Author Topic: First time starter - is this ok?  (Read 1232 times)

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Offline torontonian

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First time starter - is this ok?
« on: December 23, 2012, 01:10:16 AM »
I'm activating my first starter, an Ischia from

Per the instructions, I added a cup of flour and water while I had it in a mason jar. I don't have a proofing box, so I put it by a heating vent (it's winter here) for 24 hours. Then I added another cup of flour/water the next day, and left it on the counter at 70 degrees. By day three, it no longer fit in the mason jar so I put it in a plastic bowl I usually use for dough balls. I fed it again and now it's near the top of the plastic bowl. See pics.

Do I discard some before the next feeding?

How will I know if its fully activated? The instructions say two inches in a few hours or something along those lines, but I've already outgrown the mason jar.

Am I on the right track? Where do I go from here?



Offline bfguilford

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Re: First time starter - is this ok?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2012, 11:30:10 AM »
Josh: I suggest that, unless you want to have a large quantity of starter available on an ongoing basis (I never have more than a cup or so at any time unless I know I'm going to use a lot) you discard all but around a half cup of the starter, and then feed it (I use a 50/50 mix of flour and water by weight, not volume) once a day, discarding the same amount of starter that you feed it with before you feed it (I suggest a half cup by volume of flour and the equivalent weight of water). You could discard/feed it twice a day for the next 4-5 days, and then change to a third of a cup once a day for a week. By then, you should have a very happy starter that you can put into the refrigerator.

The day you want to use it, take it out and let it come up to room temperature, then discard/feed and wait for it to double (or more) in volume before using it in your dough. You'll get to know how active your starter is as you go along. I suggest that you put the starter into the water you're using for the recipe - if it floats, you're good to go. Feed the starter, leave it out for around an hour (you should see some activity by then), and put it back in the refrigerator.

My Ischia is happy with this routine. If I haven't used it for a week, I'll discard/feed, let it rise at room temperature, and put it back into the refrigerator.

Hope that helps.

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