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feeding my starter

retired's picture

feeding my starter

My daughter in law has given me some starter. I have already made one nice sandwich loaf with it. Now I'm trying to figure out a feeding schedule. I tried putting it in the fridge, but that was a disaster. It got a thick "skin" on the outside and didn't rise at all. 

I took it out, got rid of what looked weird, discarded all but 100 gr, then added 100 gr spring water, 100 gr A/P flour. (1:2:2, right?) It doubled in 11 hours (although it did not do anything at all for the first 4 hours).

At 6:30 this morning, I discarded and fed it the same amounts of water and flour. I will be out during the day. I am leaving the house at 11:00. Can I feed it again before I leave, even if it isn't growing yet? I am worried that it will rise and fall before I get to it this evening (after 7:00), and don't understand whether that (the rising and falling) before feeding it again would hurt it? I also do not understand whether feeding it soon after feeding it once is bad for it.

Thanks for your help.

phaz's picture

Feed once - let it get watery - feed again - let it get watery - etc etc. I forgot - start with a dough like consistency. When it gets watery after a day you'll have a starter again - and can go from there. Enjoy!

OldWoodenSpoon's picture

In answer to a couple of your specific questions:  1)   100 gr starter fed 100 gr water + 100 gr flour is 1:1:1, not 1:2:2 which would be 100:200:200 starter:flour:water

2) Yes, feeding it soon after having already fed it is not a good thing.  You will dilute the starter on that first feed, and then before it has time to multiply and become plentiful you dilute it again.

When you need to make it go longer between feedings, increase the amount of food you provide.  So if you usually feed often at 1:1:1, then feed 1:2:2 (for true!) and it will take roughly twice as long before it needs to be fed again, all other factors remaining constant.  If you must, it is better to let it go hungry for a couple of hours than to feed twice in rapid succession.  Better to just change the feed ratio to adjust the time to maturity.  Note that you can accomplish this by reducing the amount of starter instead of increasing the amount of food. 50:100:100 is a 1:2:2 ratio that creats 250 gr of starter, whereas 100:200:200 creates 500 gr of starter.

Hope it helps

UVCat's picture

the excellent advice above should help with your feeding schedule. but i’m curious why it was “a disaster” when you refrigerated it. most folks can’t reasonably keep their starter at room temperature, constantly feeding it, so being able to successfully refrigerate for ~days-weeks is helpful, perhaps even necessary. the waste alone of discarding, if you are not baking every day, can start to really add up.

some things might help troubleshoot your fridge experience: how long was the starter in the fridge? how long ago before going into the fridge had it been fed? was it covered while in the fridge?