Barb at King Arthur

March 25, 2018 at 12:27pm

In reply to by StevieG (not verified)

Hi Stevie, we recommend that you feed your starter at least once a week when storing it in the refrigerator, but each feeding requires that you discard part of the starter so that you don't accumulate additional starter, and the maintenance amount stays the same. Besides preventing the starter from taking over the refrigerator, discarding a portion of the starter allows some of the waste products of yeast fermentation to be replaced with fresh food. If you just keep adding additional food, without discarding, the ratio of sourdough "waste" becomes greater and greater and the starter gets out of balance and won't perform well. For our starter a maintenance feeding requires discarding all but 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of starter and feeding it 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of water and 1 scant cup (4 ounces) flour, so the ratio of ingredients by weight is 1:1:1. When doing a maintenance feeding take your starter out of the refrigerator, feed it, and allow it to sit at room temperature for 2-4 hours before returning it to the refrigerator. If you plan to bake bread, it's helpful to feed your starter at room temperature for a day or two prior to baking to allow your starter to return to full vitality. Feed it once in the morning and once in the evening until its rising well and has a nice aroma. "Ripe" starter is starter that has been fed at room temperature and allowed to rise to its highest point. You'll want to add the ripe starter to your recipe right around this peak time or as it's beginning to fall. Barb
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