Feeding + baking


Just wondering how long you need to wait after you have fed your starter to start baking? Hours or days?

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farinam's picture
farinam 2015 October 28

Hello anonymous,

It depends on factors such as the activity of the starter, the temperature you are working at and the hydration of your starter.

Generally at normal room temperature you should be looking at four to twelve hours and the general advice is that you should make your dough just before or at the stage where the starter reaches maximum volume.  This ensures that the yeasts, in particular, are actively multiplying and have not lapsed into a state of dormancy which they do when the current supply of food runs out.  That said, I know of cases where a 'slack' starter has been made to dough without feeding beforehand and the bread turned out just fine.  Maybe it would have taken a bit more time but food is food after all.  As a rough guide, your loaf making from dough mixing to ready for the oven can take about the same amount of time (as the time to peak for the starter) for a plain loaf.  Rich doughs (with, egg, oil, butter etc) will take longer.  In any case, the timing should be driven by the texture and appearance of the dough/loaf and not by the clock.

Good luck with your projects.


Amalie3 2015 October 28

Thank you very much. My starter is bubbling away nicely at room temp and growing with a nice smell. I am using a 1:1 ratio. I think I will attempt a loaf tomorrow. Thanks again!! Much appreciated.


farinam's picture
farinam 2015 October 28

Hello Amalie,

If you click on the Categories tab and then select Beginners that will take you to SourDoms Beginners Blog that gives a good run down on using sourdough from go to whoa.  He includes a very good basic recipe that I recommend you work with until you get the hang of it.  It is called Pane francesa and he gives a few versions but the all sourdough one is the one to go with.

Good luck with your projects and let us know how you go.


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