October 19, 2016 - 9:11am
A Really Stupid question re: definition of "Mature Starter"
So, I might try Robertson's recipe again. It calls for a mature starter and a young levain. As I understand it, that means I should not 'build' my starter b/f using it for the levain as this would make it 'young'? Is that right?
Recipe calls for 1 TBS (? 15 -20 gm? ) "mature starter". I keep mine in the fridge. Often b/f I bake other breads, I take out a little a day or so b/f the levain build to 'freshen it up'.... but I guess that would turn it into a 'young' starter, right? For Robertson's recipe, should I just pull 15 - 20 gm of my starter out and make the levain that way?
Again, thanks in advance.
I think of the difference between "young" and "mature" as different points of time in the life cycle of the starter. After a feeding, the starter grows, reaches a peak and holds (I think of that as the "plateau,") and then recedes.
In my mind a young starter is when it hits the plateau or a little before that.
A mature starter is at the end of the plateau, just after (or before) it begins to recede.
So I would take it out of the fridge and feed it, then let it hit the plateau and wait for it to just begin to recede. Use it now to make the levain (don't wait for it to continue to fall).
When the levain hits its peak, just begins to plateau, use it to make the final dough for the bread. Don't wait for it to hold at the plateau for any length of time or begin to recede.
Think of a "mature" starter as a stable, well-established and well-proven sourdough culture. By then end of however many days Robertson suggests for creating a sourdough culture, you will have something like a "mature" starter. It's a little bit confusing, since we tend to see "mature" and "young" as antonymous, but here you will be using the 1 tablespoon of "mature" starter to create a "young" levain--however, the "young" part of the equation is up to you : if you go the Robertson route, you will wait 3-4 hours after feeding your mature starter to use your levain (3-4 hours is pretty short in terms of fermentation, thus a "young" starter). You can also choose to wait up to a few days if you throw your starter in the fridge (note : it won't have quite as much spunk as a young starter).
So, in brief, to answer your question, YES, pull 15-20 grams of your starter out of the fridge and feed it with warm water and flour.
It seems that Eudoxus is saying to feed as usual and use that newly fed starter at it's maturation point, and lepainSamidi is saying to take out the 15-20 grams of my well established, mature old starter from the fridge and use that for the levain.
Still confused here, and it's b/f of Robertson's vague definitions I think.
Thank you both for helping me.
When it comes to Robertson I believe that lepainSamidien is correct. He uses a small amount of well established starter to build a leaving that he uses at 3-4 hours (or even less) for a sweet tasting starter with no tang to speak of. He talks about his starter practices in some of the videos.
Either way, you will more than likely end up with a levain that will produce some righteous bread. Build it in a way that fits your schedule.
Happy baking !
old and has been fed and fully risen since being fed but not crashed back yet. A young levain is one that has has been made from mature starter and built recently but not yet risen to its full potential after feeding - maybe half way - so it remains sweet and less acidic. But it has been a long time since I read his book from the library so my description is what I remember - and remember so little now a days:-)
Thanks so much. It means I was wrong and need to build my 2+ year old starter b/f using it in the levain. You are a gem.
If you screw up and start building the levain wIth unrefreshed room temperature starter that had been in the fridge for a week since last being fed, will the levain be usable? The starter doubled within a couple hours after I removed it from the fridge.
I have a huge bowl of levain ingredients mixed for a big batch of bread: 60g starter, 400g water and 400g bread flour for Wild Yeast Blog Durum Sourdough bread. Should I mix in more starter?
If your started doubled within a couple hours you should be good to go and no need to mix in more starter to your levain. Should be just fine.