Author Topic: Sourdough starter question  (Read 2147 times)

MrsPete

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3519
Sourdough starter question
« on: November 14, 2013, 03:43:47 PM »
I've been experimenting with sourdough bread for the last couple months, and my whole family's loving it.  However, I've run into a problem:  I have too much starter.  My starter production exceeds my baking needs. 

I'm "feeding" the starter 1-2 times per week, depending upon how often I'm baking.  Each time I'm feeding it 1 cup of flour and 2/3 cup of water . . . but my jar is filling up too fast, and I'm ending up pouring our some starter, which I hate.  I've given some starter away, but that's not a permanent solution.  I don't know enough people who want starter to keep that up. 

So, here's my question:  Is it okay to feed 1/2 a cup of flour and 1/3 cup water?  Can I grow it at a slower rate? 

I know that may be a foolish question, but I have a good, healthy starter going, and I don't want to jeopardize its health for the sake of 1/2 a cup of flour each week.   

mustachianteacher

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 204
Re: Sourdough starter question
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2013, 07:44:07 PM »
I've been baking sourdough bread for a couple of years, and I too have been bothered by throwing away some of it so frequently. It just seems so wasteful. I don't really measure my flour and water anymore, but I do know that no matter what your amounts are, it's all about keeping the starter at a certain consistency and keeping the water: flour ratio roughly the same. If it's too watery or thin, it won't rise well because there aren't enough gluten "strands" to hold the bubbles. If it's too thick, same result for the opposite reason.

MrsPete

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3519
Re: Sourdough starter question
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2013, 12:00:04 PM »
So it's okay to use a smaller quantity, as long as I keep the ratio stable? 
That's what I thought.  Thanks. 

NumberCruncher

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 612
Re: Sourdough starter question
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2013, 12:36:08 PM »
What I do is use more of my starter each time - I leave just a tiny amount in the jar (couple tablespoons?) and then just double it at each feeding. If you don't double it, it can start to lose some of its oomph and may take longer to rise.

If I have four cups of starter, I'll often use almost all of it in a single loaf of bread (just add more flour, no water).

Delicious and I've never thrown out starter yet!

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13111
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Sourdough starter question
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2013, 01:35:37 PM »
Stick 'er in the 'fridge.  Immediately after a feeding my sourdough will go in the fridge and lasts just fine there for a week or two.  Remember to take it out a couple hours before you want to bake with it.

Other great ways to burn up excess sourdough:
- Muffins
- Pancakes
- English Muffins
- Pizza crust
- Biscuits

worms

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 367
Re: Sourdough starter question
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2013, 02:00:43 PM »
Stick 'er in the 'fridge.  Immediately after a feeding my sourdough will go in the fridge and lasts just fine there for a week or two.  Remember to take it out a couple hours before you want to bake with it.

Other great ways to burn up excess sourdough:
- Muffins
- Pancakes
- English Muffins
- Pizza crust
- Biscuits

+1 for all of the above!

Mine gets a cup of flour and a cup of water or half a cup of each depending on the level in the jar, gets put out in a cold porch or brought in to the warmth depending on likely use, sometimes gets a treat of some potato water and sometimes just gets some flour if it is looking a bit thin. It thrives on its random lifestyle and never let's me down.

Pancakes are so quick and easy if you have a jar of sourdough starter to use up: "some" starter, "some"  sugar...or syrup, "some" bicarb, "some" butter...or oil and an egg...or two - it's art not science and so what if its not identical to the last time?!