Feeding Your Sourdough Starter
Next week, I’m going to share with you my favorite sourdough pizza recipe. Dough, sauce, toppings and all! It is good. For the particular recipe I’m going to use, a “fed” starter is required, so I wanted to go over how one would go about feeding sourdough starter. It’s pretty easy!
What is a fed starter? A fed starter has simply been “refreshed” by feeding and allowing to rise. You want to catch it when it has just about doubled, but has not fallen yet and isn’t showing signs of distress (such as hooch, an alcoholic liquid that may rise to the top or be in the middle).
What’s next? Now that you know what a fed starter is, let’s go over how to feed your starter. I typically feed it just enough to have what I need for the recipe I’m going to use, without much extra to spare. I am not a fan of waste, so I typically don’t throw any starter out. If it’s really in need of being thrown out, I will use it to make pancakes or pizza (this pizza is typically a flatter crust, though).
I usually have maybe a tbsp of starter left in my jar, whatever is coating it. Then I’ll add 200 grams of water, mix until milky, and add 200 grams of flour. I’ve kept my starter using other methods before, including 1 cup water to 1 cup flour, 3/4 cup water to 1 cup flour, and 2/3 cup water to 1 cup flour. They all work, and when making a recipe it’s often necessary to adjust based on how you kept your starter. I like to keep my starter on the thicker side because I find it rises a little slower and that’s actually an advantage in my hot house! I don’t want to have to feed it all the time. Anyway, mix the flour in and set to rise. If you are not about to use it, go ahead and stick it in the fridge until you’re ready to!
If you had a good amount of starter, say 1 cup, in your jar, you will either want to use it to make something, throw it away, or use a bigger jar if needed and add at least an additional cup of flour. The more starter is in the jar, the quicker things will happen and therefore it can use up the food more quickly.
To recap, you basically just add the water and mix, then add the flour. It is hard to mess up and sourdough is also very forgiving. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask!