The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Feeding ratios and impact on strength of starter

citygirlbaker's picture
citygirlbaker

Feeding ratios and impact on strength of starter

Hi all: 

I understand that increasing the feed ratio can impact the rise / peak time of a starter, but does it affect the strength of the starter itself?  I've been feeding mine 1:1:1 and she has been fine and strong, but wondering if I should increase the ratio to build even greater strength.  

Thanks & Happy New Year!

gavinc's picture
gavinc

The starter is at its maximum strength when it is at its peak of ripeness. Adding more of seed culture will only shorten the time to maturity. If you want a stronger starter you should give it the occasional feed of whole-rye flour or whole-wheat flour to pep it up. Temperature also affects the time to maturity, eg. when I build my final levain I add 20% starter if the room temp is 21C/70F; it the temp is 24C/76F I halve the amount of starter to 10%. That way my levain is ready or use in 14 hours. Alternatively, If you need to slow down the rate of maturity, you can also add a pinch of salt to the levain.

Cheers,

Gavin

 

 

citygirlbaker's picture
citygirlbaker

Super helpful!  Thank you Gavin!! 

phaz's picture
phaz

Feeding directly influences strength. Do whatever ya like. Enjoy!