STARTER LEVELS Vs PROOFING TIMES AND TASTE
Namaste from Nepal.
I would really like to know if there is marked difference regarding
a) length of final proof
b) levels of sourness in bread
depending on level of activity you incorporate your stater into the dough. I have read somewhere that using a young starter will decrease the level of sourness and also increase fermentation time. Does using an overripe starter then increase sourness but also reduce fermentation time as yeast numbers are higher? this last comment seems a little counterintuitive as less fermentation should allow of less buildup of sourness?? confusing...
I would also like to know how long in general terms is your window for using your starter at optimal levels for consistent baking results.
Finally what is the earliest stage you can use your starter? Is it absolutely necessary to pass the float test in order to be considered a superior starter. I have managed to make many loaves of bread to date with a fairly decent starter that doesn't float. Apologies if my questions are unclear!