The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pasta Madre troubleshooting question

juddie's picture

Pasta Madre troubleshooting question

Hi guys, 


I have been making Pasta madre since August. At first everything went very well and seems to be always active. Growing triple in the alloted 4 hours. 

But recently it has become too active. When I mix the PM with 1:1:.45 ratio the above happens:

This is after mixing it for 8-10 mins in hook attachment and trying to knead it for with rolling pin for about a minute or two laminating it in the process. 

It seems, or I feel, that it is already breaking down, not allowing the protein of the flour to form a strong gluten bond. 

I would resolve this with feeding with the ratio of 1:1.5:.4 or 1:2:.4 or 100:150:60 or 100:200:80

And it will be smooth. And triple I. 3-4 hours


So my question is:

1. Is the solution correct? And until. How long do I feed it x1. 5 or X2 ratio as it is still overly active.? 

2. If I continue with,x. 1.5 and x 2 ratio is it okay to make panettone with it? Or will it affect the final product. 

3. Has anyone experienced this same thing? Would anyone mind sharing their experience with this? 


DanAyo's picture

Hi Juddie! How I wished I had your problem. I have been working on my first Lievito Madre for about a month or so now. I estimate I’ve gone through 12k of Italian flour in the process. When it was first built it tripled and even quadrupled, but quickly quieted down and now will only rise 2.25 in the allotted 4 hours at ~82F. My adventures in Panettone have to be shelved until the LM is sorted out.

How can your LM be too active? Didn’t think that was possible.
What a great problem to have...

BTW - Michael Wilson, aka ‘mwilson’ is our resident authority on all things pasta Madre and Panettone. 


juddie's picture

Hi Danny, 


That happened to me as well. I read somewhere that sometimes the PM gets too tired when you feed it too much.

A solution might be that you don't feed it for a week for it to crave for food. But these are all just theory, I made a new starter myself. 

Though it has slightly altered my feeding for the new one. When preparing for panettone I make double in my first feed so I could store the other half in the ref. 


Cheers Danny



The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

However, after reading this blog I stumbled onto, I decided it is way too much time to devote. That being said, I thought you guys might like to have a look. She seems very methodical in her methodology. Enjoy!

How to create lievito madre for panettone - All you knead is bread

julie99nl's picture

But you don't have to make one from scratch. You can just use an already made starter.

The page posted seems overly complicated.

juddie's picture

Seems like, when I mix to slow or too long that this happens. So solution was so mix in speed two (mixer on has 3 speeds) and laminate as fast as I can.


Seems to do the trick. But underlying conditions of how PM will be affected is still a question mark.



DanAyo's picture

Juddie, please explain. I don’t understand.