The Fresh Loaf

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When to feed my new starter

rjstucker's picture

When to feed my new starter

Day 7 of my new starter. Fed it at a 10% inoculation rate at 133% hydration. At 9 hours it had nearly tripled in volume, and at 10 hours had started falling. The picture is 10 hours after feeding.

Two questions:

1) I'm trying to get it on a 1x a day feeding schedule. Though I fed it at a 20% inoculation rate yesterday and fed it again 24 hours later and it seems fine, would it be ideal to feed it when it gets foamy and starts to fall?

2) When making bread, should the starter be used just at or before the rise peaks?


DivingDancer's picture

1) if you are working on making your starter more vigorous, feed at, or just after peak. 

2) In general you are going to have peak yeast vitality right at peak.  Many people advise using right at, or slightly after, peak.  But it also comes down to what you are trying to accomplish in terms of flavor.  The longer it has been fermenting (and the more start you use) the stronger/more sour the flavor.  If you just want a nice rise, and mild flavor, use less starter and use it as soon as it passes the "float test".  Take a teaspoon full, and drop it into a cup of room temp water.  If it floats, it is ready to use.

These are, of course, generalizations.  There are a thousand variations, all of which will produce different results.  There's no single "right way".