No Muss No Fuss Starter
I thought I would make a post on how I keep my starter for those who have an interest in doing the same. My method is based on several wants. First, I don’t want to maintain or feed a starter for up to 16 weeks. Second, I want to keep as small amount of starter as possible so that I can bake a loaf of bread each week using a bit of it and still have it last 16 weeks. Thirdly, I want a starter that is sourer and has a higher LAB to yeast ratio than the normal 100 to 1 found in most starters. Finally two more wants, I don’t want any waste and I want to make any kind of bread with it.
To get these characteristics I make a stiff (66% hydration) whole rye starter in the 100g range and keep it in the fridge. Stiff is relative, since many breads are made with this hydration but mine tend to be quite a bit more wet than 66%. I take a small bit the starter each week and when it gets down to 10 g or so I build it back up using a 3 stage starter build. As follows:
I usually build the 101 g total line for my 1 loaf of SD bread a week. The first two feedings are 4 hours each at 100% hydration and the starter should double 4 hours after the 2nd feeding. I it doesn’t then toss the 2nd feeding total amount in weight and redo it. The final 66%hydration is accomplished by using much less water for the 3rd feeding. Once the starter rises 25% in volume after the 3rd feeding, that is when you refrigerate it for its long term storage.
Make sure you are maintaining 80 -84 F while building the starter. This is the temperature range that suits yeast reproduction rates and the LAB will still be out reproducing yeast at that temperatures. What happens, over weeks of storage time in the fridge, is that the starter will become sourer as time progresses. The bread it makes after 8 weeks in the fridge is worth the wait.
But, like most things it is relative and the resulting bread isn’t too sour either. If you want really sour bread do some of the following at 94 F – build the starter, levain build, gluten development, bulk ferment or final proof after shaping. I like using a small amount of starter to build a levain amount under 10%, a very cold bulk ferment, counter warm up and a 94 F final proof when I’m going for a really sour bread.
Now, to get this small amount of starter to last for 12-16 weeks you want to make bread with a small amount of it to build the larger levain you want for the bread. Here is a chart to use for 800g of dough (1 loaf for me) that can be used for different times of years, various ambient temperatures, how much time you have (faster or slower process needed) and how much sour you want for the time you have. Making a 3-5 day loaf of retarded bread in the summer is much different than making 1 day SD bread in the winter. I like to retard dough to bring out its full flavor and fit my schedule better. So in the warm summer, I use half the levain that I might in the colder winter months to get a 12 hour retard into the process. To get more sour in a 1 day (after a 12 hour levain build process), I might use 30% levain (the 240 g line) to speed things along and still keep some of the sour I want. Here is a chart to use for various levain builds for 800 g of dough using this starter.
The method of the levain build remains the same – (3) 4 hour builds. If the levain fails to double 4 hours after the 2nd build then toss the 2nd build weights and redo the 2nd feeding. I usually refrigerate the levain for 24 hours after it rises 75% -100% after the 3rd feeding to bring out more sour and fit my schedule.
If you mill your own flour and or have a sieve, you might consider sifting the whole grain flour and use the sifted out hard bits to feed the levain. He levain seems to love these hard bits and getting them wet for a longer period will help to get these hard bits as soft as possible potentially resulting in better spring, bloom and a more open crumb. I even do this with sprouted, dried and milled whole grain bits but build less levain as these grains are on steroids already and might turn the dough to goo if trying for a 12 hour retard.
For the 3 stage starter and the levain builds it might take 8-12 hours in the summer if your kitchen is a warm as mine and more than 12 hours in the winter if you don’t use a heating pad. You can make any bread with this starter and levain method by using the flour you want for the levain build. Use white flours for white breads and various whole grains for bread with whole grains in them. Any combination of levain flour works - at least for the more than 100 varieties of bread I have made with it. Without any maintenae of the starter or throwing any starter or levain away.
Happy SD baking the No Muss No Fuss way!
.....and now I use this technique exclusively. Beautiful loaves with good oven spring especially when using Very Strong Canadian Flour (white and wholemeal).
tied to a starter maintenance schedule for 16 weeks and still be able to make fine bread the easy way! Glad you like it and
Happy SD baking
Thanks for a very clear, informative post.
Low-stress, no-waste is where it's at.
all stess and pure waste as a Baking Apprentice 2nd Class like I do, anything else low stress and no waste in baking is a real blessing, glad you liked the post,
When you take the small amount out each week, do you give the remaining starter a mix or just leave it relatively undisturbed?
stirring is required plus, if you did, then Lucy would consider it a muss, a fuss or both:-) I guess , since I'm retired, I would consider stirring some kind of work..... and work of any kind is to be avoided at all costs! OK now you made me feel bad.... so maybe I will stir it at the 8 week mark just to stay a little bit more active and less sedentary:-)
Happy SD baking.
Should help a lot of people
Small point of note . . . . totals for first build in 2nd table are very slightly off (having de ja vu here). Either the totals or the individual seed amounts. It's just a tiny thing though, so much that I hesitate to muss or fuss about it . . . but some peeps might be confused ;-)
A gram here, a gram there and the next thing you know it adds up to real dough:-) Nice catch.
Not quite there yet. . .
line 2: 4+8+8 = 20 not 21
line 4: 7+14+14 = 35 not 34
line 5: 8+17+17 = 42 not 41
This is my new motto as an inexperienced baker! It's what I love about sourdough - it gives me such freedom! Man, I can go about my business, retard if necessary, and pick it up where I left off. Yes, I have to work on my technique and let the dough tell me what to do but with a good eye and a bit of experience and confidence, brother, I can't go wrong!! Thank you, dabrownman!
need a lot of that! There are so many different ways to make bread it is hard ti decide which one combination to use plus there are thousandsoif different breads to choose from.....I am always amazed at what comes out of Lucy's pantry and the oven.
Glad you liked the post
Great post dabrownman! How big is the container in the photo? Is that a measuring cup next to it?
that has doubled and ready to add to the dough for a loaf of bread. The container is a used Pillsbury store bought frosting container for cakes that comes with a plastic lid - not shown. The container holds 454 g of water. I use it because it will hold 240 g of the risen levain for 2 loaves of bread if i am making that amount - pretty rare around here now a days. What is next to it is a Pyrex 150 ml measuring cup. The 120 g of levain shown would fit in a 1 cup measure but it would be pretty full. Glad you liked the post and
Happy SD baking Greg
Just browsing thru & printing this post to begin using. Many thanks. I use plastic containers from Chinese carry outs. 2 Sizes: 46r gr & 840 gr. The larger I keep bulk flours not used often - like semolina and also nuts, seeds, etc. The smaller I use for the starter. My wife, being Chinese orders out every so often, especially if she thinks she hasn't cooked enough for guests. I have a great supply.
won't eat it out or order it in so so containers from there:-( They do eat it up when I make it at home though.......Lot of chopping in Chinese cooking and a good way to sharpen your knife skills! I bet your wife makes some fine Chinese food - wish mine did too:-)
it is just getting my head around how I will do this - as much as I am itching to bake again, I have a backlog in the freezer so must eat some of it first. This means I probably will bake only every 10 -14 days. Your post is most helpful, as always, so I will try this and see how it goes for me. Do you always go down to such a small remnant before you rebuild the mother starter?
at 12 weeks there is still around +20 g left of the 100 g starter max I keep. But this is when I really start to watch it too. The only time I have a problem with the starter being too weak to double a levain in 4 hours after the 2nd feeding is 12 weeks and after. If I have to repeat the 2nd feeding for the levain in any week I refresh the starter too. What makes this work is having the starter at its peak and able to double a levain after the 2nd feeding. If it can't do that, then it is time to get it back to peak form. The longest I have gone is 16 weeks before refreshing and the least amount left was after scarping the last of it out for a loaf of bread at 12 weeks, I just mixed in the first feeding of flour and water in the not totally empty container to get the next batch going. it is amazing how little left over starter it takes.
I also cover the starter with plastic wrap inside the container so the top doesn't dry out in the fridge. many folks just keep 10g or less of starter from 1 week to the next by pinching that much off their levain build for the week and saving it till the next week. The only problem I have with that is that you can forget to pinch it off and loss your starter plus the long cold retard of the starter the no muss no fuss way really starts making great bread at week 8 or so from a sour point of view.
If you are only baking a loaf every 10-14 days, you could get by with 50-60 g of rye starter in the fridge and have that last 10- 12 weeks.
I'm happy that you posted this again
I will save some typing when folks have starter questions and I can post a link back to this post like I do the YW Primer. I'm getting more lazy as I get older:-) Glad you like it.
and so today I added a layer of plastic film to my stored starter as I had noticed the top a little drier than the rest. My starter (a white firm starter) consists of 20 gms starter +60 gms water+100 gms bread flour (1:3:5??) so I think this should be ok for a while, depending on how much I bake. I was a bit worried about just taking bits off but the TFL posts have been reassuring so I will see I sucessful my bread is a few weeks down the track. My bread to date has been mild, but I am happy with that at this point and I will get more adventuresome as I go. I have made a backup by drying a couple of spoons of the mother starter just in case it all goes wrong. :) Leslie
storing a stiff white starter this way so hopefully your test will be fine and you can report back how it goes. My guess is that maybe it won't last as long or it might last even better :-) It will be interesting if you notice the bread each week getting more sour due to the long cold retard of the starter.
I think the consensus is that a stiff starter lasts longer in the fridge than a wet starter. Makes sense if you think that a wet starter ferments faster.
woud last lnger than a stiff rye one in the fridge - I wasnlt very clear on that. A stiff white will last longer than a wet white one for sure. In the old days, I had gallon of hooch to proove that:-)
I had missed that "little"point about rye vs white stiff starters. Next time I bake I will take a bit off and build a rye one and run them side by side for a while in the fridge and see which one I like better.
Does fridge temperature make a difference too? I think I read somewhere it should be 8-10oC but I think mine runs a little cooler about 5oC. will this affect yeast viability over the long term?
I certainly have success with the firm starter as opposed to the liquid one I had always tried and failed with in the past. I should have read TFL earlier I guess but better late than never and the info and help from everyone is amazing - thanks for your patience.
faster the wee beasties will reproduce. The more wee beasties, the faster they eat the food. The faster they eat the food the less time you can store them before they are starving. My fridge runs 2-3 C. I always convert the small amount of stiff starter to a liquid levain at 100% hydration during the 3 stage build before it goes into the dough at its very peak. No sense putting weak levain in dough.
The reason i store the starter stiff is that LAB and yeast both love the wet for reproduction and less wet means less activity so the food lasts longer. Stiff is relative though since many breads are made at 65-67% hydration with no problem.
Liquid levain should work as well as stiff ones in bread making so long as they are at their peak. Storing liquid starters at higher temperatures just means that you have to feed them all the time with huge discards if you don't bake with them every day. So much of how you keep and maintain a starter depends on how much you bake and how sour you want your bread to be.
Storing a stiff white starte should work but I just donlt know how long it will last in teh fridge before it weakens to the point of having to refresh it. I'm guessing a whole rye one will last a bit longer but how much is what you will answer with your experiment.
well earlier this week I attempted to convert some of my starter. I did a build as you do for the 100 gm mother but got the timing wrong. I used 50:50 white:rye and it seemed to be ok until I fed it 100% rye. smelt ok but did absolutely nothing. So today started again. I am about to do the 3rd feeding at 50:50. it seems to be ok at this point. my question is how to proceed from here. should I do the same again tomorrow (it will be actually day after tomorrow as we are away tomorrow) or should I try again to do the next build with 100% rye or perhaps 25:75?
Should I refrigerate it until I am ready or feed 50:50 for another day?
starter in the picture looks plenty active enough. Each of the first 2 builds for the starter ( not the levain build chart) is 4 hours and they are each whole rye and equal weights of water. It should double after the 2nd feeding or you toss the 2nd feeding and replace it The 3rd build reduces the hydration with more flour than water according to the chart depending on what size 66% hydration whole rye starter you want to end up with. About an hour after the 3rd stage feeding it should rise 25% and that is when you fridge it for stage. If everything goes well, in 9-10 hours from start to fridge - not days?
If you are converting a white liquid starter to whole rye make sure it is at its peak before taking the small amount to use for the first build. Sometimes white starters can go into a food shock shock when first being fed whole rye and you might have to repeat the 2nd stage build for it to double 4 hours after the 2nd build - still it should only be 13 - 14 hours total before hitting the fridge. Make surre to dpo the builds at 80-84 F or it will take longer.
Happy SD baking
using this half rye starter (which worked as you said it would) but using only rye for the build. thanks.
This time it has all gone as you said - am about to refrigerate my new rye starter so will see how it goes along side the white flour mother. thanks for your guidance (and patience!)
Now you can compare the two to see if you need to keep 2 different starters or get along well with just one like I do.
Thanks dabrownman, this was very helpful. I bookmarked this a while ago, but I've been looking at it again today and thinking about improving the strength of my SD builds and I like your 3 stage process.
of starter we keep in the fridge. Lucy will be using the last of it today and will have a bit left to refresh a new storage batch - only 10 weeks old instead if 16:-) We like the 3 stage process for starter and levain builds. Better to be sure the SD is ready to do its job and at its peak for performance. Plus this gives you plenty of time and builds to convert the rye to what ever levain you want for the bread you are making,
I have been reading on the freshloaf for months now, and first want to thank everyone for this wealth of information, and such a great community. I really enjoy the atmosphere here and have learned more then I could have imagined there was to learn about bread.
dabrownman, I am so excited about using this method to bake sourdough. So far, i haven't been very successful, and I realize why. I haven't been using my starter at its peak. I have pulled my started out and am going to do a discard and refresh (1:1:1)(the way I have been doing it), then I am going to take 8g of my starter and build your 100g starter build and stick it in the fridge.
When it comes time to build a levain, i am trying to overcome an issue with timing. I typically work 8am-5pm monday - friday. This means that if I wanted to build a levain on Wednesday, I would have to stay up basically all night to get to the end of the stage three build and be ready to mix the levain with everything else and create a dough.
To get around this problem in the past and when using IY, would do an 8 hour preferment(with a pinch of IY) at room temperature before I left for work, then autolyse this with the remaining flour and water for an hour when I got home, then add everything else, knead, bulk ferment, shape, proof bake.
What would be my options for fitting this sort of SD levain into 'my during the week' baking? Perhaps I could:
* Build the levain on the weekend, and refrigerate about an hour after mixing the 3rd build, then pull it out about 2 or 3 hours before I needed it?
* Mix all the flour and water for the final levain side with a slightly larger seed and let it all set for the 8 hours I am at work?
* Don't be silly and try and bake during the week, keep it to the weekends? :-)
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
is that the fridge is your friend. For those that have to fit work around their mid week baking schedule there are a couple of things to think about and several ways to approach it and two of them you have mentioned.
You can build the levain on Sunday and refrigerate it an hour after you do the last feeding, but that would mean that you have to not only wait for it to warm up but to finish its doubling too - maybe 3-4 hours before you want to use it. What I have found is that if you let it double after the 3rd feeding, 3-4 hours after you feed it, and then refrigerate it it will be near enough to its peak for 24-48 hours and all you have to do is warm it up for a couple of hours as the dough flour and water autolyse..
Another way to do it is to mix up the seed and 3 feedings all at once and let it sit on the counter, or heating pad while you are at work. If you have the heating pad at 84 F that will give you the best temperature for the levain and it might double in 8 hours instead of 12. You may have to play around and experiment with the seed amount by increasing it a bit, to get the single stage levain to double in 8 hours rather than 12 if left on the counter while at work.
No matter how you build the levain once it hits the mix I take two hours with 3 sets of slap and folds and 3 sets of stretch and folds to develop the gluten. So if you do a 2 hour warm up for the levain when you get home from work and 2 hours to develop the gluten you are at 4 hours total. Adding that to a start time if 6 PM and you are 10 PM with several hours of ferment and or proofing to go. No worries. I don't do a bulk ferment and just skip right to shaping, bagging and retarding int eh fridge.
Then it can stay there until the next evening to bake after it warms up for a couple of hours if need be. OR you could just chuck it in the fridge and let it bulk ferment in the bowl until 6 Pm the next day and then let it warm up for an hour, shape and proof for about 2 hours and bake it at 9 PM the next night. Either way will work.
If you want fresh bread in the morning to bake at 6 AM before work then you can up the levain a bit and get it proof, shaped in the fridge in 8-9 hours and be ready to bake cold after a short warm up on the counter as the oven heats up.
With a little experimenting you should be able to figure pout a way to bake at night or in the morning during the work week -no worries. . Don't forget about the no knead process You could have the levain built the day before and while letting the levain warm up, you could autolyse the dough water and flour then mix everything up and let it sit on the counter overnight. Then chuck it into the fridge before going to work to finish off the bulk work. Then take it out of the fridge when you get home, shape it and bake it. You could also shape it right before putting it into the fridge after the overnight counter ferment and let it final proof shaped in the fridge and just let it warm up when you get home to bake it.
and hope it will be helpful!
Thank you Dabrownman, very informative post. Sounds like there are many options and a near peak/peaked levain can be held for a period of time in the refrigerator without loosing its oomph.This week will be a time for much experimentation and fun! I will try putting the levain the fridge right around the peak of the 3rd build, and I will also try a single build for 8 hours at 80-85f, the exact temp our oven will hold with the light on and a few baking sheets to confine the oven area to just the top 1 third of the oven.
I will report my finding.
Also as a after thought, I have been using WW flour for my starter, however I have often felt it had an "off" flavor. I am converting it to AP KAF for now to see if it goes away, but would you recommend rye instead? I have been wanting to experiment with small portions of rye flour in doughs to get some rye flavor, so maybe I will pickup a bag of whole rye. Experimenting and learning is half the fun here for me, the other half of course is the fresh bread!!
with whole wheat,from a small rye seed, according to Desem standards. I've never had a starter go off though and smell bad either. <y favorite way to make a starter is the Mini OVen way of making a golf ball size dough ball with whole wheat at 66% hydration and then sticking it in a brown bag son that AP flour covers it. You just chuck it on top of the fridge for 7 days and poof - instant starter once you scrape out the inside that is still wet and feed it. The fastest is Joe Ortiz's 3 day whole wheat, cumin and milk method .
I like a stiff whole rye starter because it is so easy to maintain in the fridge for 12 weeks ( no maintenance ) and it is ready to be built into any kind of levain in 12 hours. It is always ready to raise a loaf. Today's build is 120 g of whole spelt using 8 g of 5 week stored rye seed. It's got 4 more hours to go:-)
Be happy not having to maintain a starter but one day every 3 months:-)
I take my starter to work :(.
And I bet I'm not the only one to do that. But when I want to bake for something particular it's not a bad option for me. Just means a bigger lunch bag that day.
baker if they take their starter to work.......... and to bed with them, not that I have ever done that of course :-)
I am a complete newbie here so sorry in advance if this is a basic question but I haven't found in answer in my searching/reading. What is the purpose served by building the levain in multiple stages? I understand in this particular application you are intending to use a little bit of your mother starter and not have to replenish. But if you were fine maintaining your starter from week to week would there still be an advantage to building the levain in stages? I ask because I have been just adding about 15% of my starter to all the dough ingredients, mixing and letting sit out for 12 hours then proofing/baking. I bake about 3 times a week. Every week I add some flour and water to my starter in the fridge and it seems happy enough- well, for its six weeks of life so far : ) Is there a taste benefit to doing the levain in stages, and then adding to a autolyse of flour vs just letting the whole thing ferment/soak together overnight in one shot? Better oven rise or holes? I am using mostly fresh milled wheat if that matters.
This type of levain build also works for other flours as well.
If your method works for you then I say don't change a thing The reason I do a 3 stage levain build is sometimes I want to take advantage of different hydration and temperatures at different stages to coax different flavors out of bread.
Butmost of the time I do so because of the way I keep my starter, I can keep my small amount of stiff rye starter in the fridge for 4 months without any maintenance. As time passes, the starter becomes more sour and the LAB start to over populate the culture when compared to the yeast - which makes for more sour bread The 3 stage levain build ensures that the levain will be at its peak after the starter has been neglected for so long and ready to raise a oaf of bread as it should with the flavor profile I prefer at the time.
Looks like a great reason for the 3 stages, thanks so much for that- looking forward to giving it a go! Much to learn...
Still very much an SD newbie, but my curiosity had me wondering about the logic of multi-stage levain builds. i.e.: what is it about a 3-stage build that makes it more effective than, say, a larger single-stage feeding?
Was thinking of this while stuck in rush-hour traffic when it suddenly dawned on me - could it be that each build/feed is acting like a Darwinian trial to select for the fittest buggers, with each successive feeding allowing them to contribute more and more to the final population than would a single, larger feeding?
Would appreciate your thoughts on this or links to any resources that discusses the whys to multi-stage builds.
bunch of whole grain flour on it could overwhelm the poor wee beasties with a whole bunch if bad ones in the flour. I found this out when I started making rye starter from scratch to make a loaf of rye 4 days later and you can prove it to yourself. Take 40 g of rye and add 35 g of water to it. Stir it every 4 hours and see what it looks like in 12 hours. It could be nice and bubbly by then with no starter in the mix.
The other reason to do a 3 stage build is that it allows you to use different flours, liquids, amounts and temperature to produce a different kind of levain ....... like a Detmolder one.
I have done single and 2 stage builds often from NMNF starter but did up the starter amount by quite a bit.
I've just started using this method today. I have a stiff starter that lived in the fridge for about 2 months without feeding. I've taken a 20g seed out of it and built a one-stage levain, by adding 80g water + 80g flour. Its been 5 hours now, and it has already reached double its volume (room temp is 81f/27c here today). Should I start using it in the dough now, wait until it triples, or until it starts to collapse?
i say a 2 month old starter seed that was fed once at 1:4:4 is ready to go for all 3 - when it doubles, peaks or just starts to collapse No worries.
I've been working on a another starter regimen that many Fresh Loafians use who also bake once a week. Just keeping a small bit of 100% hydration, 10 g of doubled starter from this weeks bake, feeding it 3 g of flour, kneading it into a stiff dough and just storing it till next weeks bake as the seed for that levain build. Works great wafer 4 weeks. The bread just isn't as sour but pretty easy of you remember to take out the seed and stiffen it up each week..
Happy SD baking
for some time now. My starter is a little different since I use 50% hydration. It is still 100% Rye and I use this feeding method:
Its pretty much the same, except I convert to 100% hydration at the first feeding.
What differs from your method though is that my 2cond feeding rearly gets up to double size, but the 3rd feeding allways doubles within 2-3 hours and allmost tripples after the 4 hours. I tried to redo the 2cond feeding for up to 2 times, but it still would not raise to double. I also tried to wait for 6-8 hours and it does double eventually, but just not within the 4 hours.
Any idea why?
You mention that the 2nd feeding it rarely doubles but then springs to life on the 3rd feeding. But what happens after the first feeding?
Starters, once active, do get quicker.
This is a good way to go. More feedings do equal active starters. But I also find i'm able to make bread with starter taken directly from the fridge which has matured a week or two earlier. Providing I have enough in stock that is. So while a 3 stage feed can only be good one doesn't have to rely on it. I sometimes do one stage with the logic that if I can make bread with starter straight from the fridge then one stage will suffice, surely. But if i'm doing something extra special and have the time then i'll do a two stage build. It also helps if I wish to convert my rye starter into a preferment with some other flour.
My own personal rule is the flour that I feed my starter, for a preferment, should be equal to (or more) then the weight of the starter.
i.e. If I need 150g mature starter then i'll do as follows (or a variation of)
10g starter + 20g flour + 20g water [stage 1]
50g starter + 50g flour + 50g water [stage 2]
Or I could do...
10g starter + 10g flour + 10g water [stage 1]
30g starter + 60g flour = 60g water [stage 2]
Each time the flour the starter is fed is equal to or more than the weight of the starter. I like good healthy feedings.
The first feeding is usually slower than the second.
When I think about it, Ive actually never been very succesfull with the Levain doubling within 4 hours after first or scond feeding. It has allways taken me 3 feedings raise the Levain to double within 4 hours.
Before I tried the Dabrownmans method, I fed it 1:1:1. I see you like to feed twice with one feeding at 1:2:2 and one at 1:1:1 Do your Levain raise to double within 4 hours? Do you belive that more Flour speeds up the proces? And last, why do you consider your starter healty with larger feedings?
a lot comes down to whim and time. The one thing I do follow is good feedings and by that I mean 1:1:1 or higher, that is all. Those were just examples. If i'm doing two feedings and my time is limited on the day of baking then I won't do higher then 1:1:1 on the day of so it peaks quicker and it still gets that good feeding. Then there is encouraging a tangy taste where 1:2:2 or higher will help. I never do more then 1:3:3 unless i'm topping up my mother starter in the fridge. Hope this makes sense. Sometimes I think people over think the whole process. So I do whatever takes my fancy taking into consideration things like time.
so you're first feeding is slower then the second. And your second is slower then the third. Makes sense!
Don't forget for a good rise you will need a high proportion of fresh flour. A starter will feed, peak and fall. When you feed it again it will feed on the flour you've just added. But if you add a smaller proportion of flour to starter then it will eat through it quicker and not rise as much. Less flour will go quicker as it has less to eat through. But feeding a mature starter will hasten the process as it is already active. That is why your 3rd feeding is the quickest because it is now very active. It will also speed up the bulk fermentation in your final dough.
Taking starter from the fridge will work albeit slower then if you feed it and bring it to maturity first. So while you're following a recipe which will have guidelines you've gotta take into consideration our starters are all different.
Hope this helps Fusan
Im still a noob and I do tend to overthink a lot. What I basically understand from your previous post is...
If you want to speed up the proces, you use less flouer, but never less than the total weight of the previous feeding (1:1:1) to keep it healthy, correct? So I in order to speed the proces of the starter from the fridge, I could feed it 1:1:1 and at the second feeding, when it should be pretty active, I could move up to 1:2:2?
Also, by feeding the Starter less than 1:1:1 Ill risk theres not enough flour for it to double?
and perhaps the most difficult thing to get ones head around. There are many ways, all correct! My rule of larger feedings of 1:1:1 or more is just that... my own personal rule which was inspired by my teacher. Feeding less then that is not wrong but will make it peak quicker without rising as much.
the thing about starters, which is also confusing, is each and every starter is it's own personality and everyone is different to the other. So making huge general rules is also wrong.
Starter is just flour and water which has fermented. It is the home of yeasts and LAB which leavens the bread. It is confusing at first because everyone is used to a bread recipe where the flour + water is different to the added yeast. With sourdough the yeast IS flour and water.
Now ask 3 bakers and you'll get 3 different answers with every question you have. Don't worry about it too much. Do what works for you! All this talk of doubling and tripling is not an exact rule as different flours and different hydration with different feeds will make your starter behave differently.
A high hydration starter won't rise as much as a lower hydration starter. A rye starter will behave differently to a bread flour starter at the same hydration.
Take your starter from the fridge and feed it then depending on how long ago it last matured and how much it has been fed it will peak in a certain amount of time. But now the yeasts are waking up and becoming active. Feed it again and the yeasts will work quicker this time. But feed it a bigger ratio means that while they are now active they have more to eat through.
As long as by the time you come to baking you have that 150g mature starter the world is your oyster. You have freedom of expression here.
that you apparently do like everyone else but gets a different result. Well it sounds like Ill have to keep experimenting to find out the best way to maintain my starter under the conditions I have here.
In the summer we have cut the levain 1st build to 2 hours and the 2nd build to 3 hours and when it doubles after the 3rd feeding in the fridge it goes for a 24 hour retard and it usually doubles in 2-3 hours after the 3rd feeding - about 8 hours total. In the winter we go back to the 4,4,4, hour build times.
My guess it that your starter isn't really at full ramming speed. If it nearly doubles at the 2nd feeding I would just do the 3rd feeding and see if it doubles within 4 hours - if so - no worries. My starter is at 17 weeks in the fridge and I noticed it was a bit slower than usual to build a levain this week too. So I built it back up and put it away in the fridge to use when the current one runs out i a couple of weeks.
Happy NMNF baking
I just dont get that you can get your starter to double that fast. Wonder what I could do to get mine at full ramming speed. Should I take it out next time I have to make a new "Mother" and feed it through several days and then put it back to the fridge? Would that make it more active or is it like Abe says, that itll just never be that active.
I could also try to build the "Mother" in warmer temperatures next time, maybe that would help.
Just depends on many factors. Try the following...
Take 10g starter and feed it 10g flour + 10g water
Leave that to bubble up overnight or until peaked.
Then feed the 30g you've now got with 30g flour + 30g water.
See how much quicker it rises and how much more it rises with greater feedings of a now active starter. Both are 1:1:1 rather than smaller ratios described in your original comment. Both have higher ratios of fresh flour and the second feed will be more active as it is now mature.
youre fast! I just finished my post, refreshed and you allready answered :)
I will try your method. I did use the 1:1:1 method before to feed the Levain, but dont remember if it was much faster.
Any particular temperature I should try it in?
A greater feeding will rise more simply because it has more food. Thickening it up will also help as it has more structure. A mature starter will rise quicker as it is already active.
One can create a really liquid starter, not have it rise as much but it'll still make bread as it has active yeast in it. One can feed it less and it'll rise less but it'll still raise bread as it has active yeast in it.
A 100% hydration rye starter will be thicker then a 100% hydration AP flour starter. Rye also ferments quicker than other flours. Plus all our starters are unique. So many variables so how can there be a single way? Or more precise how can there be a standard outcome?
At the end of the day you've just got to know your starter and how it behaves.
So feed one I've given you will be 1:1:1 but its the first feed. The yeasts will wake up and become active. The second feed is also 1:1:1 but the yeasts are already nice and active so it'll be quicker. So same ratio but quicker on the second feed.
If you take 50g starter and feed it 25g flour it'll have less to munch through than feeding it 50g flour. So therefore less rise. Should you feed 50g starter with 50g flour it'll have more to munch through therefore more rise.
I'm not exact on temperature. I just find a nice warm place. It's difficult to regulate the temperature and I'm not that pedantic. I just go for as warm as possible and adjust timings.
is done at 84 F in the summer on the counter and i use a heating pad in the spring winter and fall to keep it at around 84 F or so. Just a few degrees less and the reproductive rate of yeast is reduced by 15%
Every starter is different. Some are more active and rise bread faster than others even - if both are at their peak. it depends on what wee beasties are in the culture. Getting it to double after the 3rd feeding is my 3rd feeding point but if it takes yous an extra hour to do so - no worries just do the 3rd feeding and use the levain when it doubles As long as your starter is at its peak then that is the best it will do - and it will do fine.
Happy baking .
Great post and thread. I was wondering if you notice a difference in flavor from week 1 to subsequent weeks using this method. E.g. is the bread at week 8 different in flavor to those made in week 1? If so, is it a fairly gradual flavor change or is it really noticeable each week?
I am getting back to using sourdough and I used to refresh constantly. Lately I have been curious about using more of a mother that one takes from each time. Your method takes it one step further and uses the mother to build from each time which interests me. So thank you for sharing.
in the fridge because, the longer it is in there, the more sour it gets and I like SD bread to be more sour than less sour. At 8 weeks you can really smell the difference in the stored starter and it starts to make a more sour bread that is noticeable. I've starter to refresh the starter at 16 weeks and using the old one until week 20 so that the new one is already 4 weeks old when it is first used.just to get some decent age on it. I think of it like aging cheese to make it sharp.
I think i will soon start refreshing it at week 12 so the new starter will be 8 weeks old in the fridge when first used.. After week 16 it really stars making some nice SD bread. What also helps the starter and levain builds to be more sour is to do the counter work at 92-94 F. This promotes LAB over yeast so the culture has a much higher LAB to yeast ratio when it hits the fridge, Any levain made from it is being inoculated with more LAB than yeast to begin with which means the LAB will have mire time to reproduce before the yeast can raise the levain and resulting dough to be properly proofed to bake. More time means mote flavor and sour taste.
'The great thing is that you don't have maintain a starter for at least 12 weeks so a 3 month vacation is possible with no worries. It was being lazy and tired of wasting food from tossing and feeding that drove me to this Having a mire sour and better tasting bread was a freebie.
I have often wondered about this. I know that the technique used to make bread will change the sourness. I have never pushed a starter far enough to know if it made a major difference as well. I know there have been small differences but not really significant enough to be sure. It's good to know that pushing it to the 2 month mark makes a difference.
I was thinking about keeping 2 starters like you mentioned you are doing so one could go longer before using it with each refresh. I will be experimenting with white flour and eventually will have to try your rye version. It will be interesting to see how far white flour can go (King Arthur AP flour to be precise).
I know that Reinhart mentions keeping white flour at a little lower hydration than whole wheat flour when refrigerating. But I think working with 66% hydration or so is about as dry as I would feel comfortable doing. I remember his whole wheat being up to 75% hydration and a comment that the mother should be closer to 66% if using white. I'll have to report back what I find. Of course, like you, I bake about weekly unless I get on a bread making spree.
tries this method using a white flour with mixed results and my experiments doing so show it to be inferior in most things I look for both flavor wise and long lasting easy wise It is so much easier keeping a rye sour starter and using white flour to build the levain The sour is better and the plain white bread tastes better for it too. 15-20% whole grains will make most white breads taste better as David Snyder's SFSD and SJSD experiments point to. I like 30% - 40% even better as long as the hard bits for the whole grains are sifted out and fed to the levain first.... followed by some of the high extraction flour left over from the sifting leaving the white flour for the dough flour. Getting the hard bits softest and attacked by the wee beasties the longest makes for less gluten strand cutting You don't want to mess up the crumb of a whit bread all that much:-) Plus this kind of white bread is better for you too!
French Baguettes are at 66-67% hydration and some on the KA web site are also this low. Hydration, like most bread things, is relative with bagels being 53% when I make them so a white long refrigerated starter should be less hydration if you ask me
I would keep a white refrigerated starter at 50% hydration and hope for the best and realize you probably won't get 20 weeks out of it - but you might get 12. .....which is still way better than any other way to keep a starter.
Temperature and whole grains are by far what makes starters, levains and the resulting bread sour for me. Most people don't like really sour bread though - preferring the mildly sour instead. But ,I have yet to make a white bread, io any other kind, that was so sour people didn't love it So sour is relative as well. I just depends on what you like and are used to, Luckily we can make any bread to suit any taste.....with a bit if luck.
I think I will build up a rye starter (from my white) to keep in the fridge. I figure I'll be able to try it out sometime in the coming weeks or months and can see how it compares. I know I like to throw some rye in my bread to give a little more sour anyway. After all, it is not like it requires maintenance.
As to hydration, I guess there might be a difference with maintaining a 60% hydration starter on a regular basis (the lowest I have gone) vs one that has been sitting for a while and you just have to build from. I'll think about that part. Frankly I am okay with feeding more often, but like you say there might be some flavor differences. I know that at the very least, having a lower hydration dough will help the flavor. Add in the cold retardation and we'll see what happens.
I am used to trying to favor the yeast for vigor and dealing with the flavor in how the dough is handled, so this will be interesting to see if I can convert to something on the other end of the spectrum. The ease of it all has me curious.
By the way, I remember seeing your charts before and somehow never quite got what you were doing until I saw this thread (which I missed since I have been away from the forum for a while). I am glad you posted this as I have remember being curious about your technique.
while LAB are out producing yeast at a greater rate than they do at room temperatures they are reproducing at a very, very low rate. So the only way to give numerical advantage to LAB over yeast is to keep it those low temperatures for a very long time - weeks and weeks and more weeks.
The other thing to remember is that the higher the acid environment the more the LAB are actually retarded more than the yeast are by the acid the LAB are producing when it comes to reproduction rates. So eventually the culture will hit a low enough pH that the LAB reproduction rate will be almost zero - just like the yeast at these temperatures. The Idea of the NMNF long retard is to give the LAB the reproduction advantage over yeast for as long as possible before the pH gets too low. How long this takes is unknown to me I'm assuming many weeks but hopefully some others are are looking at it to see when this occurs. It will be interesting to see when the ph bottoms for the culture, But those who have a good pH meter should be able to tell easily enough..
I have always heard that the longer it takes the better the flavor when it comes to SD bread but most everyone seemed to be concentrating on getting their yeast to be as vigorous a possible which makes things go faster - exactly what you don't want.for better flavor. Once the bread is bulk fermented and properly proofed, it has to go in the oven and time is up for the flavor train, When proofed the yeast, has added what ever flavors it can whether it has takes 2 or 20 hours for it to proof
So my idea was to restrict the yeast while enhance the LAB reproduction rates to allow a longer time for the LAB to produce the flavors it does in SD bread because the bread would take longer to proof.
Still ,we have to remember that all things are relative. What is in SD cultures, when it comes to LAB and yeast, varies greatly. There might be 2 or more LAB and Yeast strains in a culture and there are a couple dozen LAB and yeast that could be found in combination too. Some SD yeast strains produce twice the CO2 of others.which would be bad for flavor but great for making bread proof fast. Some SD strains of LAB have been found to actually produce nearly half the CO2 in the culture too, as much as the yeast do - also bad for making things take longer.to proof and developing more flavor.
i hope I don't have those kinds of LAB and yeast in my culture, and don't think that i do after all of this time, but it just shows that your results may very quite a bit from mine or they might be right on target. I always try to taste the starter and bread of other SD bakers when ever I can. It is amazing how different they all taste.
Happy experimenting .
I'll have to mull that one over as I was up really early today. My first thought is about time and gluten structure. I think that you have harvested something that works for you and is hopefully repeatable.
hi dabrownman, I am new to SD and I hope you will be patient with my queries. First, you are God-sent and I would like to thank you for sharing your starter recipe. I had almost given up making SD bread as I hate waste. Having to discard & feed on a daily basis was driving bonkers. I have read your recipe several times and am going to follow it.
Am I right to say that "seed" means an old starter? What is the meaning of "LAB"? Is the first chart to be used for the creation of a NEW rye starter? Is the second chart to be used for the creation of a levain every time I want to bake?
I like my SD bread quite sour. After refrigerating the levain for 24 hours after it has risen 75-100%, can I use it ANY time straight from the fridge? Would the cold levain still be active after taking it out of the fridge?
have that will be converted into NMNF rye starter after the 3 feedings in the chart.. LAB is short for Lactobacillus the wee beasties that make the acid and sour in the SD starter. They live in a symbiotic culture with the acid tolerant yeaswt that rise the dough. The yeast make CO2 and ethanol and the LAB make acid. If your current starter is active and healthy it should work fine for the seed.
I routinely retard by built levains for 24-36 hours. I normally stir it down when I take it out of the fridge and when it rises 25%, that is when I use it - takes about an hour to warm up.
LAB is Lactic Acid Bacteria, of which Lactobacillus bacteria are part of (and is the primary LAB in most starters but there's probably more). Basically, any microbe whose primary acid production is lactic acid would be considered a LAB. In sour beer brewing, there are several LAB we're working with of which Lactobacillus and Pedocaucus are the primary players, but again there are several involved.
in SD starters are lactobacillus strains of one kind or another. I have never heard of any lactic acid producing microbes in SD other than lactobacillus. It is interesting though. Do you have any research papers on such microbes found in SD?
I agree, Lactobacillus is the primary microbe given (deserved) credit for the production of sourdough, but being a wild/spontaneous culture derived from whatever floats in air that can survive the acidic environment would give way to the possibility of many other cultures. Most don't work nearly as fast as lactobacillus does, but they likely keep surviving the journey (and contributing in their small, subtle ways). Two references, which point to many more research papers, that indicate the presence of other LAB (including pediococcus) is Minervini et al. 2015 (Food Microbiology 52:66-76) and Yağmur et al. 2016 (Pol. J. Food Nutr. Sci. 66(2):99-107).
The abstract of the former is here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0740002015001203
The full PDF of the latter can be found here: http://journal.pan.olsztyn.pl/fd.php?f=1442
NMNF is for ? Also I wander --If we keep a starter of 100g. In the fridge . I use it once a week for a bread of 400 g. It takes very very little of starter no ? . So according to your chart if I would need to buil my leaven from as little as 1.5 g of starter ? Then my 100g seed starter would last me for ever !!!! Or maybe I don't get it right ! If the answer is YES should I keep 50 g or even less instead of 100 g. ,I try to understand also this : you put your built leaven in fridge when it has risen 75 % from its initial level you leave it there for up to 36 hours but then you say I took it out from the fridge ,stir it and use it when it rises up again to 25 %!!! My question is when you take it out of the fridge does it have to be after it doubled up ? Let's say it reaches the double size in the middle of the night can I keep it there until I am ready to bake ? I am afraid it might go down if it does is it still o.k. To use it ? Thanks so much
Am I right to say that the first Table is for the creation of a NEW starter and the second Table is to create a levain every time I need to bake a loaf?
Should it fail to double in volume after the second feed, do I toss out 40g [using the 10-seed column of your Table] of the starter? and then add another 20g flour and 20g water?
I use rye for my starter. If I were to sift and use the hard bits, do I weigh the 20g of rye first and then sieve to use the hard bits OR use 20g of HARD bits?
refresh one and the 2nd chart is make a levain for an 800 g loaf of bread as an example. If you are making a 1250 g oaf of bread at 70% hydration you can always use the the rule of 8 to know how to build the levain. If you want to use 12.5 % pre-fermented flour in the mix and there was 735 g of total flour flour then 12.5% of that is 92 g, If you divide 92 by 15 you get the amount of seed starter 11.5 g say 12 g the first feeding is also 12 g of flour and water the 2nd feeding is 24 g of flour and water and the 3rd feeding is 48 g of flour and water or 90 go for flour, including the 6 in the seed starter) . The only reason it doesn't come out to 92 exact;y was the rounding error for 11.5 to 12 in the beginning.
The only time my levain doesn't double after the 2nd feeding at the 8 hour mark is of the temperature is less than 78 F or the seed starter has been retarded longer than 16 weeks and it is a bit weak. If it gets to 75% after the 2nd feeding, I let it pass for the 3rd feeding and it doubles in the last 4 hours after the 3rd feeding - no worries. But that is when I just go ahead and refresh the starter since it needs to be refreshed. Sometimes I even let it go if it only rises 50% after the 2nd feeding. I hate tossing anything food related.
I only use the hard bits for levain building. I grind the whole and sprouted grains for the bread and then use the sifted out hard bits for the first feeding of the levain. If there are any hard bits left over I use them for the 2nd and 3rd feeding too. If there isn't enough hard bits I use the remaining high extraction flour to finish off the levain builds.
Hi, thank you all,for taking time to reply to my queries,
Where the feed calls for 10g of rye, do I weigh only the hard bits and use only the 10g of hard bits to feed the starter or levain As the case may be? The rest of the rye, the soft bits bits, I would use for the dough?
and 13% or so which is about what I sieve out of home milled grains. If I am making an 800 gram bread at 80% hydration that is 50% whole grains there is only 222 g of whole grains to grind. At a 12% extraction for the bran this only gives you 27 g of bran total. If you are building a levain for this bread of 20% pre-fermented flour, the levain would have 88 g each of total flour and water.
To figure out the 3 stage build you divide the 88 g of flour by the rule of 7. 88/7= 12.57 so say 13 g since I'm not weighing out partial grams for anything. So the levain amount would be 13 g and the first feeding would be 13 g each of flour and water. The 2nd feeding would be double the first or 26 g of flour and water and the 3rd feeding would be 52 g each of flour and water.
Since we only got 27 g of bran from the sieve that would cover the first feeding of 13 g of flour but only 14 g of the the total 26 g of flour for the 2nd feeding. So part of the 2nd feeding and all of the 3rd feeding would be the remaining high extraction portion of the sieves whole grains.
In the summer here in AZ I would want to slow things down a lot. Instead of having 20% pre-fermented flour I could go with 6% instead which would magically be 27 g - the exact amount of bran I sifted out so the entire 3 stage build would be 27g divided by the rule of 7 = 3.85 g so say 4g. The first build would be each of bran, water and starter the 2nd stage would be 8 g each of bran and water and the 3rd stage would be 16 g each of bran and water which only leaves me 1 g short of bran with 28 g total required
I do not mill my flour, but use those in bags from the supermarket. There are little hard bits in the rye, so can i sieve it and use it to feed my levian.
Am I right to say that the hard bits are ONLY to be used to feed the levian, but NOT to create a new starter?
here in the states and just called whole rye, they have sifted out all the germ and bran from the whole grain flour and then put back some of the bran. Some of the bran and all of the germ is missing. I haven't used bran to make a starter from scratch but assume you could do so. You would want to up the hydration to 120% for the forst 5- 6 days and then thicken it up after that. Give it a go and see what happens
Thank you very much for your swift reply. I was delighted to hear from you, -- as I would like to create your dabrownman SD starter this weekend. Like you, I like my SD bread quite tangy and very holey.
Can you please advise me - 1 Once I have created your Starter, HOW LONG must i wait before i can use it? After 16 weeks? Or straightaway?
2 I read with interest about how you refresh your starter earlier, in the 12th week, and NOT wait until the 16th week when only 10g is left of the mother starter or, as you say, before the starter gets too weak.
When I refresh the mother starter in the 12th week, do I just add rye and water to it (in the same jar)? If so, how MUCH rye and water do i add for the first feed? And is this a 3-stage process?
Say, if i have about 40g of the mother starter in the jar and want to refresh it (as i am afraid of running low) how much rye and water do I add for first feed? Second feed and third feed?
OR do I take simply some out, 10g??? from the mother jar and start again in ANOTHER jar? And then continue with the 3-feed process within 24 hours as per your table.
Sorry i am a bit confused about this.
Thank You for all your help. Cannot wait to create a new starter based on your recipe.
week until ready to be refreshed. At the 12 week mark you can just take 10 g of the old starter and start another batch using the 10 g line below
I use a new jar so I can wash the old one that has been in the fridge for so long but you don't have to and sometimes I don't but if you you still have 30 g left in the old jar you need a new one anyway.
thank you very much indeed for your clear reply. On the 12 week, i will take 10g of the mother starter, place in a new jar and start again.
I would like you to know that i am most grateful for all your help.
It is good to not be chained to a starter with all the waste of flour and time.
he is helping me too and i wish i was at a fast computer like i am now so i couldve posted here and read other people who are doing it at the same time. it takes so much concentration i didnt want to change over from the private message because then i might forget something specific i asked.
dabrownman----i am also writing here again to get your attention because i am not clear on what to do today to my starter. i told you i was about to start the 40g flour 35g water after doing the 3 stage build but i poured the water in before discarding. i wish i read your message early enough to know i couldve still discarded but i thought i mightve taken too much water out. so instead i fed it 35g flour and did not discard. i thought i probably can still discard but that it might need to absorb or something and it was late. i made a bad guess. so i fed it 5 grams short. today i am not sure what to do. maybe discard today? and pretend i am right back where i was? and put 5 extra grams flour to make up for what i did not put? i wasnt sure if it wouldnt be as vigourous because days have gone by since the 3 stage build. i think that is what i will do making another guess until you tell me what you think. i dont want these discrepiences to effect the hyradation or something else i am unsure about. i dont know what the effect will be that i fed it differently than whatyou said. and i am about to possibly do it again. i tried to explain my reasoning so you could advise me accurately.
i want to get back to being able to carry on for the 3 days of your instructions before refridgerating while i keep researching and printing bread methods and your recipes.
again after 24 hours. No worries. You can adjust the hydration at the end to get 66% hydration
I am coming back to say that I am not making any more changes to the starter today since this last post. It concerns me with all the guessing. I am thinking I may have to do a 3 stage build again and continue on in order without anything getting in the way. I have been extra busy in this start of the month. I want you to know I did nothing today to the room temp starter and am not sure about fixing whats happened. I tried to explain about not discarding yesterday, feeding off by 5 grams. It seem like such small details to worry over and then there's the time lapse with moving forward. I want to be sure though. So tomorrow, if I hear back from you, I will be ready to start over. I dont know if my guess about what I was going to do today makes sense. I thought it wasn't good to let the starter sit undisturbed for a day without using it/discarding but at least I have told you what has happened.
Do I need to start over ? Do you understand what has happened?
never notice or care:-) Just carry on like it never happened and all will be well.
Hi, i have just fed my starter and this is my third feed. It did not rise after the second feed, but i did not discard and proceeded with my third feed of 40g rye and 16g water. It is very very dry and i can hardly stir it. I live in the UK and am wondering if our rye is drier than what you have in the USA. How is it going to double in volume when it is so thick? It is being stored in a box with a heating pad underneath the jar, at 89 degrees all the time.
i have added a little more water, a tablespoon, so that i can stir it. Still gluggy and hard to stir.
Is it supoosed to be so Stiff. It is like mud. What sort of consistency should it be? Like pancake batter, like clay? Should I be able to stir it easily?
should i add more water?
which seems to soak up water like a sponge so I always feed at 1:1:1 The consistency is like a thin paste, it stirs well enough but does not level on its own until it has sat for a while (think peaks like whipped cream!)
Hi, delighted to hear from someone in the UK. I use Waitrose's Dark Rye. Have used Doves for making TFL starter? Where can I buy Doves Rye in the UK? Waitrose's dark rye has lots of little bits in it. Thanks for your help? Hope you dont mind me asking, where in the uk do you live. I am a frustrated SD novice and am having serious problems all the way. I have decided to use this recipe to make a new starter, as I was going mad having to throw away tons of flour feeding my stater. My starter is never active enough, i do not have a good oven spring, not enough holes in my bread etc etc.
thank you for your reply.
When you say "I have decided to use this recipe to make a new starter", are you saying that you are starting from scratch on your starter? I mean, from the very beginning of just mixing some water with flour? If so, then you'll be looking at about 7-10 days of daily (or twice-daily) feedings to get a strong, viable starter. From that point (day 7-10), you can proceed with refrigerating, building schedules, 3-time feedings, etc. Then again, maybe I've just misunderstood.
During the starter propagation phase (days 0-10), you will be discarding quite frequently, BUT if you keep your starter culture small then you will only be discarding small amounts each time. I maintain a 40g culture that is fed once a day at room temp, so I am discarding 20g per day while it's at room temp. Obviously, this could go down to 20g every 12-16 weeks if kept refrigerated.
stirred but kneading it a bit is better. That is about the hydration of a rye bread dough int the UK and it has no trouble rising ..
hi, my post above refers to the making of a SD STARTER, not levain. Can I KNEAD the mix of thr THIRD stage of the STARTER? I am not yet at the dough stage.
Knead away - the microbes don't care, and it doesn't matter what name you call it either. In fact, at ~65% hydration you will basically HAVE TO knead it because it's like fresh-from-the-box modeling clay. You can knead a starter, levain, dough, etc...
I have to confess to being a novice here, dabrownman knows a lot more than I do. However if you are having problems why not try 1:1:1 and see what happens? I would have thought Waitrose flour would be good (I use their Canadian wholemeal and white all the time).
You can buy Doves Farm flour at most supermarkets including Waitrose :)
From Glasgow :)
There is definitely a difference in feeding schedules between a 65% and 100% hydrated starter. The 100% will need more frequent feedings - thus, more effort and more waste - but there is nothing inherently wrong with 100% hydrated starters either. It basically comes down to personal preference. At 100%, you can use a spoon to stir your starter; at 65%, you will want to knead the starter. The 100% will appear to be more active because of the quick and lofty raising, but the 65% will be equally as suited to making bread loaves.
to make old school pumpernickel It take five days to make the starter and bake with it. 40g of whole grain rye and 30 g of water. Mix and let sit at 78 F for 124 hours. Day 2 same thing add 40 fg f flour and 30 g of water. Day 3 toss half (i don't toss but feed it the same as the other half and have 2 starters for 2 loaves) then feed again 40 g of flour and 30 g of water. Day four feed 40 g of flour and 30 g of water. On day 5 you ae ready to go.
Yesterday I took 10 g of NMNF starter and did a 10,20,40 levain build to make 150 ng of levain. The forst stage was 2 hours the 2nd stage was 2 hours and 3rd stage was 4 hours at which time it doubled - total 8 hours. Itn probably was faster but I was gone so ony sw it at the 8 hour make 4 hours after the 3rd feeding This is the summer norm since it was 86-88 F in my kitchen and 100F outside yesterday . In the winter it take 12 hours to get the levain to its peak.
In the UK it always winter compared to Arizona:-) Temperature makes a huge difference. In the winter I use a heating pad to keep the counter work at 78-82 F and speed things up.
Thank you for your reply. I am sorry to have to inform you that my thick rye starter, using the dabrownman recipe did not rise at all. No bubbles. Nothing. I suspect that the seed might not be strong enough? do i throw the whoe lot put amd try again? Or do i make a new starter from scratch?
Can you PLEASE give me your recipe for a new rye starter From scratch.I have just bought a new brand of rye, Doves farm organic rye. Please let me know when to feed and how much rye amd water each time, and over how many days.
from a sad SD novice.
Did it double when you took 20 g of it and fed it 40 each of flour and water? If so how long did it take adn what kind of starter was it?
It took 3-4 feeds to double in volume. I am still feeding it and it now takes about 8 hours to double.
There is always a thick film or crust on top. Should this be so? 12 nours after feeding, starter becomes quite
soft and creamy, NOT thick like just after it has been fed.
Even though it has doubled, there are bubbles but NOT many. Also bubbles are NOT big. Bubbles can be seen on the sides of the jar.
It fails the float test everytime! Does it fail because it is not active enough?
i have been feeding it twice a day, every 12 hours, at 80 degrees, ratio is 1:2:2 Using organic wholemeal rye and filtered water. It has now been fed on sat, sun, monday and today. It doubles, but NEVER triples, in size 6-7 hours after feeding.
How am I know know when it is ready to be put in the fridge?
and got the NMNF starter to 66% hydration and let it rise 25% after the 3rd feeding - then into the fridge it goes.
But you can put any starter in the fridge if you want. It just may not last 16-20 weeks without maintenance and still be able to make a strong levain in 12 hours using a 3 stage build to 100% hydration.
Does anybody know if the FLOAT test will work on a stiff rye starter? Thanks.
NMNF atarters didn't when I just tried them. They are both perfectly fine and make levain in 8 hours - 4 hours after the 3rd feeding they easily double.
Hey, man, that's pretty neat! Even a new guy like me can figure that out! That's a great alpha and omega for maintaining a starter. Great for a beginner, and great for someone who, after trying every darned new recipe and bright and shiny thing just wants to get back to baking a loaf a week without pulling out a bunch of test tubes to make any kind of bread thing they want. Far out! Well done. Thanks!
using it and many other Fresh Lofians doing so too with white, WW and spelt varieties being used at various stif hydration, it has proven to be very easy and versatile. I've baked at least 125 different recipes using it and it always does its best to raise the dough and make it sour.
I have to look to see when i first made this NMNF with your help, I have not used it every week and then others I used it multiple times. I want it to stay alive and useable. How do I feed it to keep it good? Do i need to know how much I have in the jar now and then add according to your ratio?
mad it. If you want to refresh just follow the initial build formula above using one of the 3 lines to m=make the amount you want.
I like this small starter, but I when I see charts I go blind, I really do. I am going to do another look-over but in the meantime if someone gets to this, explain!
Perhaps this will help. Dab's chart can be generalized in to the following given you are starting with x grams of starter.
1st build: Take your x grams of starter and add x grams each of flour & water until it doubles in volume. You'll end-up with 3x grams worth of starter.
2nd build: Take the result of the 1st build and add 2x grams each of flour & water until it doubles in volume. You'll end-up with 7x grams worth of starter.
3rd build: Take the result of the 2nd build and add 4x grams of flour and 1.6x grams of water until it increases by 25% in volume. You'll end-up with 12.6x grams of starter.
The chart is simply this procedure pre-computed for 6, 8 & 10 grams of initial starter.
Not sure if this helps, but it is a more general way of presenting the same idea.
take the first row of the chart
you take 10 g or seed starter and feed it 10 g each of rye flour and water
4 hours later the 2nd feeding in 20 g each of flour and water.
4 hours later you feed it 40 g of flour and 16 g of water. Let it rise about 25% and then stick it in the fridge. Now you have 126 g of NMNF starter at 66% hydration.
The 2nd and 3rd rows just make less NMNF starter.
Happy Baking and I hope your vision returns.
i go blind too, even after asking 100 questions.
Can i use a seed amount from my NMNF jar and do the refresh on the counter and then add that to the rest of the little bit of NMNF i have in the fridge?
the new batch age and gain some character. I refresh mine at 12 weeks and keep using he old one for another 12 weeks. When the old is near gone I refresh it and stat using the 12 week old one for bread. That way the youngest starter I have on hand to use is 12 weeks old and very tangy. The low temop makes for sour but it takes weeks and weeks to bring it out since the cold really slows things down!
That is very interesting, I love sour bread. Let's see if I get it right.
Example of how it might be done:
This is a very nifty way to do it. My final question is regarding fridge temperature. I keep mine around 0-3 C, but it's also the only fridge I got, which means it's opened and closed and warm items is put in it. When I retard dough, the temperature will rise to around 8 C for some time before the fridge is able to lower the temperature back down. The fridge also doesn't always lower the temperature right away. It can sit around 5-6 C for hours before switching on and lowering it to the setpoint.
Obviously temperature changes does affect the longevity of a starter, but what is your experience on this matter? Does your fridge vary this much? Only way to find out is to test it myself, which I will, but do you think the starter will work 24 weeks after it was made in this fridge?
I will also try making the levain at 92-94 F to get even more sour.
back so it isn't affected by the door opening so much. You will have to see how yours behaves. When your starter gets slow to double and can't do so at the 12 hour total mark 4 hours after the 3rd feeding then it it showing signs of needing a refresh. For me that is at the end of the batch of NMNF starter I am currently using so it isn't a problem for you it might be 10 weeks after you start using it - every starter and fridge is different. I use whole grain rye that I grind myself and use fresh and your food might be different too. You will just have to see what works for you.
Good luck with the high temp levain build. Even 88-90 F is good. You might try making your starter build that way too and see if that makes a difference.
Happy NMNF baking
Is this to create a new starter or is this a leaven. I ask because of it going back in the fridge.
goes in the fridge at 66% hydration. The 2nd chart in tht OP is to build levains for 800 g od bread dough at 100^% hydration.
I routinely retard my built levain at 00% hydration for 1 - 2 days on a regular basis but the NMNF starter can stay in the fridge for up to 24 weeks.
Happy NMNF baking
My NMNF rye is living happily in my fridge now and is working well. Thank you again for this!
A question on making the levain: You say that it takes a shorter time in the summer due to warmer weather and that you have very high temperatures. Should I continue with the next step once the levain has doubled?
I can get 22-30 C in the summer and also got a heating pad I can use if it gets too cold. Right now it's around 26 C. One day it might double after two hours on the second feeding, the next week three hours and some weeks down the line it may take four hours. Is doubling the sign that I should continue with the next stage?
Same question when making the starter, actually. Do you need less time building the starter back up in the summer or do you still wait four hours between each feeding, even if it doubled after two hours? Except for the third feeding, where you put it in the fridge once it's risen 25%.
Since they reproduce faster in the summer and their metabolism is faster it takes less time for the levain or starter to double. A few degrees in temperature makes an huge difference. When the culture doubles after a feeding it is ready for the next stage feeding regardless of time. In the winter it might take 4 hours after the 2nd feeding to double maybe more depending on how long the starter has been retarded. In the summer right now I cut the first two stages to 2 and 3 hours and it still doubles in 2 hours after the 3rd feeding for 7 hours total. In the winter in will take 12 hours with 4 hour stages.
Happy NMNF baking
If it's really hot when you make the starter, you might want to consider putting it in the fridge before it rises 25% on the third feeding. It takes a while to cool down and it can quickly rise more than you want just during the time it takes for the starter to cool down.
No harm putting it int eh fridge right after the 3rd feeding if it is hot and the starter vigorous afer the 2nd feeding.
The one I made to day doubled on the 2nd feeding after 2.5 hours and rose 25% about 40 minutes after the third feeding. It got a little higher after I put it in the fridge, probably to around 30%. I plan on leaving it there for up to 10 weeks and see how it works out. Maybe make a loaf a few weeks from now to test it.
I tested the bran content in my whole grain rye and it had around 11% worth of bran. The bag says it's the entire grain, with germ and bran.
Do you use the entire grain when making the starter? Including germ and bran?
from seed at home so I know for sure it is all there. The few months I have been building levain from the NMNF starter using the bran from whole grain only. The bran is still 20% starch so there is plenty of food but the bran acts as a buffer for the LAB so that they can continue to make acid and reproduce at lower pH that if the bran was not there making for a more sour levain, higher LAB to yeast ratio than normal and a more sour bread results.
That is the one change I do now from the original post. I still use whole grain for the 66% hydration starter build.
Happy NMNF baking
OK I just decided to use my 1 month old starter to make the NMNF starter so I want to make sure I have it got it right:
I added 10g of my starter to 10g water and 10g Rye flour and now have it sat on top of my PC (82-88f depending on what I am doing) with the timer set for 4 hours.
In 4 hours I will add 20g Rye flour and 20g water and place on top of my PC for another 4 hours at which point it should have doubled (if it hasn't I should throw away 40g and add a further 20g Rye flour & 20g water as above).
Once stage 2 has managed a doubling in 4 hours I move to stage 3 which is adding a further 40g rye flour and 16g water and wait until it has reach 25% increase in volume at which point I put it in the fridge.
I think I have it right but would appreciate it if someone can confirm?
At higher temperatures your starter will likely move faster so if it doubles in less than 4 hours after the 2nd feeding go ahead and do the 3 rd feeding early. Make sure you are using whole rye flour too.
Had no problem making the NFNM starter it doubled easily in the second segment and I put it in the fridge about 90 minutes into the third segment as it had increased around 30%. I won't be using it until next week because I figured I would finish off my other two starters first (the first one is currently in use and in bulk fermentation, second one will be after the weekend.)
Thanks for the response and the very informative thread.
I decided to try dab's NMNF starter and built one some 8 weeks ago. I've been keeping it, a small, 125g amount, in a sealed 8oz canning jar in the coldest part of my frig with a piece of cling wrap on top of the starter inside the jar. So far I've used it twice early in its life at 1 wk and at 3 wks, and the increase in sour between the two was noticeable and has me looking forward to future bakes with a more developed culture.
I decided to build a new NMNF culture since my original plan was for an 8 week rotation between two NMNF cultures built 8 weeks apart. That way I'd always have one that's between 8 & 16 weeks old while the other one matures.
When I took out my now 8 week NMNF culture, which hasn't been touched outside of withdrawing tiny amounts of it for two bakes, I noticed a thin layer of grey while the rest of the culture was a uniform color though with a slight pink to orange cast. Surprisinglyi the pink to orange cast disappeared and returned to a normal wheaty color once exposed to air. Is this normal or has anything gone wrong with my culture, and in particular the grey part?
It smells perfectly fine to me, (not to mention deliciously sour!), though out of caution I discarded the grey part and used 10g of the rest to rebuild the second NMNF culture.
FWIW here's a picture of the part of the culture I discarded, retrieved from my compost bucket after I decided to take the picture. In the pic you can see the grey parts on both the left and right side.
With many thanks in advance, please advise...
Well I don't really know since I usually just stir what ever is in there all together before taking out what I need. I think I would have tried to make a loaf if really good rye bread with the part you threw away though.. Probably won't make any difference. Wait till you se what it looks like at 24 weeks old:-)....
I do the same thing you do biutnow wait to week 10 to make the next batch since mine usually goes 20 weeks before it is gone and the bread is so mch better when the starter is at lest 8 weeks old.
Happy NMNF baking
Dabrown! You never said anything about STIRRING!! Oh, my aching head!
Good thing I poked the cling wrap into all those scoop-holes I've been putting in my NMNF! :)
food so the wee beasties have less of a chance to starve at the 24 week stage and you get to redistribute the water too. Poking the wrap into scoop holes is just too much work:-)
No worries the wee beasties are pretty low in the IQ charts I use for Lucy so they probably don't even know what wrap, holes and stirring is........ depending on what is is.
Keep pluggin' those holes Murph
Good gosh, man! I'm going to remember you when *I* retire! I know you hate rules but, MAN, you've got it ALL worked out, ehwhat?
He won't poke holes, he says.... keep plugging, Murph, he says... sheesh!
I don't stir, I don't put plastic nor do I poke holes in my starter. I grab a tablespoon or so of old/original starter, add 100 g of dark rye or half dark rye/half high extraction flour to 66 or so g of water, stir/knead it well, shove it in a mason jar, screw on the lid and most of the time shove it in the fridge. If I have time, I might let it rise a bit on the counter.
This usually lasts quite a few weeks if not a few months. I don't like my bread super sour so I use it young and probably refresh the whole thing sooner that what DAB does.
Then when I want to bake, I take a bit from the jar (no I don't stir before because like you I didn't know - glaring at DAB) and build my levain from that bit. Works just fine and I don't get stressed.
i accidentally used all my NMNF. how do i restart dab? do i begin at the beginning with a new starter and then proceed to NMNF?
Reinhart - it never fails. 40 fg of whole grain rye and 30g of water. Let sit for 24 hours at 78 F. Next day add the same amounts to day 1. Day 3 split in half and feed each half the same amount. Day 4 split each in half and feed 80 g of flour and 60 g of water each. Combine the toss from day four, stir well and when it doubles make a loaf of rye bread with it on day 4 On day 5 toss half of 1 and feed it 80/60 again - this will be your storage starter in another week. and take the toss and mix it with the other half and make another loaf of rye bread.
Now all you have to do is toss half every day and feed 80/ 60 for another week, using the toss to make bread. After two weeks, thicken it up from 75% hydration to 66% hydration and after it rises 25% after feeding then store it in the fridge.
Hi! It's me again. I checked my NMNF starter and there's a bit of hooch at the top (not a lot, just a few drops). That means it's hungry, right? What should I do?
the drops from the lid of the container. IF your starter isn't 20 weeks stored in the fridge, I wouldn't worry about it. Just make sure that you stir the starter before or after you take a bit to make a loaf if bread and then back in the fridge it goes. I usually don't refresh now until it is gone or it slows down making a levain past 16 hours.er toss half the levain and feed the 2'td stage again at at the 8 hour mark if it doesn't double. If it does't' double after the 2nd sage levain build I just stir it down and down and do the same at 12 hours. When it can't double by the 16 hour mark then I refresh the starter. This usually happens at the 20-24 week mark if it lasts that long.
Thanks, dabrownman! Your method makes storing and maintenance of starters so much easier. Until your method I was constantly feeding my starters. Now they can go months without any feedings. It is surprising how well they raise the bread.
I store my starters in the bottom of my refrigerator in 3 tiny containers. I like a very sour taste so I make 2 or 3 of your starters 6 weeks or so apart. That way when my oldest starter is used up, I can start using one of the others that has been "aging".
I store 3 starters in a 2" X 2" X 7" space. And all 3 containers are attached to each other.
as well as it does for me . I too have 2 in my fridge on is 12 weeks older then the other. I like my bread sour too Happy baking
Hello. I'm totally new to baking. I'm not sure how chart 2 should be read.
If I use the first line in chart 2:
I should mix 81 gram levain, 400 gram flour and 400 gram water?
levain build from 3 g of NMNF starter for an 800 g loaf of SD bread where the total amount of prederfment,or levain, created totals 81 grams.
The first build is 3 g of NMNF starter, plus 6 g each of flour and water. Mix it all together and let it sit for 4 hours. Then add 11 g each flour and water, mix and let sit fir another 4 hours. Then add 22 g each flour and water, mix and in 4 hours it should double in volume and be ready to use to raise a loaf of SD bread that weights 800 g total.
Hopes this helps
Why use a 3 feeding schedule for the levain build rather than just a similar initial seed amount and a larger amount of flour and water with a longer levain ferment time? Does the 3 feedings cultivate LAB or a more vigorous culture or reduce overall time?
in size from a a small amount is based on: higher fermentation temperature, reduced inoculum and redued flour size addition, with resulting extended fermentation time, stabilizes the microbial community in the starter - and low temperatures do the same thing. Once you get a starter you like and have spent the time to get it just right, you don't want it to change over time. Not adding different flours to a small starter amount, at room temperature, in large doses at once that contain huge amounts of different LAB and yeast, reduces the chances that the newwild wee beasties will supplant the ones you have cultured and want.
Folks complain that there starter changes from what it wast to a new one over time. The main reason this happens is because they introduce huge amounts of wee beasties in the large flour amounts they add at room temperature for a single stage levain build which can overwhelm the small amount of starter used to make the levain.
Ah. Thanks so much. That's very interesting. I had read all the comments in this thread and still missed that.
i am great with it all. But the paragraph on using a different levain for summer or winter, quicker or retard, and all that through me for a loop.
Why would you use more starter or levain for summer or winter or more sour.
Also my bread of 900g only uses 50g of levain. I got the recipe from Raffa’s book “Artisan Sourdough” is this too little? Seems to work fine.
to build the levain from the starter do you use rye flour or the flour you’re going to bake with?
If it a Kamut WW and bread flour loaf I use Kamut and WW for the levain. Always use the whole grains in the levain if you can or even better just the bran from them
With SD baking, temperature and inoculation size are key to understanding fermentation time. If you use less starter, fermentation will take longer. If you mix and shape at a low temp, fermentation time will increase. So in winter, cold temps, if you use more starter, it can make for an amount of fermentation time similar to summer. If you use 25% prefermented flour in southern US in the summer, you will have a very short fermentation. Fermentation is where dough strength and flavours are developed. You don't want it to be too short.
You can also use the quantity of SDS to affect the amount of sour flavours in your loaf. Generally, a larger size of SDS the more Labs:Yeast. Check out this link.
slows tm down. Since longer times means better tasting bread, when it is hot in the summer you want to cut down the amount of levain to slow down the ferment and proof.
In the winter things really slow down too much and it will take too ling ro make a loaf of bread so you increase the levain to speed things up just enough to still get a lang slow ferment and proof.
Is it ok to start a levain with bread flour as per the recipe?
Also, what would be the amounts to get a measly 50g of levain for my go-to recipe?
to make a 3 stage levain build for any amount of levain you need. 50 divided by 15 is 3.33 in non round numbers. So 3.33is the amount if NMNF starter to use and 3.33 is the first flour and water feed each. 4 hours later double it to 6.66 g each and 4 hours later double it to 13.32 g. At the end of 12 hours you have a levain that has just doubled and ready to go that is t ecxactly amount you need 50 g. If you were wanting a levain with 50 g of prefermeted flour, you would use lucy's rule of 7. Lucy has a rule for everything but she is German and iit is n her blood.
exactly how much to use for each stage to get 50 G total. if you wanted to do a single stage 100% hydration levain you would use 24 g each of flour and water and 2g of NMNF starter over q 12 hour build
Not sure if there should be a table there.
of below - use Lucy's rule of 15's
I did the rule of 15, going up to 60g. I tried it once and only got 40g. Trying it again today. It should be fine.
I noticed you said you refrigerate the levain to fit your schedule. Does this flatten it out, can I do this overnight when it rises?
lus it may fit your schedule better to do so just like retarding Dough as you sleep so you don't have to stay up all night to bake it. Plus it makes better bread so why not?
So the levain, after the 3rd feeding and doubled, if it goes in the fridge overnight won't lose its activity- even if it deflates? Great than I can go to bed!
and let it ride 25% and it is ready to go. No worries - been doing it for years and years
I decided on an insurance policy. I have two 50g starters that I will put in the fridge overnight. I also mixed up a 100g one and will leave it on the counter for about 12 hours. Thanks Dabrownman!
Does it matter if you feed it the proportions all at once to get your starter total or do you have to do increments? The previous starter came out great as all at once. Is there really a risk of contamination with bulk revival?
t through in the end then do increments. I have mixed just whole grain rye flour with water and had it doubles in 12 hours with all the bad we beasties in charge. That is the reason for small increments. The amount of starter is very small and it is easy to overwhelm it with a load of bad wee beasts trying to take over. This is just like like taking 50 g of 100% hydration white starter and adding 50 g each of flour and water to it - 25 g of pre-fermented flour with twice the flour and water added to get 150 g of levain. So 10 g of NMNF starter has about 5 g of pre-fermented flour in it so the first feeding is 10 g of flour or twice the amount of pre-fermented flour just like a white levain but the 2 other feedings are 20 and 40 g of flour getting you to to the 150 g of levain.
The difference is the rye itself, If you too k 50 g each of white flour and water each it would show no activity at all in in 12 hours - not so with rye.
since I only need 50g of starter I try to start with 4 grams, feeding it 4 respectively and then 8 and then 16. It should come up to 60g but I always fall short. Is my starter defying physics? Where is it going?
to the CO2 being produces=d escaping into the air and gas has weight but it shouldn't go from 60 g to less than the 50 you need. It might lose a gram or two. I suspect your scale, like mine, does not weigh well at smaller numbers.
since I only need 50g of starter I try to start with 4 grams, feeding it 4 respectively and then 8 and then 16. It should come up to 60g but I always fall short at around 40g. Is my starter defying physics? Where is it going?
Strange, very strange, this is about week three of the starter. Took it out and it smells wondrous, very concentrated. While this is my third attempt today to get it rising, it just does not pop at all at that second feeding. I have started with 4g then 5g and am moving to 10g tomorrow. I am also using a small weck glass to do the rising with the glass top just placed on.
I had the starter in the oven with the light on, since the house is kept at 78 degrees.
Why the fuss? Suggestions?
Just let it double - it will eventually. Then do the 3rd feeding. It will double much faster for the 3rd feeding and be ready to go as a levain or to thicken up as a stored fridge starter. Everyone has sightly different wee beasties.
LOL Now you tell me! It’s funny, it just starts at 4 hours. I guess the humidity here in New Orlans creates some lazy beasties.
What hydration for a fresh-milled 100% whole grain rye NMNF starter, 66%?
And what hydration for a fresh-milled 100% whole grain rye NMNF based levain geared for a higher ratio of Lab:Yeast, 100%?
is 66% hydration but it can be 60 or 68 if you want. I usually always build my levains at 100% hydration because I am either using sifted bran, whole grain or high extraction or some combination of the 3 to feed it and get it up to ramming speed. When it doubles after whatever stage is your last build then retard it for a couple of days if you really want o kick up the LAB to Yeast ratio even higher.
Happy baking the NMNF way
What does the seed column refer to, exactly? I was able to find whole rye flour at the health food store and am ready to start my starter, but not sure what seed refers to.
the seed starter, the original 'chef' or 'mother'.
Are seeds something you purchase? I thought a starter was just flour (ideally whole grain or or whole rye) with some water, place in a warm place for a few days until colonies develop?
Sorry if it sound terribly simple and stupid, I think I've read too much in too little time.
anotber word for sourdough starter.
it is just another name for your stored sourdough starter (mother, chef, whatever you call it). If stored in the fridge (which is what this post is all about) take it out of the fridge, take a small amount (the seed) and build your levain and from there your bread.
good luck, the method works brilliantly.
I have been reading and rereading these posts for several days. When I got a headache (working my brain too much, I guess), I would start reading again the next day. I have spent about 4 hours today cutting and pasting notes that I have found throughout every post on this post. I think I have it figured out. I hope so.
As to the charts, what confused me at first was the 3 lines. I didn't know whether to read them from left to right or top to bottom. Then I figured out that I needed to CHOOSE one of the horizontal lines...not look at all of them. For example: 10g starter + 10g flour + 10 g water= 30g total + 20g flour + 20g water= 70g total + 40g flour + 16g water =126g total of 65.7% hydration starter after the 3rd feeding. Whew! Please tell me I have it right!
"The first two feedings are 4 hours each at 100% hydration and the starter should double 4 hours after the 2nd feeding. I it doesn’t then toss the 2nd feeding total amount in weight and redo it." Now I am confused again. Is this saying IF it doesn't double 4 hours after the 2nd feeding, then I should throw it out? Or does it mean do not do the 3rd feeding, just redo the 2nd feeding, then if it doubles within 4 hours, I can do the 3rd feeding?
The last issue was about the original starter. Several people asked if the 1st chart was to start a starter. If I understand correctly, I must ALREADY have a sourdough starter. The 1st chart ONLY tells how to convert MY starter to a NMNF one. Right? I think several people used the 1st chart to create a starter.
I had to throw away my KAF liquid starter. Something was just wrong about it. Now I need to start one from scratch. I saw 3 listed on this post. Mini O's, ???Ortiz Cumin, and another one...that I can't remember right now.
If I now have my facts straight about the charts, can anyone suggest the best rye starter for me to start? I am limited to flour purchased at a store.
Hodgson Mills-White Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Wheat Graham Flour, Whole Grain Rye.
Pillsbury or Gold Medal AP or Bread Flour.
King Arthur- Whole Grain Whole Wheat, Sprouted Wheat Flour, Sustagrain Barley Flour
Thanks for any input.
And yes it means take out just the amount you put in for the second feeding, throw it out and redo it. Then go on to the third feed.
As to making a new starter which you will need because you don’t have one if I understand right, look up the pineapple solution on here. It is one of the most reliable ways of getting a starter going. I baked with mine 10 days after starting it and others have baked with theirs sooner than that.
I would suggest to keep your new starter on the counter for at least a month and feed it twice daily before converting it to the NFNM starter.
Thanks for your advice. I went through a lot of flour leaving my last starter on the counter. Rye flour is expensive where I live if I can get it at all.
whole wheat. It will just be slower to do its thing but not too much
Use the whole grain rye flour.
take 30 g of rye flour and mix in 25 g of water. Cover with plastic and let it sit for 24 hours in a warm place 74-78 F is best
Day 2 Add 30 g of rye flour and 25 g of water mix, cover and let sit for 24 hours.
Day 3 divide the mix in half and add 30 g of rye flour and 25 g of water to each and let sit covered in a warm place for 24 hours
Day 4 toss half of each and add 60 g of rye flour and 50 g of water to each. cover and let sit in warm place for 24 hours.
Day 5 use one to make a loaf of bread using it as a levain. The other one becomes your mother by adding 30 g of rye flour to it to thicken it up. Now you have the seed or mother to make a NMNF starter but I would not do so for at least 3 more weeks until your mother is stronger.
Happy NMNF baking
Sounds good. 74-78° might have been my problem with my old starter.
My last starter never smelled bad. I never missed a feeding. No off color or mold. Kept on countertop for a week or two, then refrigerated. Fed weekly. I don't know what happened, but it just wasn't right. All bread made from the starter gave us stomach problems. All I can think of is that it had the wrong kind of beasties in it.
I wonder if the cold, granite countertop was the problem. The kitchen gets cold at night, probably in the 50s or 60s (F). I kept the glass jars on the cold countertop. Our heating pads have safety controls that turn it off if weight is put on it. I could put the jars in the cold oven with the lights on. Will have to test the temperature overnight.
I have a heating/warming/proofing drawer, but when closed the coolest temp is 84°F. I can leave it open and it stays about 78°F. . A thermometer/hydrometer set on the metal floor of the drawer tells me the temp. Maybe I could experiment with the warming drawer and set the jars and thermometer on a trivet so they don't touch the metal bottom of the drawer.
I have a lot of experimenting to do before I begin the rye starter.
1. So could the cooler temperatures have been the problem with my first starter?
2. Rye Starter- So, day 3 divide into 2 jars, no discard until day 4. I should have about 165 grams in each jar before feeding on day 5. I am ONLY using rye flour, right?
3. Will I use the entire jar of 165g to bake with?
4. Would I subtract the flour (90g) and water (75g) grams in that jar from the recipe before baking bread?
5. Does it have to be a rye bread recipe? I think with NO discard on day 5, and after feeding ONLY flour on day 5, I would have about 195g of starter made up of 120g of flour and 75g of water. I think....maybe...
6. When using the 165 g jar of starter to bake with, I need to use it at its peak, or I will have to feed it again? Or can I refrigerate it, then feed it and wait for its peak? 2 feedings or 3? Keep feeding with rye flour and water?
7. What do I do with the 195g mother starter while waiting for 3 weeks to pass? Refrigerate it? Leave it sitting out at 74-78°F ? Obviously, feed it, but how much and how often? What hydration will it be now? Still feeding with rye flour?
Once 3 weeks have passed, it will be ready to turn into a NMNF starter. Then I will follow table one (the middle line 66.1%) for 3 feedings and refrigerate it and use it for 12 weeks. Start a new batch of NMNF and leave alone in the fridge until my 1st jar of NMNF is empty.
Wow. I hope I am right in my calculations. I made notes so I can remember the directions. Thank you for your help.
use your warming drawer cracked open. I use a heating pad on low in the winter
2 whole rye flour only
3 you don't have to discard and can make a loaf of bread with the discard it you want. Take the discard and add some flour to it to thicken it up wait for it to double and use it as a levain - no waste is good
4 you can if you want to. If you want to make a bread with certain g of total flour at a specific % hydration you can deduct.
5 -6 You can make any kind if sd bread with this starter and levain except one that has no rye flour in it? I use it for everything. Sometime I retard the but levain for up to 48 hours in the fridge, Sometimes I use it fresh and sometimes collapsed. it is too dumb to know what it is or what is happening to it so no worries - It works any way you want it to and why it is no muss no fuss :-)
Split in half and feed it every day keeping it in the counter. Make a loaf of be-read with other half. After 3 weeks thicken it up to 66% hydration like the post shows and in the fridge it goes.
" IF it doesn't double 4 hours after the 2nd feeding, then I should throw it out?" I meant throw out the whole contents and start over at 1st feeding. Wrong....
ok, so I am to take the (2nd feeding) contents of the jar back to amount of starter (after 1st feeding) that was originally there BEFORE I did the 2nd feeding? If 66.1% hydration, after 1st feeding, I would have about 24 g. After 2nd feeding, I would have about 56g. So, if the 2nd feeding did not rise within 4 hours...do not give it more time....just remove some of the starter to take it back to 24g. Then do 2nd feeding again. I think I've got it!!!
Do not throw it out or remove half. When it doubles continue on - I've made changes over the years to make it easier and waste free.
Ok, just wait for it to double to do the 3rd feeding no matter how long it takes.
Can you help me with my questions above my last post? I don't mean to be a nuisance, and I know you have probably explained this a million times.
it is up now
Question 1: Day 5 - On the jar I am going to use to bake bread, it should contain 90g rye flour and 75g water. 83.3% hydration. Does a levain need to be drier (less hydration) than that?
Question 2: Does ANY of the mother starter on day 5 get discarded?
Question 3: Does it matter what kind of rye flour I use? Light, medium, dark, coarse, or fine? I have Hodgson Mills Stone Ground Whole Grain Rye, and I think it is coarse flour.
I can order any other rye flour online though.
more that is fine too but 85% is OK
on day 5 your thicken it up with 30 g of whole rye lour but if you want to feed it then split it in half and use the discard to make another loaf of bread and the feed the other half. You are going to have to feed it every day until it is strong enough o go to 66% hydration and in the fridge for the rest of its life. When you feed it you take half to make a oaf of bread and the other half you feed. Eventually you get away from making bread and feeding it every day - after a couple of weeks. Then it is no muss no fuss forever or at least for half a year or so.
I have kept WW ones too but only keep one now and is fed whole grain home milled rye flour. I also have a black and wild rice SD starter and an appleYW and a Fig YW too but only 1 NMNF starter.
Use dark whole grain rye flour.
Thanks. I will thicken it up on Day 5. Then on Day 6 (continuing through another 3 weeks) I will go back to Day 4's feeding schedule. Discard or bake with half the starter, feed with 60g rye flour and 50g water only once per day. Hopefully it will be strong enough by then.
Now, I need to order the dark, whole rye online. I can't find it locally.
You now have your own page in my recipe app! A million times thank you.
in the fridge as your stored starer after 14 more days and save yourself a week of maintenance! The wee beasties are so dumb they don't even know when they are being abused or taken care of or anything in between. I do think that LAB are way more smart and prolific than yeast though since they are quicker to get active from the get go, are at least 10 times more abundant and have a smarter sounding Name with LAB in it too! Love the recipe card too but now Lucy is gong to be really upset she was't mentioned and upchuck on my toes....or worse:-)
Wouldn't want her to get sick!
It is out of spite:-)
Is that what I have to look forward to? I just bought new houseshoes! I guess I will start wearing rubber boots in the house. Sigh!
to upchuck on your toes until she gets her teleportation app working right and she is still working on her app to replace the jobs of all humans and that should take her at least another 5 years. SO no worries for now plus you probably aren't a Big Green Meanie like her Master.
Maybe I shouldn't name mine Hal.....They might work together.
Ok, I have a big, ugly, brownish/gray ball of starter dough. It is not very pretty, but don't tell him I said that! It smells sour. It gets a little dried out on the top. It has been going for 8 days. Will continue to feed it rye flour daily for 3 more weeks.
No bubbles or rising that I can see. This photo is right after I split it, but it looks the same now.
Is everything going right with NOT HAL? How will I know if it is doing well or not?
I don't want to create some new plague of beasties (inedible) that take over my home, and I don't want the CDC to visit. Only good beasties are allowed. Maybe I should give him a name....or is it a her? I don't dare look. He/she will tell me in time, I guess.? Thanks, dabrownman.
small straight sided container like the one pictured at the top of the post. Your Hall should be doubling before you split and feed it. by day 8.
My inbox has been riddled with the conversation from this thread. Thus i am trying this again.
My typical go to loaf is Emilie Raffa's everyday sourdough at 900g, with a 50g. Does the initial seed have to be rye?
My biggest problem originally was starting with such a small seed. Since then I have gotten a better scale.
I will report successes and failures below.
just going to say this- my last scale sucked! This one rocks!
Riddled?? That is my fault. Sorry, that would be my paranoia kicking in. I have to talk something to death to make sure I understand. Hope yours goes well this time. Dabrownman said his recipe and way of doing things has changed in the last 4 years. Good luck.
I just started a starter in the old fashioned way, tell me about this revolution!
There are 2 different conversations going. One is about creating the original rye started seed and then other is about turning the seed into NMNF starter after 3 weeks. The post originally started as the NMNF, but I needed the starter/seed directions since I didn't have a starter.
I asked for clarification about one of the directions in the NMNF starter. "What If it doesn't rise within 2 hours?"
"I am to take the (2nd feeding) contents of the jar back to the amount of starter (after 1st feeding) that was originally there BEFORE I did the 2nd feeding? If 66.1% hydration, after 1st feeding, I would have about 24 g. After 2nd feeding, I would have about 56g. So, IF the 2nd feeding did not rise within 4 hours...do not give it more time....just remove some of the starter to take it back to 24g. Then do 2nd feeding again. I think I've got it!!!"
dabrownmanJan 19 2019 - 4:31pmJust wait for it to double and give it more time at each stage.
Do not throw it out or remove half. When it doubles continue on - I've made changes over the years to make it easier and waste free."
The above comment is about the NMNF starter. I am still working on the starter so I am not ready for changing it to a NMNF yet.
So I have been piecing this together by reading 4 years worth of posts. Here is what I think is right for creating the starter...
To recap: (to make sure I have it right,)
Create rye starter-
Days 1-2 feed 1 x day 30g rye/25g water.
Day 3 divide in half- 2 jars- feed 1 x day 30g flour/25g water.
Day 4- discard half of each jar. Today I start feeding DOUBLE the flour and water than I fed on days 1-3. Feed each jar 1 x per day ...60g rye flour/50g water. Jars now have 165g in each. Hydration is 83.3%.
Day 5- Use 1 jar to make a levain or retard for up to 24 hours.
Day 5- Other jar (165g) gets fed rye flour to thicken it up. NO water added today. I feed the starter ONLY 30g rye flour. After feeding, I will have 195g of starter which contains 120g rye & 75g water. 62.5% hydration. 75÷120=62.5%.
Day 6 & 7 plus 3 weeks: divide daily. Feed daily 60g rye and 50 g water until it is strong enough to be changed to a NMNF starter.
to just let it go till it does is that most people do not live in A and have an 86 F kitchen like I do. Temperature is the one thing that really makes time change for any stage of bread making. Cold means slow and warm means fast. In the winter I noticed that my builds wouldn't double in 4 hours and may take 6 or even 8 hours at 64-68 F.
for the levain for a 900 g loaf of bread. You can use any row of the levain build depending on how much pre-fermnented flour you want in your levain
If you use a NMNF starter for the seed in the levain build it will be rye but you can build a levain for making bread with any starter you have
I used Whole wheat to start her up, as I didn’t have rye flour. I also started a levain with a 4g seed as the rule of 15.
just fine. The are many Fresh Lofians with WW NMNF starters. The wee beasties are too stupid to know the difference I think:-)
LOL Dabrownman, you da bro man!
I don't know about them being stupid. They seem to be my kicking my ....! Maybe I have created intelligent beasties that are just sitting back and laughing at me. Nothing is happening with my starter. No growing or rising. No bubbles. Just a blob of dough. The only exercise they get is laughing at me, but it isn't enough to make them grow. Maybe they have been talking to Lucy.
Raffa with NMNF
I think it is a good start, tasted incredibly good. I added a bit too much salt- thanks the gods!
I used the Raffa recipe, but I want so much more oven spring. It is the constellation by which my baking now sails.
Thank you for the great article! I am using what you outlined and following it somewhat to improve my sourness level. Being paranoid I have 6, or maybe 7, different containers with 2 different sourdough starters both fed with 90% white flour/10% whole rye so I do have plenty to work with. I split one of them into 2 containers to convert to full whole rye. 1 I went 100 whole rye immediately and the other a did a mixture of white/whole wheat/whole rye so I will experiment from there. I appreciate your info and the informative comments.
I try to make my starter react in one bulk feeding. But I noticed it needs two feedings for it to really get cracking. For full effect I need to repeat the whole feeding process using half half- whole wheat and bread flour. But when it gets going it is gone.
For some reason my sourdough does not burst with activity out of the fridge to jar in eight or ten hours hours and I am working at around 81 degrees.
hours ro f-get cracking tna levain and in the winter it has to be on the heating pad too!
my issue is that it takes two feedings more than the time..
I've never had one that didn't double in 16 hours if it was 24 weeks stored or less. A low pH affects the LAB activity not the yeast usually. I would think tossing some and feeding it twice would just slow it down yeast wise but might help the LAB but LAB don't usually make the levain rise although some lab actually produce CO2 and ethanol as much as thee yeast does.when they run lout of fructose in the mix.
May I ask.. who is Lucy?)
She has been my apprentice for 15 years this May! Everything she has is long except her legs
She looks wise and thoughtful..
Did you try keeping the levain stiff throughout all the 3 build stages? I'm thinking.. if drier dough results in more sourness, which we love, why not keep the 60% hydration ratio in all the 3 build stages, not just the last stage. What do you think?
fist off it isn't dry or cold that gets wee beasties to make acetic acid i- t is dry and cold together. LAB love the wet and reproduce much faster at 100% hydration and 93 F. They are out reproducing yeast 13 to one and really cranking out the lactic acid the base sour in SD - but the tang comes from acetic. Great SD bread has both sour and tang. Lad and yeast also live whole grains because they get t=all the vitamins and minerals they need to do the best job they can. By doing the first 2 builds in wet , high temp the LAD to yeast ratio is getting bigger and bigger meaning more LAB to fewer yeast so there is the potential for more acid to be produced during ferment and prrof becsue they will take longer since there are fewer yeast to produce CO2 and there are way more LAB to crank out the base sour as fast as they can at their favorite.temperature. Where acetic acid comes in when the starter is stiffened up and placed in the cold. Things really slow down bit even then LAB are out reproducing yeast at 13 to 1 at 36 F. - but really slowly unlike the tear they were at 93 F. So it takes weeks of time to really make a difference.
the goal is the starter is to never have to do any maintenance except twice a year and to unleash a starter on the levain and resulting dough that has a much, much higher LAB to yeast ratio. Then doing the counter work at higher temps to crank the lactic acid and slow the yeast who are restricted at high temperature and then retard the levain for a couple of days and the dough for 12- 24 hours at 36 F to really have the LAB crank out the acetic acid. 95% of the final flavor comes from the levain and dough but the LAB to yeast ratio is built and locked in the starter to give the levain and dough its real sour producing ability later on.
The key to it all is increasing the LAB to yeast ratio in the starter and then doing all counter work for the whole process at 93 F and retarding the stiff 3 stage levain t, hat was built at 100% hydration and stiffened before retarding the levain at 36 F for as long as possible and do the final proof as a bulk retard with final shape and proof at 93 F. You will get sour every time and some of the bet=st SD bread with sour and tang possible - at least for your starter, There really is a method in the madness.
I cannot thank you enough for the amazing explanation. I'm now better educated SD-wise, thanks to you. Everything is crystal clear to me now. I'll summarize what I understood, just to make sure I've got it right: (please correct me if I'm wrong)
Did I get it right?
And please check out this NMNF calculator thread:
starter has doubled after the first stage. I used to be a real stickler about making sure it doubled after the 2nd stage but now, especially in the winter or when the starter is very old coming out of the fridge if it rises even 50% after 6 hours during the 2nd stage i'm OK with it. I always make sure it doubles after the 3rd stage before using or retarding the levain the mother starter refresh of course goes in the fridge after it rises 25% for its half a year retard!
You probably understand it better than I do:-) Well done and
I have 2 questions please..
- is it good or bad to keep the 3 stages of the levain in higher temperature. I put the jar in a pan of warm water, around 105-110F. 2nd stage tripled in 2 hours, and 3rd stiff stage tripled in 1 hour. Will that help add more sour and tang in the final dough?
- at what rise percentage should I start retarding the final dough?
gluten is developed with slap and folds and stretch and folds over 3 hours with 30 minutes rest in between each then you could get 30-50% rise in the dough but you will do another stretch and fold which will knock it back and then put it straight into the fridge for its bulk retard of 8-12 hours.
Dab, I am in the process of refreshing your NMNF starter that I hydrated from flakes last September. What do you think about a micro feed for the mother ball? Something like 50:10:10 using whole rye. I am hoping that a small feed will prolong the mother without greatly diminishing the Yeast to LAB ratio. This way we won’t have to wait 2 months or so before the acetic acids have started to flourish. Is this something that might work? I am interested to get your take on the idea.
I am determined to try your starter - levain build method to produce your sour results.
It would be nice if you would edit your original NMNF post to reflect any changes in the last 4 or more years. That way all info would current and located at the top of the page. An example of an update - your original post talks about the length of refrigeration time before refresh as 16 weeks. From what I read way down the post it is now 26 weeks. As you know, this post is referenced quit often and is a great asset to TFL.
Thanks for considering...
I’ll be honest this whole discussion could be a NMNF BOOK!
Speaking of which, maybe we could have a spin-off discussion of how to make the sour-est, tangy- est NMNF bread EVER!!! That would be a big help!
most nutritious and healthiest bread that Danni referred to a month or so ago. That Lucy thinks hard so she can lend a lessened understanding to just about anything:-)
According to Sállame, are we making a stiff levain for the dough? Or is it stiff only as a starter/mother?
the levain is built at 100% hydration and then retarded for 24-48 hours and it is the dough at 70-80% hydration that is retarded to bring out the tang! If you want to retard the levain at a lower hydration that would also be fine too.
I’m running out of starter do you start it with a seed or must one get it fed and doubled?
some seed according to the table in the post
My stiff levain has been in my 36F fridge for 60 hours now (2 days and half). It has totally collapsed. It is non-stirable stiff, so I kneaded it a little on the counter..
Now should I:
DAB, as you mentioned earlier "No sense putting weak levain in dough", I've applied the 3rd choice. I added some flour to the levain, kneaded it, put it back in the jar and put it in warm water. It 1 hour it sprang back fully, rising more than double.
If your levain is the proper hydration for your dough you can mix it directly into the dough water to dissolve it thoroughly, or leave it out to warm up, or if you prefer you can warm a little of the doug water (~93F) and mix it together then mix in with the remainder of dough water. After any of the above methods go ahead and mix your dough.
Thanks Dan for the quick reply. I've already did the 3rd method, edited my post then saw your reply.
Do you autolyse all the dough's water and flour before mixing with the levain and salt?
With a stiff levain, I recommend holding back some water so that the levain can be better incorporated.
It will be easier if you mix in the levain first and after that add the salt. I say this because the salt will tighten the dough and make it more difficult to mix other things in.
Many thanks Dan for the water and salt tips. I will apply them next time I autolyse.
totally normal. All you have to do is stir it down and put it in the counter to warm up. When it rises 25% you are ready to add it to the dough. No need to add anything . If you let it, it, after stirring and sitting on the counter it will double again :-)
i have been out of pocket for a couple of days - sorry for the late reply.
Before your reply I did add little flour. It was sticky to handle anyhow
1 hour in warm water pan made it triple . In the mean time i autolysed all the water and flour of the dough. After kneading with the levain and salt, and bulk ferment until 50% rise, I found it sticky to handle to divide and ball. Does that mean it lost the gluten or overfermented?
I'm thinking.. if tomorrow after retarding I found it more sticky and loose.. could it perhaps benifit from adding little flour to freshen it like I did with the levain? Wouldn't that give it a better oven rise? My past experience tells me that the more sour the less oven rise. Perhaps adding little flour after retarding would solve this issue? What do you think?
I did my first NMNF pizza last Friday and everyone loved it. The dough balls were fine after 2-day retarding, and I didn't need to add any flour to freshen it as I previously thought.
However, the sour tangy taste was mild, perhaps because the seed was still 1 week old. To get a stronger taste, I'll try to compensate that for next Friday's pizza by retarding the pizza balls for 3 days instead of 2. Do you recommend any changes in that case? perhaps retarding it when it rises 25% instead of 50% ? or even immediately after kneading? or perhaps using less levain? what do you suggest?
and what about the flour mix for the levain. I have available the following:
Do you recommend I use a mix of them for the levain? I want to get a stronger sour tangy taste. I'm thinking perhaps 70:20:10
What is your recommendation ?
(for the final pizza dough I'm using only white flour)
what would be the procedure for turning the seed into a stiff starter? Reinhardt likes those in his recipes for sourdough.
I'm using a rye NMNF starter from fresh milled red fife. It bakes good bread but the starter gets moldy in it's small mason jar loose lid back of a 3c fridge after a couple weeks. Any thoughts as to how to keep the mold off? Thanks.
Have you tried sterilizing the container? What about taking the temperature of the starter after it has been in the fridge awhile to be sure it is kept cold enough?
If that doesn’t work try different flour.
if it is made from wheat (red fife) flour?
You might want to store it with a bit of plastic wrap in direct contact with the surface of the starter.
You may also want to assess the health of your starter. A firm rye starter, such as the NMNF starter, usually fends off other interlopers like molds fairly easily.
Maybe converting it from a wheat starter to a pure rye starter would also help.
And your refrigerator may need to have the temperature adjusted to something colder. That would also slow down unwanted organisms such as molds.
Sorry, brain-fart, it's fresh milled rye. Thanks for the thoughts.
and including a first part on how to make a rye starer seed from scratch in 5 days,, Dan asked,me long ago to do this so now I am!
As of this writing there have been 243 post to this topic. There is a huge amount of interest in this method. NMNF is a truly innovative way to store a starter, long term in the refrigerator.
I've spent the last 2 days reading, re-reading, and taking notes from this thread....I should be building my first NMNF Starter tomorrow and am super excited.
That said...I've done my best to try to reverse engineer the math for building the starter and then using the starter to build a Levain. I know it's nitty gritty detail, but it's that kind of detail that helps me really understand what's going on.
Could you please include a discussion of the math for each of these parts?
The build of the Starter itself looks like a feeding sequence like this:
1:1:1 (Build seed, flour, water - 100% hydration)
3:2:2 (66% hydration)
7:4:1.6 (???) I have not a clue how you calculated these values. The 7 comes from the total in the second build, but I don't understand how you determined the amount of flour and water.
When building the Levain from the starter above....If you want 120g of Levain....your table shows
However, when reading the discussion further you state this is calculated by using Lucy's Rule of 15.
120/15 = 8 (8g of seed needed)
First feed would be
So should I be starting this with 4g of seed or 8g? Following the rule of 15 or what is in the table?
Steven you pose a lot of questions that seem difficult to answer from your post.
I tried to send you a PM but it is not setup. If you live in the US and want to talk over the phone, click on my icon and send me your phone number and email address. Let me what is a good tome for you. I’m retired so available during the day. I think if we talk this out you’ll quickly understand.
Thanks for the offer but I'm located in Japan. I can't seem to figure out how to get PM setup or to even see your profile to send you a message. That said, I found the spreadsheet created by another user and thankfully can look at how they wrote the file so I can figure it out from there. I know bread is something simple and basic...but as usual I'm going to do everything I can to over-engineer it.
I think basically I was looking for how the tables for building NMNF and the Levain translate into feeding ratios so I could create the equations to scale to any level. I'll get it...eventually :)
for building the levain in stages from this starter?
AZJet, reread the original,post for more detail. Dabrownman writes, “ Make sure you are maintaining 80 -84 F while building the starter. This is the temperature range that suits yeast reproduction rates and the LAB will still be out reproducing yeast at that temperatures. What happens, over weeks of storage time in the fridge, is that the starter will become sourer as time progresses. The bread it makes after 8 weeks in the fridge is worth the wait.
But, like most things it is relative and the resulting bread isn’t too sour either. If you want really sour bread do some of the following at 94 F – build the starter, levain build, gluten development, bulk ferment or final proof after shaping. I like using a small amount of starter to build a levain amount under 10%, a very cold bulk ferment, counter warm up and a 94 F final proof when I’m going for a really sour bread.”
Ok, I've had the NMNF starter built and it's been working great...I've baked probably 6 or 7 loaves without issue. However, this week when I went to build the Levain...NOTHING HAPPENS?!?
I'm building just as I have for the past month...in a makeshift proofer at 83-85 degrees. The levain is super sour but I'm not getting any rise at all. Thoughts on what could be causing this to fail after a month of success when nothing has changed but the time the seed has been sitting in the back of the refrigerator?
Has the seed gotten too sour to the point where yeast is being out competed? I just ran a quick PH test on some of the seed and a tiny bit of water and it comes back at 4.
100% rye if it matters...
I'm now using this exclusively and it's incredible! I've experimented with leaving the 3rd feeding out on the counter overnight at a cool room temp and that works brilliantly too!
In the back of my party fridge it lay for 13 months. I opened the crypt and saw a dark brown-Gray ball that smelled of Rye sour bliss.
So I started it up again and will report! I betcha that kid will no doubt break some faces!
By the way I wonder if we don’t need a NMNF pdf pack collecting all this info in a tome?
reboot the second feeding and leaving it overnight. It might be time to re- make the starter?
the starter did not move a mm. In fact it went down. I believe it is time to make a new starter. I guess a year is too much for the yeasties.
the starter only rose after the second day, with no feedings. Let’s just say I am pulling out my rye flour for a new one.
Greetings to all of you. I'm new here. I've been studying this forum from some time experimenting with sourdough baking. After some trials and errors I started maintaining my starter "no muss no fuss" way but i've got some doubts I would like to ask you for.
I have problems with 4 hour starter feeding cycle. During work-week it's simply imposible for me to keep this inverval. The better for me would be 8 our interval. Should I increase feeding ratio to match 8 hour interval or maybe leave as it is (the "starvation time" will favour fast growing yeast). I had great effects with standard feeding and I'm affraid to go up with ratios because last time I tried to, I dilluted my started to the point it was useless (I was feeding 1:5:5 ratios not waiting long enough to fully ferment). If I stay with standard feeding I will be sure that it won't happen anymore.
Is it good idea to "starve" starter a little, maybe it doesn't matter. I couldnt find good answer for this question.
Second question is about ratios, yeast activity, and fermentation time. Could you share with me some sources regarding relationship beetwen these factor. I'd like to know how to calculate the time needed for the peak of the yeast activity and furthermore how long to ferment the dough to be ready to bake.
Lazurx, unless your starter is kept in a very warm place it shouldn’t be peaking in 4 hours. Before you start the retard stage of your No Mess No Fuss starter it should be consistently cycling through your room temp refreshes.
Tell us exactly what you are doing with your starter at this time. Be sure to specify the temperature and feed ratio.
BTW. The “starvation time” will favor the acids produced by the LAB over the yeast.