FOR BREAD KIT INSTRUCTIONS
Proper maintenance of your starter is just as important as the choice of flour. Using fresh stoneground & whole grain flours are best, as it provides more food for your starter to stay active & healthy. You can make a 50/50 blend of white bread flour & wholegrain flour (choose whole rye or spelt or wheat flours) & use it to feed your starter. The wholegrain flour is beneficial for the growth of healthy wild yeast & lactic acid bacterias found in healthy starters.
A good starter contains two types of organisms (wild yeast & lactic acid bacteria), both are at their most active between 22 - 30 degrees Celsius. Making good bread isn’t about how long you’ve had your starter for, but the result of consistently refreshing (feeding) your starter & ensuring it is active before adding into your bread mix.
For more information on different types of flours & where you can purchase them, read about it here.
ROOM TEMPERATURE STORAGE
If you bake bread several times a week, you can keep your starter on the countertop at room temperature. Feed it twice daily or roughly every 12 hours using 1:4:4 ratio - starter: flour: water (e.g 5g starter: 20g flour: 20g water)
It is best not to leave your starter for more than 2-7 days between feeds at room temperature. It will be highly acidic & sometimes have a dark liquid on top, a naturally occurring alcohol called “hooch”.
If this happens, don’t stress! Your starter can still be saved. Just scrape off the discoloured bits at the top & leave a tablespoon of clean starter underneath & start the fermentation process again from Day 4. This will be good to go (ready to add to your bread) after you refresh (feed) 2-3 times.
Fridge storage is best when you only bake on a weekend, once every few weeks. Cold storage slows down your starter so you are not required to feed it twice daily.
If you bake bread once a week, store your starter in the fridge & only refresh it before you bake.
If you bake less often, you’ll still need to refresh your starter at least once every two weeks, even if stored in the fridge.
Note: It is NOT recommended that you put your newly revived/activated (24 hours) starter in the fridge until you have done at least 2 rounds of feeds, making sure your starter is doubling consistently & predictably before putting into cold storage. This ensures there is enough healthy levels of wild yeast & lactic bacteria for it to survive in the fridge.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a starter build?
Most recipes will require you to do a “starter build”, this refers to the feeds you do before you add it to your bread dough. You can either do a starter build using your existing jar (just discard enough starter to leave behind the amount required in the recipe) or build it using a new jar. For example: A recipe may ask you for add 120g of active starter into your bread mix, so to do a starter build, 4-6 hours before mixing your dough, take 50g of active starter & feed it with 50g flour & 50g of water. This will give you enough active starter to use in your recipe & roughly 30g of active starter leftover to keep a continuous starter going.
Extended cold storage below 4 degrees Celsius will destroy a significant number of yeast & bacteria so your starter won’t be as active. Follow these rough guidelines to reviving your starter from the fridge.
Up to 1 week in the fridge
Let your starter come to room temperature before beginning the starter build based on the recipe.
Up to 2 weeks in the fridge
Let your starter come to room temperature then feed it once a 1:4:4 ratio - starter: flour: water (e.g 5g starter: 20g flour: 20g water). Once it has doubled, then do you starter build based on the recipe.
Can I leave my starter in the fridge for a month or longer?
Not recommended. But if you do, you’ll still need to refresh (feed it) at least once every two weeks, even if stored in the fridge. When you want to bake, let your starter come to room temperature then feed it once a 1:4:4 ratio - starter: flour: water (e.g 5g starter: 20g flour: 20g water). Once it has doubled, then do you starter build based on the recipe.
We recommend dehydrating your starter. Simply feed your active starter with 1:1:2 ratio (more water). Once it is bubbly, spread your starter thinly onto some baking paper & let it dry out for a few days until completely dry & flaky. Crush the flakes up and store in clean air tight jar. When you’re ready to start up again - revive your flakes here.