Starters, Poolish, Sponge, Pre-ferments

Add Levain, Mother sponge, Biga and many other names, basically it is a mixture of flour, yeast and water. That’s it. Really?

Actually, add another ingredient. Time. Maybe Patience too. Without these two, your sponge or starters will not make sense.

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Day 2. This mixture of water and bread flour (Windmill brand) was done on a warm afternoon, this starter has no yeast but i was able to coax some yeast into the mix. I will feed this by throwing some of the starter, or USE THEM to make bread or pancakes etc.,

Feeding the starter again with tap water and bread flour until they bubble up until you get the sourness you like. I will keep the starter in a cool area just because i don’t want it to go bad.

Below are more photos to show you the feeding and alive or refreshed stages. The starter you throw can START another batch so you can give them away if you do not want to maintain extra sponges.

I read somewhere some bakers do keep and maintain at least 3 starters just to make sure they have enough.

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Notice the masking tape. That is the level of the starter when it started. Look at how the volume tripled and the bubbles that appeared. I will use this starter for all kinds of breads but THIS WILL NOT BE SOUR YET, if you are looking to make a sourdough bread, this is too young still.

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I took some and made a new batch in my blue bread bowl and i fed the original starter with water and bread flour. Cover both again. Now after about 8 hours or so, i will use the starter in the blue bowl to make bread, the one in the clear glass jar will be fed and refreshed on and on.

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Cover with cling wrap, poke holes using a cake tester and then cover with a damp cloth. If the temperature is low or cold, then the yeast will multiply slower. Patience. Use only when it becomes bubbly. If you want to keep your starter, place it inside your refrigerator, must be covered.

This is just the basic of the basic, nothing too technical because you can buy books and read online thousands of literature or starters and sourdoughs and believe me, i printed almost a whole ream on them and still, they baffle me to the end.

One thing’s for sure, you are the baker, be the master. As long as you give it your time, flour, water, yeast and salt is all you need to bake a good bread. Everyone can bake. Just get it going.


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