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1. Do you mean that from Day 6-15 I should keep adding 1
teaspoon of dough to a fresh 50g/30ml flour/water mix in the same container, so
the starter continues to grow in size day by day as the added daily
The starter remains the same size at every stage of this
process. Discard (compost) all of the old starter, except for about 1 teaspoon.
Add this teaspoon to 50g of flour and 30ml of water to make the new starter.
The new starter is therefore composed of 50g flour and 30ml water + 1 teaspoon
of previous starter.
This is an economy size starter, scaled down because I’m not
keen on wastage. It makes a ball of dough slightly larger than a golf ball that
fits perfectly inside a coffee mug. A small ball like this may not suitable for a
starter that you are trying to keep at a consistent temperature in an
inconsistent temperature environment.
However in this case we are allowing our starter-in-process
to travel through the range of temperatures of a cool climate...
2. Also, when you advise that I should "refresh the starter dough every
3rd day, and compost discarded dough", do you mean that every third day I
should discard half the dough (ie: 25gm) and add 25g flour with 15ml water to
keep making the dough up to the original quantity of 50g flour with 30ml water?
I probably answered this above. Discard all the old dough
except for 1 teaspoon. Let us say that a teaspoon in your case contains 10g of old
dough. That would mean that your new starter dough is made from:
50g flour + 30ml water + 10g previous dough = 90g
Every few days you discard all the dough except for the
teaspoon (approx 10g), which means that you are discarding 80g of dough and
retaining 10g of dough.
I have used the teaspoon to measure the carry-over starter
because 1. a critical weight is not required, and 2. many people do not have
scales that measure in small units
3. And by "every third day", do you mean every
third day beginning from the first day I make up the dough? (ie: I make up the
dough on Day 1, then 3 days later on Day 4 I refresh it, then 3 days after that
on Day 7 I refresh it again, etc?).
An interesting question. I thought about this before making the post and hoped
that no one would ask. Can I answer by saying that no one can say how long, and
that the length of time is not critical?
Getting a starter going for the first time is about looking
for changes. These changes are likely to happen more slowly in cool and stiff
In this case, I would suggest that not much is likely to
happen in the first 48 hours of leaving your dough. It is more likely that
changes will appear in the range of to 48 to 72 hours.
If there are no visible changes after 72 hours, make a new
starter anyway (using a teaspoon of the old starter). This is because not all
changes are noticeable, and it is good to pass on the possibility of change
even if it is not noticeable.
What kind of changes? Smell and feel the dough when you
first mix it….it has a fresh, wheaty (if using wheat) smell and a smooth skin.
Deviations from this smell and texture are changes.
Using a cool and stiff dough ball, lift the dough after 48
hours and smell the aroma underneath. Is it fruity or acidic in any way? Is the
texture of the dough different on any part of the dough? If this is the very
first 48 hours of your starter, it is probably going to take longer to get
The very first time you leave your dough (stiff + cool), don’t be afraid to leave it for avery long time….you could have some fun and try leaving it for longer than 4 days. But subsequent
starters-in-process should probably be left for shorter periods….48 to 72
hours. Fully active cool/stiff starter can be kept on 24 - 48 hour cycles.
This method of making a starter is great because you are
encouraging yeasts and bacteria that function well in cool and stiff
conditions. These are generally the fruity (acetic) producing cultures…which have
excellent flavour and…
A big bonus is that you are producing beautiful flavour and aroma at
the first stage in your sourdough bread making process….so subsequent stages of the process can be used to explore and identify other characteristics...perhaps working with
warmer (and faster rising!) doughs.
Sorry - absolute beginner here! Would appreciate your
clarification on the above queries 1, 2 and 3.
Greetings from a 'neighbour'...
While I have never made my own starter, here are some of my thoughts...
I use australian organic unbleached flour too and can understand your reluctance to throw away the mixture due to the cost. It would seem to me that 1/4 C flour replenishment is just too little food for your young 'uns, as they gain in bulk (because you are not throwing any away). That's why you are asked to discard all except for a tablespoon or so for each new feed.
I'd be happy to send you some of my starter if you are happy to adopt.
By the way, Bali seems a wee bit cooler, but, you should have no problems baking sourdough bread. Just reduce the proving times, or, keep in the fridge for long fermentations.
You're too funny, Annie! Write your recipe down if it turns out to be the starter of your dreams...remember to include the 'secret' ingredient.
PM me your address, and, you should be a happy midwife before long. I'm going to send to you the starter in pasta-ish form; please rehydrate it to bubbly health.
p.s. Enjoying the Bahasa Indonesia lessons. BI is very similar to BM'sia.
And, I was so looking forward to an exotic breadcrumb recipe, lol.
Annie, I'm sure you'll be able to make pretty decent breads with local flour. Our local flours are all bleached but breads and other bakes come out OK.
Psst....your address, please. I'll be going to the PO this morning.
[Edit: Got it!]
You guys make me wanna get my own (label) starter going.
[quote=rossnroller]BTW, interested to know whether you guys who have some experience in sourdough bread baking use baskets or moulds (or whatever the correct terminology is) to shape your loaves prior to baking? If so, where do you get them...I've checked out some home bake bread shops here and have not seen anything like the vessels that appear in the video tutes.CheersRoss[/quote]
Just quickly...I'm on my way out of the house...
Some to start you off....
I love my bannetons from Brotformen.de; Graham have them (here). Celia is happy with her plastic wicker baskets.
Catch ya later
I hope the ball didn't turn mouldy. What you could do, is follow Graham's instructions here, using whatever flour on hand. I think it might work better if you first dissolve the starter dough in the water before adding the flour, and it may need as many as 3 rounds of feeding to revive, but, I'm hoping 2 will do the trick. To be honest, I don't remember making any of my sourdough bread with non-organic flour, though, I have baked yeasted breads with local unbleached flours (which turned out ok). The ozzie and US organic unbleached flours I get here amount to around A$3.50/kg, while local flours cost a third of that. Gosh...yours is astronomical! Since I see things get to you safely, I'll send you some rye the next time I visit my usual organic outlet.
May your starter be bubbly soon...
A special hello to Annie-Bali (my mum) and to TP who is sharing her starter! I thought i would have a lot of trouble sending some starter to Bali from Melbourne, but had even considered drying some out....but now i dont have to! It's lovely to see other hot weather bakers sharing thier little dough bubbas!
Happy tropical baking from cold old Melbourne!
I'm so glad bubba arrived safely and is apparently settling in nicely. How about I send some rye to mum and you post some sourdough eye candies? Gee...I'm blue already.
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