Monday, 9 July 2018

How to maintain a Sourdough Starter

Suddenly You might be the proud owner of a Sourdough starter.
CONGRATS!!! But how do you keep it alive?

This is my “Sally” from San Fransisco

I noticed that many people do not really know how to maintain a sourdough starter. I have been thinking about it myself and had some experiences with it. So i thought i’d like to share it with you.

Since 2 months i have sourdough starters, that’s not a long time.....but it’s long enough to learn more and more about this natural yeast and how it reacts on temperatures and invironment.
The best way to start a sourdough is to have warm temperatures, so the yeast can go wild. The warmer the yeast, the more active it will become. 
If you put it in the fridge, the yeast will slow down activity and go on hold. That is good when it’s really hot, but make sure you get it out of the fridge again and feed it before you are going to make a leaven.

* Learn to watch your yeast......see how it reacts. Treat it like a pet. Feed it regulary (that means at least every 24 hours) if you keep it outside the fridge.

* If you keep it in the fridge >> Watch it every day. see how it rises and falls down again. If it starts to smell really sour and becomes liquid and looking half dead, then it’s really time to feed it. Give it a bit of air every day, so it can breath. In the meanwhile you can smell the sourdough and notice changes. Depending on the temperature of your fridge you can keep it from a week to 2 weeks without feeding.

Don’t wait till there is a brown liquid on top. you could still use it if you throw away the liquid and discard all except for 2 tablespoons and feed as usual.

Now you hear “discard”?

Well yes, if you are new to feeding yeasts, and when you don’t bake every day, the yeast will grow and grow when you feed it, untill you have a huge mass which will not be able to get enough food anymore. The mass would be too large to feed it. That’s why you take a small amount of the yeast (starter) and feed it with new flour and water. it’ becomes the new starter again and will go active and rise again. It’s a circle of feeding, rising, dropping. When you bake more often, part of the yeast will always be used and you will not be forced to throw some out.

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