The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

sourdough/starter

  • Pin It
sandrasfibre's picture
sandrasfibre

sourdough/starter

Hello. I am looking for a bread recipe where I can make a spone/starter either the night before or in the morning and then use this starter in the loaf that day. In other words, I don't want to keep a starter to feed, I want a starter to use immediately. Thanks for any recipes. sandy

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Hi Sandy,


It sounds like what you're looking for is a poolish or a biga.  Those are preferments that you start the night before, but they are not "starters" in that they use commerical yeast.  There isn't any instant way to get a naturally fermented starter, that I know of. 


A poolish or a biga is created by taking some of your flour and water and a tiny bit of yeast and mixing it together and letting it rise for 10 - 16 hours, then incorporating that back into your bread recipe.  It does give a wonderful flavour.  A poolish is more liquid (e.g. a 1 to 1 ratio of flour to water by weight) whereas a biga is drier, and a bit more difficult to incorporate back into your recipe.


Do a search here on poolish or biga and you'll get lots of info.


:-Paul

fancypantalons's picture
fancypantalons

Incidentally, as an addendum to Pablo's comments, it's important to point out that it's simply not possible to create real, honest-to-goodness sourdough without a real, honest-to-goodness, fed and maintained starter.  There's just no shortcutting that part of the process.

Atropine's picture
Atropine

I agree, it sounds like you might be looking for a poolish or biga.  That does really deepen the flavor of the bread, though it is not the same as a sourdough.


But this does bring up an interesting question.... is it possible to grow a wild starter, dry it in appropriate increments, then take it out and mix it in ingredients the night before and bake bread the next day?  I thought the KA pain de campaign starter that you can get (as well as other packet starters that they have) did that, or am I mistaken?


Keeping a starter is really not that difficult.  While the IDEAL would be a steady stream of on-the-counter, twice-a-day feedings (according to some), it is possible to keep one in the fridge for a long time between feedings.  That is exactly what I did with two, and then revived them about two weeks ago.  If you did not wait MONTHS between baking sourdough like I did, you would probably have to baby them less to get them going.  That might be a workable solution for you.