok to keep on the jar with minimal mixing room...

What quantities and how often should I feed it and what is the difference between keeping it at room temp and refrigerating?

Thank you!

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

I would remove the seal, yes, and also don't screw the lid tight. Or, if it is one of those ones with a clamp, don't clamp it down.

Mixing, feeding and storing really depend on your baking routine. Lots of people who do not bake every couple of days (like me) keep the starter in the fridge and bring it out a day or two before to feed it. That's what I do. I keep only about 50g and build it up once or twice before using it to bake.

Again, the amount you need to feed to build depends on your baking schedule, but you should always maintain the flour to water ratio. A good idea is 1:2:2 of starter to flour to water. So, 10g starter mixed with 20g flour and 20g water. Then, when that is active, if you need more, you take your 50 g and add 100g flour and 100g water. You can also go 1:3:3 if you like, but I wouldn't go beyond that under ordinary circumstances.

In the fridge, it just ticks over slowly, eating the flour very gradually. Essentially it is in more or less suspended animation. That is why you take it out and give it a couple of feeds to wake it up.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

It would probably be a good idea to create a backup for your starter in case things go wrong. It looks like your starter is 100% hydration so take a portion of the starter and smear it thinly on a sheet of parchment or wax paper. Let it dry completely and the store the flakes in a sealed container or plastic zip lock in the freezer or at room temperature. This way you can easily rehydrate some of the flakes to restore your starter.

HTH

Dan