LTH Home

Sourdough Starter

Sourdough Starter
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
    Page 2 of 2 
  • Post #31 - April 9th, 2014, 7:51 pm
    Post #31 - April 9th, 2014, 7:51 pm Post #31 - April 9th, 2014, 7:51 pm
    Bill/SFNM wrote:
    Pie-love wrote:
    Bill/SFNM wrote:Cathy2,

    Rather than multiple colonies of the same culture, I prefer multiple cultures from unique sources - each with different flavor and leavening profiles.

    Bill/SFNM


    Bill, do you archive these in some way, such as by freezing? I wonder if they maintain their unique natures, or if, during maintenance, they evolve to be more similar.


    I maintain 4 distinct starters in the fridge - all purchased from sourdo.com. Most of these have been used in commercial bakeries for a couple of hundred years and are prized for their flavors, leavening power, and resistance to contamination when properly maintained.

    The conventional wisdom that all cultures eventually devolve, overcome by stronger local strains, applies IMO to weaker, more vulnerable ones. The starters from sourdo.com that I have used for over 7 years have maintained their unique characters. They are "strong like bull".

    Out of an abundance of caution, I never have more than one culture out of the fridge at a time - not out of fear that one may launch an aerial attack on the other, but to avoid a stupid mistake on my part.


    Thanks, interesting! And I love the way you write!
  • Post #32 - April 15th, 2014, 8:12 am
    Post #32 - April 15th, 2014, 8:12 am Post #32 - April 15th, 2014, 8:12 am
    Hi,

    I was beginning to think this sourdough starter wasn't taking hold. The initial phase of keeping it at 100 degrees F to get it rolling and acidulate enough to suppress competition was easy. My oven maintains a steady 100 degrees F for raising bread.

    Maintaining 70 degrees for the maturation of flavor wasn't as easy. To help things along I heated a quart of water to almost boiling in the microwave, then added my jars of sourdough starter with fresh flour and water. Until today, I would see some bubbles demonstrating activity.

    This morning was more demonstrative: there was a puddle of starter on the microwave floor and the temporary wax paper lid screwed into place was domed from yeast gases.

    Starter is supposed to be ready if it is vigorously bubbly after two to four hours. I will feed it and see what happens next.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #33 - April 15th, 2014, 10:19 am
    Post #33 - April 15th, 2014, 10:19 am Post #33 - April 15th, 2014, 10:19 am
    Cathy,

    Congratulations on your new starter! One thing to remember: even though you are observing good yeast activity, the bacteria in the culture, which metabolize yeast waste into delicious acids, may still need more time to reach equilibrium with the yeast. In my experience this can take a few weeks or months depending on the feeding schedule and conditions. Although you can start baking with your culture, the flavor may be unpredictable for a while.
  • Post #34 - April 22nd, 2014, 8:41 am
    Post #34 - April 22nd, 2014, 8:41 am Post #34 - April 22nd, 2014, 8:41 am
    Bill,

    This is an interesting process. So far I have made several loaves of bread and some pizza dough with this starter.

    I found this blog of sourdough starter experiments with bonus pancake recipe at the University of Oregon.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #35 - May 3rd, 2014, 8:09 am
    Post #35 - May 3rd, 2014, 8:09 am Post #35 - May 3rd, 2014, 8:09 am
    Hi all. I'm new to sourdough. I have a starter from Carl's Friends that's about 3 weeks old. Fed approx. 15 times in that period of time. Seems to do well during feedings and first rise but after that, no real rise during second rise. Absolutely no oven spring. I am baking in a preheated dutch oven. 450 covered for 35 min. then 15-18 uncovered for browning. I'm using the Tribune's no-knead recipe from 3-19-14. Any suggestions or ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • Post #36 - May 3rd, 2014, 9:09 am
    Post #36 - May 3rd, 2014, 9:09 am Post #36 - May 3rd, 2014, 9:09 am
    Hmm. How long are you letting it rise for the first rise?

    Mine perked up after I started adding rye flour to it.
    “Assuredly it is a great accomplishment to be a novelist, but it is no mediocre glory to be a cook.” -- Alexandre Dumas

    "I give you Chicago. It is no London and Harvard. It is not Paris and buttermilk. It is American in every chitling and sparerib. It is alive from tail to snout." -- H.L. Mencken
  • Post #37 - May 3rd, 2014, 12:43 pm
    Post #37 - May 3rd, 2014, 12:43 pm Post #37 - May 3rd, 2014, 12:43 pm
    Hi,

    Did you add the quarter teaspoon yeast to your no-knead sourdough bread?

    I pull my starter out of the fridge to warm for 30 minutes before stirring in one cup flour and 3/4 cup water. After about two hours of sitting in the microwave with two cups of freshly boiled water to warm the area, it has bubbled a few inches. FYI - I forgot about it one evening, to find the starter spilling all over the microwave tray. At this point, I measure out what I need to make bread.

    I reheat the water, then put the dough in the microwave. When I return in 12-18 hours, it has expanded more than twice.

    Cook's Illustrated has revised their method for baking no-knead bread:

    I line the Dutch oven with parchment paper (I sprayed with oil), then put in the bread for its second rise and place the top on. My oven has a bread proofing setting at 100 degrees. After two hours, I turn the oven on to 425 F (I use a pyrex Dutch oven, you may want 450 degrees). When it beeps to inform it has reached temperature, I set the timer for an hour.

    After 30 minutes or so (yesterday more like 45 minutes), I remove the lid for the remaining time.

    I like this revised method, because lowering your second rise bread dough into a hot Dutch oven was not fun.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #38 - May 3rd, 2014, 1:34 pm
    Post #38 - May 3rd, 2014, 1:34 pm Post #38 - May 3rd, 2014, 1:34 pm
    mamagotcha- first rise was about 9 1/2 hrs. the dough seemed to be collapsing, so I thought I should give it a few turns to get it going again. Recipe said 12 hrs. Then followed the rest of the recipe. Cathy- Yes, I added the extra yeast. Starter was out of the fridge the day before and was fed twice that day. I have a "warm" setting on my electric stove. I set the starter over the exhaust burner. Thermometer next to it read about 80 deg. Thanks for the CI update , maybe I'll give it a try. Thank all.
  • Post #39 - May 3rd, 2014, 4:27 pm
    Post #39 - May 3rd, 2014, 4:27 pm Post #39 - May 3rd, 2014, 4:27 pm
    Hi,

    Bill/SFNM has far more experience with sourdough, I expect he will chime at some point.

    The time from when I warm and feed my starter, then put it to use is about two hours or less. I have read where some people feed their sourdough, take what they need and feed it again before putting in the refrigerator. Your feeding it twice before using. After you feed it the second time, how long is it before you use it? Is the culture bubbling wildly at collection?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #40 - May 10th, 2014, 10:13 am
    Post #40 - May 10th, 2014, 10:13 am Post #40 - May 10th, 2014, 10:13 am
    My procedure:

    - Remove starter from fridge and allow to come up to room temp
    - Feed and allow to activate. ~ 2 hours for recently used starter. Multiple feedings and longer time required for long-dormant ones
    - Measure out by weight what is needed for current batch
    - Measure out by volume what will go back in fridge
    - Feed it
    - Pout it into storage container that has been thoroughly cleaned with hottest water
    - Allow to activate at room temp for ~ 1 hour
    - Place in fridge

    Perhaps there is a better "best practice", but this is what I have been doing for many years.
  • Post #41 - May 11th, 2014, 4:58 pm
    Post #41 - May 11th, 2014, 4:58 pm Post #41 - May 11th, 2014, 4:58 pm
    Hi, all. Sorry it took so long to get back to this, but work! Kathy, I think I let it feed to long. After the second feeding, I let it sit for approx. 6 hrs. Maybe it was spent, being its new ? Trying another loaf today, but in a loaf pan. We'll see I took some crappy phone pics. of the feeding. I'll try to get them to you guys and hear your opinions. Bill, thanks for jumping in. Sounds like you have this down. I only wish. I feel like I'm m lacking in something as simple as making bread! I build bridges for a living, so bread couldn't possibly be that hard, right. Thanks for the list of steps you use, I need to make it that simple, being a weekend warrior. Thanks all. Stay tuned for other calamities. Ed
  • Post #42 - June 20th, 2014, 11:07 pm
    Post #42 - June 20th, 2014, 11:07 pm Post #42 - June 20th, 2014, 11:07 pm
    Bill/SFNM wrote:My procedure:

    - Remove starter from fridge and allow to come up to room temp
    - Feed and allow to activate. ~ 2 hours for recently used starter. Multiple feedings and longer time required for long-dormant ones
    - Measure out by weight what is needed for current batch
    - Measure out by volume what will go back in fridge
    - Feed it
    - Pout it into storage container that has been thoroughly cleaned with hottest water
    - Allow to activate at room temp for ~ 1 hour
    - Place in fridge

    Perhaps there is a better "best practice", but this is what I have been doing for many years.

    Hi,

    My use of this starter varies from once or twice a week to a recent pause of 10-14 days.

    When I took the starter out of the fridge after almost two weeks, there was a clear liquid on top. I wasn't quite sure what to do with it, I stirred it into the sourdough starter. I fed the starter and divided my starter to share. I left mine on the counter to activate. The other jar went on a two-hour trip. After a few hours, I noticed the activity was lackluster with tiny bubbles and put it back in fridge.

    A day later, I fed it and forgot about it. When I returned, it had bubbled over the jar. I fed it again, then came back a few hours later to make bread dough. It wasn't wildly bubbly, though I went ahead and make the dough.

    This bread didn't quite rise as well as earlier breads. The second rise took longer than expected. To prime things along, I heated some water in the microwave and tucked the dough in there. There still wasn't as much activity as I hoped.

    Long story short, should I have been feeding it during this hiatus? IF yes, how often? Was I wrong to stir this clear liquid on top back into the sourdough?

    Thanks!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #43 - June 20th, 2014, 11:23 pm
    Post #43 - June 20th, 2014, 11:23 pm Post #43 - June 20th, 2014, 11:23 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Long story short, should I have been feeding it during this hiatus? IF yes, how often? Was I wrong to stir this clear liquid on top back into the sourdough?

    Thanks!

    Regards,


    Cathy2,

    The formation of brown liquid on the top, aka "hooch", is a sure sign that the starter has been unfed long enough that it could require several extra feedings to bring back to life. I've left cultures in the fridge without feeding for around 6 months and have had no problem getting them fully active. This is why I think it is important to feed and allow to partially activate before storing in the fridge - a healthy population can better endure dormancy.

    I would not use it for bread until it is absolutely, positively fully active.

    Whether or not to pour off the hooch is controversial. I always mix it back it in.

    Bill
  • Post #44 - August 22nd, 2014, 2:36 pm
    Post #44 - August 22nd, 2014, 2:36 pm Post #44 - August 22nd, 2014, 2:36 pm
    I hate throwing out old starter, so I'm always looking for recipes that use starter. This one specifies unfed starter.
    I used some three-week-old starter for this cracker recipe and they came out great-- toasty and nutty, with a good sour taste.

    http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/ ... ers-recipe

    Jen
  • Post #45 - November 3rd, 2017, 1:58 pm
    Post #45 - November 3rd, 2017, 1:58 pm Post #45 - November 3rd, 2017, 1:58 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:HI,

    Karen Keb Will's recipe will work on a standard issue Dutch oven. I have two Dutch ovens: enamel over caste iron and a pyrex. I use the pyrex for making no knead bread.

    Go ahead and mail your request for this starter.

    Regards,


    I re-animated one I allowed to languish in my fridge for years and I started another. The first time was awful. I didn't have enough understanding of breads and no one bothered to say, hey room temperature for a baker tends to be warm-hot!

    What are your thoughts on the flavor of this bread by Karen on the Chicago Tribune page?
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #46 - November 3rd, 2017, 7:38 pm
    Post #46 - November 3rd, 2017, 7:38 pm Post #46 - November 3rd, 2017, 7:38 pm
    pairs4life wrote:I re-animated one I allowed to languish in my fridge for years and I started another. The first time was awful. I didn't have enough understanding of breads and no one bothered to say, hey room temperature for a baker tends to be warm-hot!

    What are your thoughts on the flavor of this bread by Karen on the Chicago Tribune page?

    I don't have any deep thoughts about the flavor. I used the the starter from the 1840's, which seemed perfectly fine. I wish I could be more detailed, but it was a few years ago.

    My starter was accidentally tossed when the fridge was enthusiastically cleaned. It has been on my to-do list to mail in a new request for the 1840's starter.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #47 - November 4th, 2017, 6:25 am
    Post #47 - November 4th, 2017, 6:25 am Post #47 - November 4th, 2017, 6:25 am
    Cathy2 wrote:
    pairs4life wrote:I re-animated one I allowed to languish in my fridge for years and I started another. The first time was awful. I didn't have enough understanding of breads and no one bothered to say, hey room temperature for a baker tends to be warm-hot!

    What are your thoughts on the flavor of this bread by Karen on the Chicago Tribune page?

    I don't have any deep thoughts about the flavor. I used the the starter from the 1840's, which seemed perfectly fine. I wish I could be more detailed, but it was a few years ago.

    My starter was accidentally tossed when the fridge was enthusiastically cleaned. It has been on my to-do list to mail in a new request for the 1840's starter.

    Regards,
    Cathy2


    No one else cleans fridge here so that probably won’t happen.

    I am also going to request some from Carl’s friends for myself and another friend.

    And that will make 3 starters for me.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #48 - August 9th, 2019, 6:11 am
    Post #48 - August 9th, 2019, 6:11 am Post #48 - August 9th, 2019, 6:11 am
    We know sourdough’s flavour and texture comes from the activity of microscopic bacteria – but where exactly are they coming from?

    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/2019073 ... -sourdough
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more