Got your hands on some MMB Starter as part of Sourdough September?

 

Here's what to do next if you're not quite sure how best to keep your starter happy and healthy.

WHEN YOU GET HOME

First thing you want to do is refresh your starter. Not only will this keep it healthy, it will also mean you can introduce some new bacteria and organisms from your home environment to really make it your own.

- Take a large spoonful of the starter and put it in a new, clean pot or tub.

- Add 100g tepid water. From the tap is fine, no need for it to be filtered, and mix to create a milky solution.

- Now add 100g white flour. The best you can get your hands on. Mix until you get a smooth, paste and there are no lumps of flour.

-Now leave it on the side to do it's magic. After an hour or so you should start to see some activity. Within 4 hours or so, and depending on the temperature of your water and the room temperate, it should be growing in size.

- If you're not planning on using it straight away pop it into your fridge until you want to make some bread. Make sure you keep repeating the above process every few days to keep it 'alive' until you are ready to use it to bake.

- The old MMB starter can either be discarded, refreshed again for a 'back up' or look online for recipes for things to do with your old starter. It can add a lovely flavour to your baking.

WHEN YOU ARE READY TO BAKE

-Remove your starter from the fridge. If it's been a few days since it's last refresh then refresh it again following the above guidance. 

- Once it has doubled in size and is lovely and bubbly it is ready to build up into a levain to bake with. How to do this depends on your recipe as different recipes use different strengths of levain, but a simple levain recipe would be made up of 10% starter (10% of the total levain required in the recipe) and 50% water, 50% flour. i.e. if your recipe calls for 300g of levain I'd suggest you use 30g of starter, 150g of water and 150g flour. This will also leave you a little bit left over to refresh and pop back in the fridge ready for the next time.

- As with refreshing, mix the starter with the water first, then mix in the flour, leave on the side until it's doubled in size and is nice and bubbly (this can be overnight, using colder water to slow it down and maybe a little less starter) and you are then ready to make your dough!

GOOD LUCK. If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to get in touch.