Starter recipe

G'day everyone I'm new to the sour dough world.Can anyone tell me if a starter can only be the same amount of flour and water or can it be more flour less water or vice versa? If so what is the difference in the loaf from one starter to another. Cheers Mark

7 comments

Hey Mark,

Welcome to the wondrous World of Sourdough!

I normally keep my (refrigerated) starters at 100% hydration. This means it contains equal weight of flour and water. You can keep and work with starters at lower and higher hydrations. Depends what you're after in your final loaves.

But let's take a few step backwards....

Do you already have a starter? if so, let us know what type (white, w/meal,rye)
Have you already baked some loaves with that starter, and what were the results?

To answer your question: lower hydrated starters (at lower temps) tend to favour acitic acid development, higher hydration (at higher temps) favours lactic acid and yeast development.

But since you indicated you're new to SD, you may not be quite ready to start playing around with hydration and temperature variation in your starter.

Me, and no doubt a number of other correspondents, are more than happy to guide you along in your sourdough journey!

Happy baking

Roland

Hello I am also very new to the wondrous world of sourdough and have a few questions I would like to ask as well.
I have been attracted to sourdough for a different reason then most. I really do enjoy the great flavor of a well-made sourdough loaf, but I am a college student and like many college students I am extremely stingy when it comes to spending money. It would be much cheaper for me to be able to continuously grow a starter then to have to buy expensive yeast every time I go to make some bread.
I was wondering if any one could help me find a recipe or instructions on how to make a resilient starter that can be used as often as possible? To my wallet and I, resilient and growth take priority over taste in this situation. If some one has asked this question already please direct me to the post.

I bought a starter from here:http://www.sourdo.com/

and use a basic white recipe from here:http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?&act=ST&f=108&t=27634

I only bake on weekends and found that feeding the starter the day before using improves the flavor.......

Thanks for the link, although it is not quite what I was looking for. I think I will try to adapt the starter recipe so I do not have to refrigerate, in an attempt to speed up the production of total starter. You see I kind of want to be able to bake bread every other or every other third day.

Hey Joseph,

If you're going to be baking every 2 or 3 days or so, I'll still put my stock starter in the fridge.
If you don't, you will need to feed it at least once, probably twice a day (depending on the temp.) With it you'll be generating a lot of starter, and possibly wasting quite a bit of flour along the way.

A fully activated starter, re-fed and refrigerated for less then a few days, is merely in a slumber. It may take a fraction longer to fully 'wake up' , but you probably find you can start building your final dough pretty much straight away with that starter!

Happy baking

Roland

So you are saying that the starter will have enough time to recover while in the fridge for such a short time after use? If that’s true then you may have just saved me a lot of work. I was under the impression that refrigeration greatly slowed down the growth rate of yeast, to the point where it would take a week or more to fully recover.

By the way, when you talk about “generating a lot of starter” just how much do you think I should feed it per refreshment? I am currently trying to make a starter out of some wheat flour, and I have been feeding it ¼ of its volume in white all-purpose flour and ¼ of its volume in water twice a day (un-refrigerated). I am not sure if I am feeding it too much or too little currently.

Joseph,

Like I said, a starter that has been in the fridge for merely days, should spring back and come to life pretty much straight away. If the same starter has been lurking in the back of the fridge for 2 or 3 months, it can take a few days and numerous feeds, before it becomes fully activated.

I normally take 50g of refrigerated starter, and add 75g flour and 75g water (maintaining a 100% hydration) proof for 6hrs @ 30C or 12hrs @ 20C The starter should be able to double itself.
If it doesn't, repeat by using 50g of the first step add 75 water and 75 flour. etc
(reduce quantities if you like, but keep the same ratio)

Once it does, feed to get your required sponge (to be part of your final dough) Ie 200g from the first step, 300 water, 300 flour, giving us plenty of pre-fermented sponge for our dough, enough to put back in the fridge for next time, and usually some to make some pancakes or pizza shells!

Happy baking

Roland