Barb at King Arthur

February 25, 2023 at 1:43pm

In reply to by Lauren (not verified)

Hi Lauren, ideally you want your starter to show a little more robust rising activity, and for the starter to double in at least 8 hours. Are you feeding twice a day according to our starter maintenance routine? Ordinarily a few days of twice a day feedings at room temperature should improve your starter's rising behavior, but perhaps using warmer water or sticking it in a slightly warmer spot may also help speed things up. You don't have to go for a lot of warmth here, but something more like 75°F might give your starter the boost it needs. You won't have to continually maintain your starter at this temperature, but right now it sounds like it could use a boost. Pay attention to your starter and how it is rising, and try to replenish your starter when it's at its peak of rising, which will help support optimum yeast activity. Especially if you find a warmer spot for your starter to dwell, your starter might also benefit from a slightly different feeding routine. You could try something like 1:4:4 or 1:3:3 (starter:water:flour, by weight). For example, if you shifted to this feeding routine from our regular program, your twice a day feedings would look like this for a 1:3:3 feeding: 38g starter + 113g water + 113g flour. Another way to boost your starter's activity level is to include a small portion of either whole wheat or whole rye flour as part of the flour you feed it. Try 25% whole grain flour along with the all-purpose flour until your starter shows consistent improvement. It's possible your starter needs a little more time to develop to full maturity, but in the meantime I think you could certainly use it in bread recipes that include a little added yeast, like our Rustic Sourdough Bread recipe. 

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