Author Topic: Newbie Starter  (Read 769 times)

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Offline teglia

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Newbie Starter
« on: July 24, 2011, 10:24:13 AM »
I just purchased some starter from the interweb and had some questions before i get it in the mail and panic because I dont know how to take care of it properly. From what i read :
Starter at room temp needs minimum 2 feedings.
Feed before storing in the refrigerator.
Feed at least once a week or whenever you use it for me this most likely won't be more than twice or less than once.
Store in refrigerator in a loose fitting mason jar.

But now for the actual caring for it. I prefer to do everything by weight.
Heres a link to the instructions for the starter from the source i bought from ( http://www.kingarthurflour.com/tips/sourdough-tips.htm ).
So if they send me 1 oz of the starter would i feed it 1/2oz. flour 1/2 oz water or would it be 1 oz flour 1 water?
Also another question is if i use the starter once a week for pizza how far ahead would you recommend i take it out of the fridge i read different suggestions some people say 12 hours some say 3 days?
My final question is how do you recommend me feed my storage starter? Do i just take what i need to bake with then weigh how much starter i have (storage starter) then mix in equal parts flour and water to double or is it triple the weight?
Thanks for taking your time to answer my questions
Teglia


Offline texmex

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Re: Newbie Starter
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2011, 12:54:57 PM »
It does help to do everything by weight, especially when using baker percentages for baking. 

I just began my first starter from scratch a little over a month ago, and it worked out well to always use the same weights when feeding my starter.  For me, it is good to know I always feed using 100% hydration (equal amounts of water and flour).  I would use the guidelines given with the starter you purchased, but try to adjust for 100% hydration if weight is your preference, instead of the volume amounts they provide. 

The variations I have seen in how long you need to prep and feed before baking really does depend on how robust your starter is.  Mine will dome straight out of the fridge and fed just once within about 3 to 4 hours time at room temp (but it's really hot here in summer), and if I stir then feed a second time it will dome again in about 2 hours.  Others have mentioned that they have to tease their starters by placing in a warmer environment and still won't get a good bubble on until the next day.  This is all going to depend on your specific starter.

AS soon as I use my fed starter for a recipe, I feed the remainder equal amounts of water and flour and place it back in the fridge immediately.  I have never had a problem with a just fed then refridgerated starter getting out of control (I guess my fridge is really cold, and my starter is having a nice leisurely meal when I put it to rest) 

Obviously, I know very little about starters, but I'm new to this as well, and it is actually quite easy to maintain a starter.  I do suggest that you dry some of your starter as soon as you know it is doubling at a healthy rate.  Just call it insurance.
Reesa

Offline teglia

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Re: Newbie Starter
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2011, 01:55:56 PM »
By drying are you referring to freezing it?
Also another question i have is say you needed 2oz starter for a formula would you take out 2 oz starter or would you take out 1 oz starter since it should double in size?
Thanks for the response.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 02:11:24 PM by teglia »

Offline texmex

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Re: Newbie Starter
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2011, 03:00:11 PM »
By drying are you referring to freezing it?
Also another question i have is say you needed 2oz starter for a formula would you take out 2 oz starter or would you take out 1 oz starter since it should double in size?
Thanks for the response.

Yes, but first you gotta dry some of it out, then take the powder and freeze it (although freezing is not absolutely required)  (when I did mine, I took about a quarter cup and spread it out on a large plate.  It took a few hours to dry through, then I put it in a ziploc bag, rolled my rolling pin over it to make fine crumbs and stuck the bag in the freezer.  

Yes to either method to prepare for baking:

If your recipe calls for 2 oz. starter, you can take out 1 ounce from your jar of unfed starter and place it in your mixing bowl then feed it with half an ounce of flour and half an ounce of water. Once it doubles, go ahead and make your recipe since you now have 2 oz of fed starter. If it takes a long time to double, you may want to feed it again to make sure it is robust, feed with 1/2 oz of water and flour again, knowing you will have to remove 1 oz of the starter when it does double.  (normally I won't discard any starter before that second feeding when I have to feed a second time-but as I said before, my starter is normally ready to go after just one feeding) SOme starters may actually need a 3rd feeding to get up to par, at which point I might toss out at least one ounce and replace with one ounce of starter food (water/flour) just to keep track of what I've got in there.

Or, if your starter has been in the fridge for awhile, and it needs to be fed anyway you should sort of know how long it takes to be ready for baking so take it out in plenty of time for your baking schedule, feed it, let it bulk at room temp, then take out the 2 oz you need for recipe, then feed what remains in your jar and stick it back in the fridge.

I had been feeding with 1 oz increments of water and flour, but reduced that to 1/2 ounces each so my starter won't grow faster than I can use it up.  

« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 03:02:06 PM by texmex »
Reesa

Offline teglia

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Re: Newbie Starter
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2011, 03:40:25 PM »
Thanks for taking the time to explain that for me, i appreciate it.

Offline texmex

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Re: Newbie Starter
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2011, 06:17:47 PM »
NO problem!  Many forum regulars have come before ....and perhaps soon you will also come back here to help someone else out.  I had no clue about this stuff and read way too many Starter hints all over the web, felt just as confused as you do right now.  I do enjoy telling of my own experiences, and hope someone like you can benefit from that.  That's what is so great about this forum.

I plan on taking out a little bit of my dried starter and rehydrating it soon just to see how it acts.  For that I would use the same 100% hydration method. 1/2 oz starter powder to 1/2 oz water, then probably have to feed it another 1/2 oz fresh flour and 1/2 oz water to wake it up.

Cool thing is, it's real easy to share a good starter with someone far away if it ain't a wet thing that has to be protected in a jar, and it's great to have a back-up in case you manage to kill your mother starter by accidently leaving it in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

Have fun, and let us know how your starter comes along.
Reesa


 

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