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sourdough starters

jwoods's picture

sourdough starters (post #63412)

in

Dustin, bleached flour woudn't hurt your starter but contamination will.  To get sourness make a poolish i.e., 50% flour/50% water and a little yeast.  Let it ferment at about 24 hours and see if you like that.  Check out sourdough.faq and Silverton's Breads of La Brea Bakery.  Good luck!  James

deejeh's picture

(post #63412, reply #1 of 13)

There's a lot of discussion on some of the sourdough newsgroups about how to get that tang, and the consensus seems to be that it's not so much the starter, but rather the rise.  If you give the bread a long, cool rise or even refrigerate it overnight, the tang is much more pronounced.


deej

monstersmom1's picture

(post #63412, reply #10 of 13)

Hear, hear!!  I have also found that each additional baking of sourdough, ie proofing the starter and reserving the sponge, adds to the tang.

DeannaS's picture

(post #63412, reply #2 of 13)

Kyle told me that the cooler the rise and the firmer the starter the more tang you'll get. So, from a wet (100% or more hydration) starter, convert to a firm starter, then use long slow rising times.

"As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists." - Joan Dye Gussow

Gretchen's picture

(post #63412, reply #3 of 13)

Hopefully I am taking a Peter Reinhart class in a couple of weeks so I can ask the master.  I may start his barm starter before the class.

Gretchen

Gretchen
mangiaFagioli's picture

(post #63412, reply #4 of 13)

This Peter Reinhart class, is it a Northern California thing?

Gretchen's picture

(post #63412, reply #5 of 13)

Nope, it's a Charlotte, NC thing. He is the dean of our new Johnson&Wales University. 

Gretchen

 


Edited 1/30/2005 10:53 am ET by GRETCHEN

Gretchen
KyleW's picture

(post #63412, reply #7 of 13)

Peter is awesome! He's one of the nicest people I have met and knows a thing or two about bread baking :-)


As to tang, it's really the Battle Between the Acids! Acetic acid v. Lactic acid. Both acids are produced during fermentation. If you want more tang than you want to skew the balance in the direction of acetic acid. It is rumored that acetic acid thirves in a cooler, drier environment. Thus if you keep you mother starter firmer than the 100% hydration that's most common, you may likely end up with more sour sourdough.


Another factor is the age of your starter. The longer your starter is around, the more flavor it will contribute.


ABout flur choice, while it can be easier to begin a starter with whole grain flour, maintaining it with same is not really necessary. Further, baking 100%whole wheat sourdough can be a challenge. Get yourself some unbleached bread flour and you'll be off to the races!



 


There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness". D.Barry


Edited 1/30/2005 1:15 pm ET by KyleW

 

At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals.

jwoods's picture

(post #63412, reply #8 of 13)

Kyle,  see Rheinhardt's explanation of his mild starter on page 79.  He says lactic acid grows in the firm sponge and acetic in the wetter sponge.  This has also been my experience.  James

KyleW's picture

(post #63412, reply #9 of 13)

I think he may have revised his thinking on this. According to Jeffrey Hamelman's new book, Bread, A Baker's book of Techniques and Recipes, on page 354:


 "The development of lactic acid is favored in warm environments and loose dough conditions; acetic acid develops more readily in cool and stiff conditions."


Hamelman is the director of the Baking Education Center at King Arthur FLour in Vermont.


 


There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness". D.Barry

 

At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals.

jwoods's picture

(post #63412, reply #11 of 13)

Kyle,  that makes sense.  I asked the mixer at work today and he said the same thing.  Thanks for setting me straight.  I don't have the book you mentioned or Reinhardt's newest one so I'm behind the times!  James

sandermom's picture

(post #63412, reply #12 of 13)

So I'll probably be sent to bisquick hell but I put a couple of tablespoons of cream of tartar into a six loaf batch and got the tartness with no I'll effects in texture.  Could it be so easy?

Klaatu Barada Nikto

KyleW's picture

(post #63412, reply #13 of 13)

Cheating is always easier :-)  You can also use citric acid aka sour salt.


 


There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness". D.Barry


Edited 2/1/2005 5:59 am ET by KyleW

 

At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals.

assibams's picture

(post #63412, reply #6 of 13)

You are talking wheat sourdough, no? I LOVE buttermilk bread, using buttermilk instead of water for the dough. No other alterations necessary. Results in a nice tangy loaf.


"...never forget that the first syllable of convenience is con."
Bill Bryson

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
Herm Albright