Newbie- starter maintenance and sourdough pizza recipe questions

HI- I purchased the live starter and have two questions:

  1. Starter Storage for long term use- I am to leave in fridge and feed 1x a week or so? that is it? what if I forget to feed for a week? I don’t want to ruin it as there seems to be a shortage of yeast in the US! LOL

  2. the sourdough pizza recipe is a bit confusing. I am to make the levitan from the starter and water/flour from the ingredient qualtities listed in the recipe or are these in addition to the weights used in recipe? I dont want my quantities to be off…

Hi, I keep my starter in the fridge and generally feed it once per week. When I have left it longer, up to 4 weeks it will get very very acidic and one time something went really wrong and it had a horrible smell and I had to use my sourdough starter discard to rebuild my starter. I would just try to feed it weekly and it will be fine.

The starter contains flour and water that is in addition to the flour and water listed in the ingredients.

600g flour (a mix of whole grain and strong white)
390g water
120g levain (40g flour + 40g water + 40g starter)

There is wiggle room for more or less water and flour, depending on what type of flour you use. Your goal is a dough that is soft and supple (not dry and stiff) but dry enough that you can knead it by hand. This could mean adding flour to your countertop if your dough is very sticky.

HI Melissa- can you please tell me what recipe you prefer for sourdough pizza?? also- I have diastolic malt, is this a good addition? (5g?)
There are TOO many recipes and Im stressing about which one to use!

thanks Benito- have you ever dried/ frozen your starter

I prefer the one I wrote :wink:

Yes I have dried and frozen my starter. I spread my starter on parchment and left it out until it was perfectly dry and then broke it up into smaller sheets. I put all the small sheets of dried starter in ziplock bags and they are in my fridge as a back up.

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OMG this is AWESOME! I will let you know how it turns out. pizza friday

I have a question for your recipe. Do I have to make the levitan or can i use 120g of my starter? I got a bit overzealous with the live starter the other day. I have WAY too much right now :slight_smile: if that messes up the recipe its ok I will make the levitan

Use your starter! It’s just a lovely population of lactobacillus and yeast, regardless of how we build it.

Take the time ranges for the rising as a general guide but not a rule. It’s probably getting cliche to say this but: Look at the dough and not the clock. Your kitchen temp, water temp, starter strength etc are unique to you and to each batch of dough you make.

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THANK YOU! Seriouly! I will try not to send a million more questions. LOL bread making is fun but holy moly confusing to a newbee

I am a newbie also, and I have yet to use my starter. I haven’t fed my starter in about 2 weeks, but it looks awesome and smells wonderful! Can I begin to use it as is? Do I have to let it set on the counter since it’s been in fridge? I’m sorry if all this sounds silly, but I am confused and excited to learn! Thanks in advance!

I am not the expert but read you should “feed it” once or twice before use. Read articles on line for using a stored starter. (also you are supposed to toss half of it and add fresh water/flour for “food”)

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I just read something that said I need to throw out everything but 1/2 cup and feed it for a couple days before using it. Thanks!

I also read that I can actually use the “throw away” part for making pancakes or waffles. I’ll have to read up more on that, but I thought I’d share.

@mothereco @Marygmolnar

Here’s a blog post with some starter maintenance info at the end, including links to recipes for using discard.

This blog post compares using cold unfed starter with warmed up and fed starter.

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Yes you can use the “throw away” starter in pancakes, waffles, quick breads and the like. For them the leavening comes from the Baking powder and/or baking soda. The starter has little time to provide leavening even if it’s very active.

If it’s been sitting around for a couple weeks that’s a good idea. Regardless of how it looks it’s not at it’s most active, even if stored in the fridge.
BTW I tend to make bread about every other week. I have 3 starters and use the one that’s the oldest each time. That’s when it gets fed. A day or two before using, if two days that means two or three feedings depending on how fast the starter gets active. There’s always a lot of hooch on the top,which I stir in because it increases the tang.