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 Beginner Breads
 2. Creating a Wild-Yeast Starter (Mother)
 returning mother from refrigerator to counter??
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Hostden
6 Posts
Denielle
Brooklyn New York
USA

Posted - Apr 28 2018 :  5:57:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Basically, my mother was almost a month old (made pancakes and baked 3x) and I had to stick the half cup of starter (fed) in the fridge because I was traveling. It did not pass the refrigerator mother test but I was scared of leaving it unattended for 2 days. Is it okay to return her back to the counter to strengthen and retest?

Ashley
287 Posts
Ashley
MOSCOW Idaho
USA

Posted - Apr 29 2018 :  09:06:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Absolutely! Just scoop out 1/2 cup of mother and continue feeding it as a counter mother.

Ashley Ogle
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Hostden
6 Posts
Denielle
Brooklyn New York
USA

Posted - Apr 29 2018 :  1:01:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you Ashley. I was a little worried about having to start over.
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Hostden
6 Posts
Denielle
Brooklyn New York
USA

Posted - May 05 2018 :  2:46:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ashley, my refrigerator test keeps failing. My samples donít double in size and little or no bubbles. I left the jar on the counter for more than 5 hrs in a warm place as recommended and still nothing. My mother though, continues to give rise to breads. Iím ready to transition her. Appreciate any thoughts.
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Ashley
287 Posts
Ashley
MOSCOW Idaho
USA

Posted - May 06 2018 :  09:25:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Denielle, When you test your mother in the jar, does it increase in size at all, or does it remain the same as when you scooped it in? And when you use your mother to bake breads, how long does it take for the loaves to rise?

Ashley Ogle
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Hostden
6 Posts
Denielle
Brooklyn New York
USA

Posted - May 06 2018 :  7:04:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The samples remained the same as when I scooped it in. The jar was left on the kitchen counter with room temp estimated to be around 75 degrees. My first advanced bread (sandwich loaf) from the same of starter took about 2 hrs to rise to the top of the Pyrex dish. It more than doubled in size. Note though, I had to warm the oven a bit and then leave the dough to proof in there because there was little rise after they were left on the counter for about 2hrs. The mother in the glasslock bowl had nice bubbles after the morning feeding.

So Iím wondering...if it was warm enough for the test. Also, I assume too that the mason jar needed to be locked air tight?

Where am I going wrong?
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Ashley
287 Posts
Ashley
MOSCOW Idaho
USA

Posted - May 07 2018 :  10:35:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Since you had to warm your oven and place your batter loaves in the oven in order for them to rise, it sounds like the ambient temperature of your kitchen is a bit too cold. This seems odd because your said that you estimated your room temperature to be around 75. I realize that itís an added cost and takes up space, but this is where the proofer really comes in handy because it takes the guesswork out of the room temperature and creates a more controlled environment. But, since you were able to get your batter breads to rise, and your mother is obviously active with each feeding, what if you tried the same method foor the refrigerator mother readiness test that you used to rise your batter breads? The jar doesnít need to be sealed for the test, in fact if the seal is airtight, as the mother expands and produces gas, there is the risk that the jar could crack or burst from the pressure.

Ashley Ogle
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Hostden
6 Posts
Denielle
Brooklyn New York
USA

Posted - May 07 2018 :  5:45:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks but I should clarify, the batter breads were not placed in the oven to rise. They rose perfectly, in fact my first batter bread overflowed the rectangle pyrex dish because I think I inadvertently left them past the 6-8 limit. It was only the my first advance loaf that was placed in the oven to quicken the rise. I'll retest again but will try for a more controlled enviroment. Maybe I will even think about purchasing a proofer since I plan on baking my bread longterm.
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Ashley
287 Posts
Ashley
MOSCOW Idaho
USA

Posted - May 07 2018 :  10:02:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If your mother is working for advanced breads, then it is probably ready to move to the refrigerator. I do have a small suggestion though. Before transitioning her, try one of the advanced breads that doesnít have added sweeteners first (like batards), Iím curious if the added sugar in the sandwich loaf helped the rise along in your first advanced bread.

Also, this is a bit of a back-pedal from my proofer recommedation earlier today, but since you are so far along and your mother is established (or at least very close to it), before taking the plunge and buying a proofer, flip through the recipes you are likely to make and see if they would benefit from a proofer. For a few of the recipes in the advanced section, the proofer is too small to use for breads like batards, French bread, challah and other larger loaves.

Ashley Ogle
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Hostden
6 Posts
Denielle
Brooklyn New York
USA

Posted - May 14 2018 :  4:49:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Ashley, thanks for all your suggestions. I had another successful bake day with my refrigerator mother, she actually baked the best bread i've made so far. My test still did not give me the results I was expecting though (don't know what i'm doing wrong??). My 2T of mother remained the same after 3hrs even thought it was placed in the same general area at the dough. I took your suggestion and baked a boule. Here are photos of the activated batter and the end product.



Also had a question about the frequency of baking? I am thinking about baking twice per week.. Wed and Sat. Is that recommended? Didn't notice any suggestions in the book around that topic?

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Ashley
287 Posts
Ashley
MOSCOW Idaho
USA

Posted - May 15 2018 :  09:54:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Your bread looks wonderful and you activated batter looks perfectly bubbly and active! I'm not sure why your mother isn't rising in the jar for the test, but as long as your breads are rising, I would continue baking breads.

The book is set up around the idea of Bake Days once per week, but you can certainly bake more than that! If you're going to bake twice per week, you'll want to double the amount you feed your Refrigerator Mother each week (3/4 cup flour and 1/2 cup water). These amounts are equal to what you will take out each week for baking.

Ashley Ogle
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