Each subsequent bake with my Levain Mother (Sourdough Starter), I am getting improved results. I started off with 100 gms (3.5 ounces) from local French Canadian restaurant (Chartier) made available last December.
In my first bake in January, I only had enough for a 2 day feed and my results were less than stellar. The loaves were heavy and small. I did set aside 550 gms (19) oz. for the next baking time and with each bake (about once a month), the Mother gets stronger and the finished product gets better.
Rather than keep feeding it beyond Day 5 and throwing out large quantities of the Mother, I store about 1100 gms (38 oz.) of fresh Mothter in the fridge, after each bake. 550 gms are for my next bake and the other 550 gms can be used for other things or to give away, if somebody new wants to give it a try. It keeps pretty well in the fridge for about 3-4 weeks. You can not freeze the Mother without taking the vigor out of it, unless you dry it first, a fairly onerous procedure.
When I need more bread, I start a new 5 day feed, bringing the starter out of the fridge a day before needed, so it can re-energize.
This post is about bake #6 and while I had some hits, I had a major miss. The 5 day feed resulted in enough Mother to make (2) baguettes, (4) 1.2 kilo (2.5 pound) loaves and (1) 2.4 kilo (5 pound) mega loaf. Now, this last item was my miss. I do not have a cast iron pan big enough for it, so opted to use a small enamel roaster. Despite oiling the bottom and sides of the roaster, the loaf stuck to the sides and bottom like cement. Ooops. The loaf was still good and was salvaged, but clean up was a problem. Until next time, happy loafing.