how firm or runny should starter be?

I have never measured water or flour and now am wanting to do it right :)  My starter is many years old and has been in frig for probably a year.  I will start doing the right percentage now but if I start with too wet or dry, it will throw it off.  Should it be like pancake batter or cookie dough?

1 comment

Hello woodsie8,

Many people use a starter at 100% hydration which just means that you use an equal weight of flour and water to make up/feed your starter.  For a mostly white bread flour this will be more like pancake batter and will thickly coat a spoon.  If you use wholemeal flour only it will be somewhat thicker again.

Some people use what is known as a stiff starter.  This is effectively a piece of dough and is often just that, a piece of dough taken from the previous loaf.

Changing the hydration/stiffness of the dough won't have any drastic effect.  Possibly it will change the balance of bacteria slightly in time that will affect the acid production and as a result the sourness balance but you certainly won't kill it.

Good luck with your projects.