Questions & Answers
Before we started the Sourdough Classes, Lenko has been helping and guiding Sourdough enthusiasts via various Facebook communities. After we started our classes though, about a year ago, we keep seeing the same questions and problems people are having while preparing their starters, doughs and bakes.
So here, in this post we will share with you our knowledge and try to answer some of them.
We will split this interesting subject in a few posts as we will try to gather most of the questions through our Facebook groups, emails, and Skype chats (which we organise before each class).
If you have anything you would like to add to the list, please feel free and we would love to answer them too (you are welcome to join our Facebook groups too - Клас с Квас - the Bulgarian group, and Sourdough Kvas Group - in English).
So, here are some of the questions and our answers too.
If your starter is active and in good shape, it just depends how often you will bake.
We bake on a regular basis and our starter lives on the kitchen counter.
We feed it once or twice a day.
If you keep yours in the fridge and bake ones a week, you have to refresh it 2-3 times before you use it in your bakes.
We refresh it 1:1:1.
1 part starter, 1 part flour and 1 part water.
To build the levain, depends on the recipe and the amount of starter you will need.
We build ours over night and use a very small amount of starter to water and flour.
No, This way you won’t refresh it, just keep building up.
We use organic, white bread flour.
But it really depends on the bake. If you will bake 100% rye loaf, a lot of the recipes suggest to use 100% rye starter.
You can turn your white stater into rye starter by feeding it 5-7 times just with rye flour.
We definitely prefer jars to keep our starter in. But if you will use a lot of starter and bake big quantities, plastic containers are better in a way as they are lighter and come in very big sizes.
They don’t break that easily also.
We recommend filtered, bottled or water that has been at room temperature 24 hours. In some parts of the world the water has more chlorine than others and it could affect the taste and the strength of the starter. Bear in mind that the starter gives the flavour to your loaf.
The Starter is happier between 22-28 degrees. Temperature is probably the most important “ingredient “ to achieve an active and well looked after starter.
If the temperature is under 22 degrees the Starter will starve and go into hibernation state, so it will take longer to grow and get active.
If the temperature is above 28 degrees it will peak very quickly and almost cook. This will give much sour taste to your bakes and might affect how it proofs too.
We would suggest that you make a Feeding schedule.
This will make the process much more organised and you won’t forget to refresh and look after your starter, (depending on how often you will bake and where you will be keeping your starter).
We refresh ours twice a day. In the morning and in the evening.
It lives on the kitchen counter as we bake 3-5 times a week, sometimes even every day.
If you decide to bake ones a week, you can keep your starter in the fridge and a day or two before you use it, we would say, start refreshing it. At least 3 times before making the levain. This way it won’t have any acidity, and will be fresh and lively.
Feel free to contact us and we will be very happy to answer them and add them to our list.