Polluted Starter

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Polluted Starter

Polluted Starter


  • Polluted starter can be revived, even though it may be all dark, super moldy, or whatever (yum!). DO NOT STIR polluted starter. If mold exists, carefully scrape or spoon as much off as you can. Remove a couple of tablespoons of the best part of the starter to a clean, scalded container. If you plan to use the original container for starter again, wash it thoroughly with warm soapy water and carefully scald it inside and out by pooring boiling water into and on it. Be careful to prevent burns! Hot pads or gloves soak up boiling water and hold it on your skin even longer (youch!)! If your starter only qualified as "polluted" due to the inclusion of any of the baking ingredients listed above, it will only be necessary to wash the starter container with warm, soapy water. Scalding never hurts (unless you scald yourself!), but it's more optional in this case. In any case, follow the following directions to restore your starter:

    1) Using 1 of the 2 tablespoons you rescued from the polluted starter, add 1 cups 75 degree water, 1 1/2 cups all-purpose white flour, and proof for exactly 24 hours at 72 to 77 degrees.

    2) Refrigerate for no less than 12 hours, then repeat step 1.

    3) The proof-refrigerate cycle should be repeated at least once. Use your own judgement. If the starter was unusually dark or contained mold, I'd suggest doing it at least 4 or 5 times to be sure the offending organisms are irradicated. If the starter merely contained other baking ingredients, then a single 24 hour proof is probably enough. Each cycle is started by using 1 tablespoon from the last cycle.

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