The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Creating a starter in the winter

Gpats's picture

Creating a starter in the winter

Hi guys

Fairly new to sourdough baking, I was able to get a starter up and running over the summer and have been baking with it for a while with some fairly decent results, I was actually a little surprised how easy it was to get up and running.

I did however (or should I say my housemate) recently have a little accident and the jar I was storing my started in smashed. I have tried to start again using the exact same method I did previously however its winter here now in Australia and much colder than when I did it last time. I'm almost 2 weeks in and there is still very minimal activity.

Is there anything I should or could be doing differently now that the whether is colder to help my starter along?

Thanks in advance, always amazed at how TFL community are willing to come through and assist novice bakers like myself.


gavinc's picture

Hi Greg,

I started a new culture about 3 weeks ago in Melbourne. At first, I had it on the countertop in the kitchen but our house was dropping below 12°C during the night, so I moved it to my make-shift proofing box which is a steady 24°C, a little higher than the recommended 21°C but worked fine.  Now that I'm into regular use, the time it takes to fully ripen after being refreshed is only 9 hours. (culture 20%, flour 100% and water 125%). Once I understood the timing I can have it ready for baking when I want it.

I made the proofing box years ago using two plastic tubs and an aquarium heater.  Place the heater in the bottom of the first box, cover well with water and place the second tub into the first so that its bottom makes contact with the water. Put the lid on.  It may take a couple of days to regulate the heater to 24 to 25 °C.





Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and tuck into an inside vest pocket to keep warm near your body.  It will like that.