Why the fridge isn't your starter's best friend
The SDH is the cheapest home money can buy and my starter, "Perky" thrives in the new environment for about a month now. All phases of dough development and rise are improved with a more viable starter. I refresh every three days at a temperature of 50 degrees F using a 5:5:1 ratio for refreshment, and ramp it up to 72 degrees F when baking is planned the next day.
I have a B&T proofer but I have 2 questions
1-can you adjust the water temperature, used to feed the starter, to compensate for the different temperatures in your kitchen (not using proofer)?
2-what ratio do you feed your rye starter? I hear it reacts differently than with white flours.
BTW, I always feed with organic flours
Maintaining a balanced, robust starter has been the key to better bread for me. Although I never stored my starter in the fridge, and fed it once a day for four years, the ratio of water to flour were not right for the single daily feeding. I switched to twice a day feedings a couple of months ago, at a ratio of 1:5:5. It's almost always 72-73 degrees in my kitchen. What a difference this has made - the starter is reliable and strong. It's usually ready for mixing in when I need it. Definitely think there is more yeast bacteria. It is less acidic which I kind of miss, but that can be manipulated a bit with fermentation. My loaves are never gummy at all now, they are taller and have "shoulders." Much more consistent bakes.
I'd love to have a Starter Home (my preferred name ;) ) but need a bigger kitchen.
I think it might be helpful to address a few different audiences on maintaining a starter. Your approach in today’s post assumes a weekly bake of something. Some audience members might be monthly bakers (or even fewer times than that, holding my hand up high. Like maybe every few months). I’ve successfully maintained a starter I began when you first posted about tiny starter on CI. So over 3 years now. Using a bunch of your tips, and lots of additional reading, and being a bit of a neglectful starter mom, I’ve put together a strategy that can work for the occasional sourdough baker. And I think those people should be considered as well. Because it is possible to be a successful occasional sourdough baker, and knowing that might be helpful to someone who bakes less frequently, but would like to be part of the sourdough community.
i would love to start this...and use your measurements...do you discard starter each day too...or keep building for a week? thanks.
I have a wine refrigerator which is at a constant 54 degrees. What do you think about keeping the starter in there?
If I travel about once a month, how does this work? Put it in the fridge before I’m gone for a few days? Just stick with storing it in the fridge all the time? Dehydrate it?
Andrew, I wonder if feeding the starter with 95% AP and 5% fresh milled organic rye would help the starter to acclimate to room temperature more quickly than the one month that you observed. I'm thinking that it will because the added nutrients of the rye should restore the starter to health more quickly, and having the flour be organic may mean that there are some beneficial natural organisms on the rye berries. What do you think? I'm going to try it out with my SDH. I'll report back.
Hi Andrew, I like this idea very much. I also keep a desem starter in the fridge, what ratio would you suggest to keep it out/feed it daily ?