Starter

  • I feed my starter equal weights flour and water: about a quarter cup water and a half cup flour. I do not leave much behind of the original starter. The goal when refreshing your starter is to keep the seed amount as small as you possibly can (to limit acid transfer) while still using enough to achieve peak activity within the desired time frame.
  • My starter lives in a quart ball jar, lightly sealed in the fridge
  • I don’t typically feed my starter except when refilling it after baking
  • I have left my starter unfed in the fridge for up to three months
  • It’s fine if it forms liquid (clear to black) on the top. That’s called hooch and can be poured off or mixed back in
  • It’s probably fine if it dries up– just rejuvenate it with some water.  you can let it dry and then stick it in the freezer to preserve it (maybe).
  • You don’t need very much to repopulate– even a teaspoon or the stuff stuck to the inside of the jar. So if your starter gets moldy or dry on top, just scrape out some of the starter from the bottom.
  • Varying the amount of starter does not do much for the flavor of the loaf– it only changes the amount of time for rising. So the 180g of starter I usually use is to accomplish the usual rise times. You can bake with half that amount (and longer rise times) or twice that amount (shorter rise times)
  • You can fly with the starter in your carry on or checked bag. I’ve done both, usually just putting a tablespoon or so in a zip lock bag.