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Old 03-13-2014, 05:20 PM   #1
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Question Duration of sourdough starter theory?

I've baked 3 loaves of bread for the past 3 weeks. The 3rd loaf was made with the partial starter started originally for the 1st loaf. The 1st loaf had a slight sour taste, the 2nd stronger, and the 3rd very sour..

I wonder if the longer you regenerate your sourdough starter,
1. the sour it gets through time?
2. the looser the structure gets as well?
3. the stronger aroma it gets?

Besides it gets more sour, what others would add to it. Otherwise, why would there be 100 year old sourdough starter existing, if there are not much other benefits than the getting only the sourness of it

Thanks

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Old 08-23-2014, 09:27 AM   #2
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Are you storing your started in the fridge between baking?


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Old 08-23-2014, 10:21 AM   #3
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I've kept some going for 6 months or so without there being too much of a change in taste, texture, etc. Same question as Grannys, are you refrigerating after the initial fermenting period? And are you feeding it per whatever recipe you started out with?

We always either get tired of sourdough bread or I get tired of having to feed it and/or it taking up space in the fridge.
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Old 08-23-2014, 08:50 PM   #4
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ooooo, sourdough! I should get on that.
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Old 08-24-2014, 02:24 PM   #5
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As a native San Franciscan, sourdough got into my blood at an early age. I have kept a sourdough pot in the fridge for years. I'm no expert but there are some basic do's and don'ts. Here are some iron-clad rules for starting and keeping sourdough.

To start, there should only be THREE (3) ingredients: Flour, water, and yeast. Anything else will eventually spoil the pot. To begin, combine one cup of flour, one cup of warm water and one package of dry yeast. Let it sit out on the counter, loosely covered, for about 3 days. Make sure your container is large enough (at least 3 times the volume of the starter mixture) or you may get an overflow as the mixture activates.

When it gets good and rank-smelling, you can refrigerate it in a tightly covered container. It will eventually separate with a clear liquid on the top that is variously known as "liquor," "beewack" or "hooch." Yes it is alcohol and that is what gives the sourdough its distinctive tang. Native Americans used to make sourdough mostly to skim off the alcohol since that is the by-product of yeast consuming the flour.

When you want to use sourdough to make a recipe, bring out the pot, stir in the liquor and remove what you need. NEVER-NEVER put unused sourdough tainted with any other ingredients back into the storage pot!! Add back about as much flour and water as was removed, let it sit out again for 2-3 days to enhance the tang, then put it back into the fridge.

As long as your sourdough pot is not tainted with anything else but flour and water, it will keep indefinitely.

When I want to make primitive sourdough bread, I'll bring out a cup of sourdough, then add the flour and water the recipe calls for, let it sit out and get really rank for about 2-3 days, than add fresh flour to make a workable sponge to knead and let rise. HINT: I never-ever add any baking soda or baking powder to primitive sourdough bread because that alkalinity reduces the acidic tangy sourdough flavor. It's the active sourdough that causes the bread to rise.

A primate sourdough loaf baked in this way is crusty, dense, firm and not a good vehicle for making sandwiches. It is best enjoyed as an accompaniment to a good Italian meal, seafood, or spicy soup/stew wine and cheese. It also makes the world's best toast. When it goes stale (and I don't often have that problem because it is so irresistible that we eat it all up quickly) it makes fantastic French toast and even better salad croutons.

The BEST reference to anything sourdough is contained in this fantastic little book which I believe is out of print. Anyone else ever heard of it? It's my sourdough Bible.

SOURDOUGH JACK'S COOKERY And Other Things: Sourdough Jack Mabee: Amazon.com: Books
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Old 08-24-2014, 02:49 PM   #6
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chiklitmanfan, how often do you need to remove some of the sourdough and feed it, assuming you aren't baking bread every week?
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Old 08-24-2014, 07:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiklitmanfan View Post
Yes it is alcohol and that is what gives the sourdough its distinctive tang.
I believe it is actually the lactic acid that gives the tang.
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Old 08-25-2014, 12:01 PM   #8
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Hi Taxlady: I would let my sourdough pot sit sometimes for weeks in the fridge without freshening it up. It would just go dormant.

And Frank Z: Yep, you're correct on the lactic acid. I usually kept my sourdough pot pretty rank so got probably a larger % of alcohol on the surface. Even stirring the alcohol back in, baking probably evaporates all of it but I have to think alcohol must contribute to some of the tangy flavor in a small way. (much like cooking with wine or spirits?)
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