Just wondering if anyone can shed some light on how much temperature will effect my starter and if there are any techniques to help - I live in London UK and kicked off my starter about 4 months ago.. I had some good results and a fairly consistent and active looking starter for a couple of months.. but now as the cold weather has set in i'm finding it a lot less responsive to feeds (only a few surface bubbles after 1 or 2 days) and the bread is becoming a lot less successful (taking far longer to rise and turning out heavy/flat)
I'm feeding the starter every 3 or 4 days with about 100g of flour and enough water to keep it at a thick consistency - I would say just short of being a dough. Early on I found it was smelling quite vinegary, this seems to have stopped now and whilst it smells a lot better (kind of like natural yoghurt) it does seem to be a lot less active than it was.
For the bread - I'm following a recipe that suggests making a 'sponge' with 100ml of the starter, 275ml of warm water and 250g of flour.. leaving this overnight, and then making the dough with a further 300g of flour.. I then prove the dough for 6-8 hours, knock back, and prove again for about 3 hours then bake.
It is obviously considerably colder in my kitchen than it was 4 months ago, and I don't really have a warm place (e.g. airing cupboard) to leave the sponge/dough while it proves
Does anyone have any tips that could help?
Thanks in advance