Author Topic: Small amounts of starter  (Read 346 times)

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Offline Jez

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Small amounts of starter
« on: March 29, 2014, 10:11:33 AM »
I don't want to keep tons of starter around all the time, because it means a lot of waste, and I only bake a couple of times a week

Do you guys think that keeping a small amount of starter going only - I mean around 50g of it - means it will be more susceptible to nasty critters infecting it and killing it?

Anyone have experience with keeping small amounts of starter, and then doubling a few times before needing to bake with it? Is it as stable and consistent as with larger amounts?


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Small amounts of starter
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2014, 10:49:19 AM »
IMO, if you are worried about the trivial amount of waste that is a part of maintaining a healthy, active culture, you probably don't need to be using a culture.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline charbo

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Re: Small amounts of starter
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2014, 11:17:37 AM »
My storage starter is only about 40 grams.  I've been maintaining it for years.

Offline Jez

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Re: Small amounts of starter
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2014, 12:56:48 PM »
Not too worried about the waste really, just don't want to waste if it is not necessary that is all.

You're right though I don't NEED to be using a culture, but I am trying to get to pizza perfection! I am sure it is a long way off yet, and maybe I will never make my perfect pizza, but I do not feel that I will ever be able to get close without a culture.

Offline Jez

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Re: Small amounts of starter
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2014, 12:58:16 PM »
In any case, I actually quite enjoy feeding the thing, and the trivial amounts of waste are probably still cheaper than buying IDY anyway.

Offline Adrian

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Re: Small amounts of starter
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2014, 12:55:04 AM »
I maintain/feed my starter with the following formula (by weight):

1:2:2 (starter:water:(rye )flour)

I keep it at room temperature until it doubles (3 to 4 hours) an then put it back into the fridge. I wouldn't use less new flour; but with this formula I never in years had a sign of under-feeding. During 1 week after the feeding I use it directly from the fridge as seed for levain or now for starter in pizza.

So every time I feed my starter, it quintuples.

The minimum of starter I think is feasible to have is 10g. Therefore, every time I feed my starter I put back at least 50g. As I want to feed my starter at least once a week, I have to at least use or discard 40g during one week.

I know, If you just produce pizza, 40g of starter will leaven 4kg of flour (more than 20 pizzas) which usually is a lot for home bakers. If you produce leaven for breads, 40g is very little. It will produce 1600g of leaven (5% starter; 100% hydration) and will leaven about 2,4kg of flour for strong sourdough flavour (same amount of flour added to final dough as leaven) or again 4kg of flour (twice as much flour as leaven + flour of the leaven itself). Often even 10% starter is used so it will be 1,2 to 2 kg...

And even if you have to discard 20g of the starter each week. Here I pay 86 cents for 1kg of flour. This would be less than a cent for the discard; about 45cent in a whole year.

If you bake "a couple of times a week", those 40g may even be not enough. :D