The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

A new starter is born

mwilson's picture

A new starter is born

Spontaneous fermentation of water soaked raisins (sultanas). 3rd life cycle (refresh) [pic]

Kept @ 27°C for 3 weeks (once a week remake with water and fruit + previous ferment top-up)

Then used to seed a flour and water dough at a concurrent 27°C, kept in a volume of water.

7 days and 7 refreshes @ 1:1 or thereabouts daily (24hrs).

Next 8hrs, then 4hrs x3.

Typical float time = ~45 mins in all cases.

Looking good for a viable vigorous starter.


P_Whitaker's picture

Hello Mike, just wanted to say thanks for all the knowledge sharing / the absolute nuggets of tips in your videos and blogs over the years. I have sucessfully made my first panettones yesterday. I spent some time getting my lievito madre working. I firtst converted my regular starter mid August, but that never worked out, somebody later gifted me some organic grapes, so I started afresh with those, back in maybe early October. To be frank there are a lot of useless guides out there. Interesting to see your approach, e.g. looks like you are really going for investing time in yeast power above, even before converting to a pasta. Compare with the like of : if your fruit water mixture hasn't gone frothy in a day, throw it away!

Appreciated your youtube video of you kneading your madre, compared wth guides that say it has to be as dry as possible, which I found to be unworkable/ unkneadable. Appreciated your comments in blogs over the years urging people to stop messing about with lower temperatures and spend time with it in warmer temperatures, comparable to a bakery in the mediterranean. Compared with guides saying it's okay to feed once a day at cooler temperatures, it might just take a few more days to gain some sort of strength. Like week by week I watched my madre's performance deteriorate. 

I'm generally pleased with how it went, my first dough went more than 4 x volume in 8 hours at 28 deg C overnight. To be honest, it caught me out a bit, I wanted to mix the second after 3 x expansion, to leave enough gas in the tank. The second dough I could tell was a bit too sticky, and I learned that I need to be more comfortable with wetter doughs. The recipe I was using used an excess of liquid to soak the raisins, which, even when drained, resulted in a wet second dough, which I adjusted by adding more flour by feel. I got there in the end and was pleased with it as a first attempt.

Thanks for keeping it real and staying as true to the proper knowledge as possible! Peter

mwilson's picture

Thanks Peter, I'm glad you found my contributions useful.

Indeed there is a lot of information out there, some good, some not so good, so well done for taking the plunge.

I am sure as you continue, you will learn more and more and your results will get better and better.

I like what you said there about keeping it real. I couldn't agree more.