Remember in 2020 when everyone got swept up by the dalgona coffee, banana bread, and sourdough starter trends? Like all trends, they gradually died down or were replaced by some other fashionable thing that the internet made viral… but if you’re still culturing your sourdough starter in 2022, it’s safe to say that you’re pretty serious about it! So is Erik Fabian, a passionate home baker who’s been making ‘average’ sourdough loaves for years now. Living in a relatively cooler climate, Fabian struggled with getting his sourdough starter to its healthiest state. A little research eventually led him to realize that it wasn’t his fault – it was the weather. You see, the natural yeasts in your sourdough starter are the most active between 75°F and 82°F. Anywhere outside that range and it’s much harder to get that beautiful ‘oven spring’ you’re looking for in your loaf of bread.

Designers: Erik Fabian & Jennifer Yoko Olson of Sourhouse

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Faced with the eternal dilemma of making mediocre sourdough loaves, Fabian resorted to internet tricks to create the perfect environment for his sourdough. He chucked his starter in the oven, tried warming it with a mug of hot water in the microwave, and even tried keeping it in warmer areas of his house, eventually realizing that none of them provided consistent results. Moreover, heating up an entire oven just to get the right sourdough starter seemed like overkill. To come up with a foolproof solution to this problem, Fabian turned to Jennifer Yoko Olson, industrial designer and fellow baking enthusiast. Together, they designed Goldie, an incubation chamber for your sourdough starter. Designed to hold virtually any container you’d normally culture your starter in, Goldie creates the perfect temperature and environment for your sourdough to grow, giving you an active yeast culture that results in the tastiest sourdough loaves.

Designed to almost look like a glass bell jar for your sourdough starter, Goldie is a nifty electric temperature-controlled chamber that incubates your sourdough to its fullest potential. Much more compact than your oven (and requiring just a fraction of its energy), Goldie elegantly warms your starter, bringing it up to the “Goldilocks Zone” of 75-82ºF – not too hot, not too cold.

The way Goldie works is pretty similar to beverage-heating smart mugs like the Ember. Goldie comes with a platform that creates a heated environment within the glass chamber. Simply place your mason jar (or use the Sourhouse Glass Starter Jar from the makers of Goldie) on the platform and cover it with the glass cloche and Goldie gets to work. Once switched on, Goldie gets to work, warming up the environment for your dough to bring it to its peak active state.

An LED indicator on the platform lets you know if the incubation chamber is too cool or too hot. An auto-warming switch on the Goldie allows it to automatically power on when your room is cool, and switch off if the environment gets too warm. What if your house is just unnaturally warm because the AC broke during the summers? Well, each Goldie comes with a cooling puck that you can store in your freezer. When your starter gets too warm (and Goldie’s LED indicator turns red), just place the puck on top of your starter jar and rest assured that your starter will live for another day! When your starter’s at its happiest ideal state, Goldie’s LED indicator glows gold, letting you know that everything’s just fine.

Each Goldie measures a compact 130mm (5.1 inches) in diameter, and 216mm (or 8.5 inches) in height, fitting comfortably on your kitchen countertop. The chamber itself comfortably fits almost any standard pint-sized jar, and can even squeeze a quart sized mason jar in, but with no headroom for the cooling puck (although Sourhouse’s quart sized Starter Jar was designed to leave enough room for the puck). The incubation chamber runs on incredibly low energy, and powers via USB, allowing you to hook Goldie to a wall outlet, a power bank, or even your laptop! Goldie ships internationally for a discounted price of $99 along with one cooling puck. The Sourhouse glass jars are available as add-ons, and if you want extra cooling pucks, there’s a 3-pack available separately too (just in case you’ve got multiple jars of starter going and you’re planning on firing that oven up!)

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The post Want to grow the perfect Sourdough Starter? This temperature-controlled incubator may help! first appeared on Yanko Design.

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