Establishing feeding schedule:


I made sourdough breads couple of times, but never thought of going almost exclusively sourdough. I have read a lot about sourdough in books and on web-sites, but still have a very vague idea of how to figure out the feeding schedule to be able to have the right amount of "production starter" for almost everyday baking. Could somebody give me a helping hand here?
I would like to have active starters with as less acidity in finished bread as possible. I guess, it would require some kind of firm starter.
How firm?
Should it be equally firm at every stage of feeding? How many feedings do I need?
What would be the difference in hydration between white starter and rye starter?
Right now I use only rye meal for my rye starter.
I would like to have the bread with predictable acidity every single day?

Could somebody help me to begin this completely new regimen of baking. The figures could be different, but I desperately need to really get the idea.
Right now I have to starters in my fridge. The rye one I used about a week ago, while the white one I used about 2 weeks ago.

Let's say I will need the following every week by 5 A.M.:
What kind of containers would this require?

Monday 720 g white starter
Tuesday 840 g white starter
Wednesday 600 g rye starter
Thursday 720 g white starter
Friday 720 g white starter
Saturday 420 g rye starter and 360 g white starter
Sunday (possible break)

Have I asked too many questions? I just wanted to clarify the problem and get some help.
Every idea would be appreciated.

165 users have voted.


Croc 2007 November 14

you trying to kill yourself or something?

1. one starter will do (even if you bake daily)
2. you can make it easy for yourself by having only white or only rye starter instead of both, there is nothing wrong with rye bread that got bit of white starter, as a matter of fact most rye breads have white flour in recipes anyway and if one day you want to pure 100% rye then you can create it on almost on spot by using just spoon on your white starter and refreshing it with all rye, if you extreamist refresh it couple of times to drop white flour quantity down to 0.000000000000001%
3. you going to hate baking if you go from fun to running ten millions different starters
4. if you bake 100% rye bake for once for couple of days or more instead of baking everyday, after all 100% rye is best day or two after baking
5. if you bake white you can easly bake extra as well, eat as you go and once it isn't oh so fresh anymore toast it, sourdough as toast is madly good

starter hydration can vary from recipe to recipe, best to aim at final dough hydration then at starter hydration (including starter hydration in calculation)

follow the rules but make sure you open your mind and change it, flours are different, from shop to shop, from batch to batch and from storage room to storge room so hydration should be used as good indication and not rule and you should adjust all to your place and baking style.

if you want to be control freak and control acidity you need controled box (or whatever you call it) with temperature control where you keep your starter because it make difference to your final acidity due to different bacteria multiplaying faster depending on temperature of your starter BUT let me add that in my opinion you going wrong way about this especially if till now you didn't bake much so i say go ahead and play with your recipes, remember that your dough its living thing and you will never know what tastes are out there yet to be discovered if you just do everything to the dot as recipe said.

lavender 2007 November 14

Thanks for answering my concerns. I suppose, I tried to make my life even harder than it already is.
I was thinking about maintaining only one starter myself. In this case, it should be white starter. But in this case, I should establish some kind of feeding schedule as well. I bake 5-6 days a week for family and friends. They don’t mind to have sourdough bread instead of bread made with yeasted preferment.
I used to make yeasted preferment 12 hours before mixing the dough. How can I get similar starter with sourdough culture inoculation on everyday basis?
I used less than ¼ tsp. active dry yeast for every 250 g bread flour at 75% hydration, and added some yeast to the final dough. How much mother culture should I use for the overnight (12-hour starter)?
What hydration should the less sour mother culture have? Is it possible to get at 22-23?C room temperature? Or I could place it into the oven with pilot light on? How should I feed my mother culture to have the necessary amount ready for each baking day? If I get it right, there should be two separate feedings: one for mother culture, and one for the production sourdough for the baking day?

So, how much mother starter do I have to keep in order to be able to make 720 to 840g production starter for the baking day?
How much mother should I use for replacing yeast in my inoculation the overnight starter at the given 75% hydration?
How should I refresh the mother starter? Once a day? Twice a day? When?
Could you explain to me how could I figure out the amount and timing with changing baking schedule?
My rye starter is healthier than the white one I have in the fridge. So, I am going to start with refreshing some of it with bread flour to get the new white one.
How much do I start with? How soon will I get the new white mother culture in prime condition?
I seem to get lost here. I grew my first culture several years ago and since then I was afraid to try taming it: it seems so difficult.

Croc 2007 November 14

one feeding is all you need
as you making bread you use your starter and keep spoon to create new starter for tomorrow, simple as that, no need to complicate anything.
you bake from your "mother starter" every day, there is no point trying to have "mother" and "production" starters.
this way you should have very healthy and very active starter.
you can aim to use it at peak by putting it in a fridge and then taking it out before you go to bed but in my opinion there really is no need for that, i been using starters many hours after peak and made no difference, if anything those breads were better tasting and starter worked better because those little bacterias was very very hungry

as for quantity you decide day before how much you need it and mix enough flour and water with your spoon of old starter.
if one day you forget to leave spoon for your refresh, don't panic what left in your dirty jug is enough to refresh as well

in short you stress waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much

lavender 2007 November 19

I would like to have active starters with as less acidity in finished bread as possible. Right now I am a little bit familiar with 100% hydration starter. I build the required amount with two refreshments at 12 hour interval each.
I don't want to keep the starter in the refrigerator. I don't want to increase the sourness of the starter.
I have couple of questions:
1. How to build 720 g starter from 90 g in 48 hours? Should I use salt at some point to retard the starter? How much? During the first refreshment, or the second one? Do I have to reduce hydration first, and then increase it again during the next refreshment? Room temperature is 21-22 degrees.

2. How to make 1200 g starter from 90 g starter in 24 hours? Is it at all possible? I guess, I could play with hydration and/or feeding schedule: increase hydration during one feeding, and decrease it during the next feeding? and/or add one more feeding?! Could you suggest something?

I would be glad to hear any ideas and calculations.

kilroy 2007 November 24

[quote="bethesdabakers"]As on Dan's site.

Are you talking about sourdans site?

I have seen several links to his beginner info, but they all fail to go anywhere.



bethesdabakers's picture
bethesdabakers 2007 November 24

Hi Kilroy,

That was a sort of private message to Lavender because I was feeling ratty at the time and she was asking the same question on two forums but I meant the forum on Dan Lepard's site

You're right about Sourdom's tutorials (not sourdan). I can't access them either.


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