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Sourdough starter feeding

QuestionsCategory: BreadmakingSourdough starter feeding
Jim Rufledt asked 6 months ago

If I am constantly feeding a 60 gram “starter” with 60 grams flour and 6o gram water and throwing away waste each day, how does the starter mass grow in volume/weight for use?

1 Answers
Boris Staff answered 6 months ago

It all depends how often you bake bread. If every day, then you would need to “cycle” your starter each day. If once a week then once a week is sufficient. During the intervening time you must keep the starter refrigerated to retain the culture viability.  I know the organisms are seen by the uninitiated to be needing to be “fed” daily. In a working bakery that is important but in the home it’s not the case nor practical logistically. You’d waste too much or you’d be quickly inundated with hundreds of kilos of dough as sourdough organism growth is exponential. Refrigeration is the key.
If you use the method of cycling your starter by making a sourdough to add to your final bread dough, then the cycling is done at that time and there’s no need to carry out a separate cycling phase. In detail, this means using using a formula structure that allow you to retain your original starter weight by removing it from your mature sourdough prior to incorporating the sourdough in the final bread dough stage and refrigerating it until it is needed next time.
For an explanation of bread formulas see this earlier post 

Bakers Percentages or Arbitrary Percentages

Good luck and I hope that answers your question and solves your problem.