As I mentioned before, when researching sourdough bread making and sourdough starters, there are a lot of variances in directions.
One gal I saw, Wardee, mentioned that she keeps her starter active on her counter by having a small amount of starter to which it’s fed a tablespoon of flour (or two) and a tablespoon of water twice a day. Sometimes three times a day. She said that if you keep a cup or less of starter then a maintenance feeding is all you need. She detailed it specifically in this podcast. She writes…
Only feed it what you need to build it up for when you need it. If you are going to bake something that requires a bit more, feed it a bit more on that occasion. This way, you’ll nearly always have enough, and usually not ever too much. (Of course, adjustment is needed to account for your family’s baking goals.)
What is a maintenance amount? A tablespoon or 2.
Every morning: I feed my starter 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour, plus some water (a bit less than the flour). Same thing each evening.
Every 2nd or 3rd day, I have enough starter to bake our favorite bread — the no-knead artisan einkorn loaf.
And, she has a recipe for No-Knead Einkorn Sourdough Bread which I plan to try as I’d love to use einkorn exclusively for health reasons. Her recipe calls for 1/4 cup (60 grams) of the sourdough starter so I know she at least needs the starter to be of that quantity. After weighing what is in the picture above, it’s about 46 grams.
The sourdough starter maintenance recipe by Ken Forkish is a lot more flour being used than a tablespoon, and is probably for people making multiple loaves of bread a week. Not exactly sure yet.
Lastly, Cultures for Health recommends that whatever amount you are doing, be sure that the weights (using a scale) are equal amounts of weight of the starter, water and flour. For example, 50 grams of starter, 50 grams of water, 50 grams of flour.
Anyway, I was intrigued by this small active sourdough starter thing that Wardee discussed, and decided to try it.
So, I took a tablespoon of my sourdough starter, Big Bertha, that was made with normal organic whole wheat flour (i.e., not einkorn flour), and I put it in a separate small bowl. I added a tablespoon of einkorn all-purpose flour and a tablespoon of spring water (90 degrees F).
I plan to feed it like this twice a day.
Here it is after a few hours… alive and well. Bubbles.
I realized in writing this post that I think I’ll feed the Mini-Starter with the Cultures for Health recommendations and so I’ll continue using small amounts but they’ll be equal in weight. Make sense? If so, tell me, lol, cuz I keep getting confused.
Ahhh, anyway, I’m maintaining two sourdough starters: Big Bertha and Mini-Me as I experiment in the world of sourdough making bread.
Oh, and those crackers I mentioned in the post sharing things you can do with sourdough starter that you’d otherwise throw away? It’s from Cultures for Health… they’re pretty tasty! Greg loves them.
I’ll probably make them once in a while, but as I said before, I’m not looking to eat sourdough products all the time. I just want some SOURDOUGH TOAST!
- Sourdough Bread Attempt #2 with Einkorn Flour. Why Einkorn Flour?
- Sourdough Starter Day 4 Plus Sourdough Pancakes and Sourdough Crackers.
- Sourdough Bread Fail – I’m Baking My First Loaf. Whoops. Not What I Expected.
- Sourdough Thoughts On My Failed Sourdough Bread
- The Secret to Not Eating Too Many Cookies.