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Old 08-03-2009, 12:22 AM   #1
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Sour Dough Starter?

Hi everyone,


I have a question on sour dough starters?


Would this work for a very basic sour dough starter, 1 cup water, 1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon of suger, 1 packet dry yeast to jump start it?

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Old 08-03-2009, 05:36 AM   #2
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None of my sources (books, recipes or experience, including The Bread Baker's Apprentice - a James Beard Cookbook of the Year Award Winner) 1.) use salt or sugar (they are only used in the actual baking process and 2.) use a dry yeast to "jump start." This is because it's the naturally occurring yeast in the air of your location that you want. Any imported yeast in your mixture will "go to war" with your local yeast and slow any progress you had hoped to gain by taking that shortcut in the first place.

Also, the ratio of a starter is 2 parts flour to 1 part water (filtered or bottled water - NO CHLORINE. It will kill or degrade your yeast.) The entire process takes about two weeks on average before it's ready to use. And you have to feed it (add 1 cup of fresh flour and 1/2 cup of water daily after removing an equal amount) for the first few days and then weekly thereafter.

Now, if you want something faster, you can order San Fransisco-style sour dough yeast over the internet and use that immediately, but don't think that you can use that starter for very long, because your local yeast will eventually kill it off and replace it. Yeast is very regional and specific for each micro climate. A distance as short as 20 miles can make a difference in the variety of wild/local yeast that's available.

One more thing - as your starter matures (ages) it will grow stronger and develop a flavor all its own - one that can be really, really good and unique just to you and your area.

Good luck and I wish you well - it's worth the effort!
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Old 08-03-2009, 06:14 AM   #3
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Note:
Day 1 - Add 2 cups flour, 1-1/2 cups water
Day 2-4 - Add 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup water
Weekly thereafter - remove 1 cup of starter and then add 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup water

Don't worry that the dough is stiff at first just as long as the flour is hydrated. It will soften to a sponge within days. You will notice a rise in volume by Day 4. This is your seed culture (starter or also known as a Barm)

I use a ceramic crock with a glazed interior and a loose fitting lid, much like a cookie jar, to hold my starter.

Have fun!
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Old 08-03-2009, 12:35 PM   #4
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Thank you Arky, I will go ahead use 2 cups flour, 1 cup water, 1 dry yeast packet "for a jump starter" and go from there....
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Old 08-03-2009, 12:38 PM   #5
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"Any imported yeast in your mixture will "go to war" with your local yeast and slow any progress you had hoped to gain by taking that shortcut in the first place." -Arky
I agree.
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Old 08-03-2009, 12:42 PM   #6
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Thank you Wyogal, I like your war analogies :)

What if I don't add any starter at all?
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Old 08-03-2009, 12:44 PM   #7
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If you read it carelfully, I was quoting Arky, to remind you that the advice was to NOT add yeast to "jump start" your starter.
It is not my analogy, I was just agreeing with Arky's.
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Old 08-03-2009, 12:49 PM   #8
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I always used a teaspoon of sugar when I fed my sourdough. I don't know if that's a better way, but it sure made good biscuits and pancakes.
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Old 08-03-2009, 02:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constance View Post
I always used a teaspoon of sugar when I fed my sourdough. I don't know if that's a better way, but it sure made good biscuits and pancakes.
There's an old adage, "We are what we eat." Without sugar, the yeast converts the starch in flour into complex acids as well as carbon dioxide. I don't know if yeast converts sugar into those same complex acids (the stuff that makes the dough taste "sour") or not, but I only work my sourdough the same way they do in San Fransisco, and that works good enough for me.

Now, I DO add sugar to the mixture to make things such as waffles, biscuits, etc. but only as I prepare them for the griddle/oven.

But then again, Constance, I'm not going to argue with your success! Whatever works for you! We all have different yeasts around our home.
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Old 08-03-2009, 02:29 PM   #10
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What do you keep your starter in?
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Old 08-03-2009, 02:31 PM   #11
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Arky writes:

"I use a ceramic crock with a glazed interior and a loose fitting lid, much like a cookie jar, to hold my starter."
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Old 08-03-2009, 02:37 PM   #12
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What do you keep your starter in?
A 1/2 gal. crock with a glazed interior and loose fitting lid. I keep it near the top shelf of an open cabinet, so the heat in the kitchen keeps it very active.

Wal-mart used to carry both a ceramic and tinted glass canister with a spring wire fastener that my dad used for his starter, and that seemed to work well as long as you remember to open it at least once a week to feed it and let fresh air in.
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Old 08-03-2009, 03:12 PM   #13
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I always use a one-to-one mixture of water and flour; it's always worked for me. There are a lot of "right" ways.

Sugar will eventually ferment to alcohol. That's why it's not used in the starter.

I use an old crockpot crock and for a lid (with gas release) a cheap, plastic shower cap.
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Old 08-03-2009, 03:24 PM   #14
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Thank you very much everyone for your great tips!


What do I feed the starter with? I had a recipe for a sour dough but it used suger and salt I found off of All recipes – complete resource for recipes and cooking tips website!

Some one said not to use it since it had suger & salt and a jump starter in it.


By the way is it still 72 hours 2 day's with a damp towel over the bowl?
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Old 08-03-2009, 03:27 PM   #15
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Sour dough bread, made with started may also include sugar and salt. Try this site:
Science of Bread: Basic Sourdough Starter Recipe
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Old 08-03-2009, 03:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Wyogal View Post
Sour dough bread, made with started may also include sugar and salt. Try this site:
Science of Bread: Basic Sourdough Starter Recipe
Thank you very very much Wyogal, The main reason for the starter quest is the pizza dough, Some of you who know me like Texas girl knows I make pizza from scratch or nearly from scratch as much as I can.
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Old 08-03-2009, 03:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chile Chef View Post
Thank you very much everyone for your great tips!


What do I feed the starter with? I had a recipe for a sour dough but it used suger and salt I found off of All recipes – complete resource for recipes and cooking tips website!

Some one said not to use it since it had suger & salt and a jump starter in it.

By the way is it still 72 hours 2 day's with a damp towel over the bowl?
Go back to the beginning of this thread (your first comment/question) and read comments #2 & #3 (listed on the right side of the page for each entry) on how to feed your starter, and then reread this thread all of the way through to find out how to store your starter. And by the way, 72 hours is 3 days, not 2.
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Old 08-03-2009, 04:49 PM   #18
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I said no sugar in the starter, not in the bread recipe.
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Old 08-03-2009, 05:41 PM   #19
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Thank you very much Arky & Dave the baker, I've followed the Wyogal linked to me and I didn't put nothing in there but water.

So wish me luck gang!
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:21 PM   #20
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One must distinguish between sourdough starter and the bread or other sourdough products we want to make.

I use those clear glass storage containers with a rubber seal and metal flanges. I leave them open by using the metal sealing moving parts to keep the jar open. I put a shower cap on top of the whole thing to keep bugs out and yet allow oxygen to enter my container.

To create a starter all you do is start with equal parts of rye or wheat flower and spring or bottled water. Rye and wheat have more active wild yeast n them, so it is better to start with one or both of them. Stir the mixture, but don't worry about dissolving all the small stuff, as the fermentation process will do that for you.

You need to feed these micro-organisms daily for about a week, so start of with maybe a 1/4 cup of flour and water. Add equal amounts 2 or 3 times a day for the first 5 days or so. When you feed, stir and thus you are also airating the starter.

The starter should start bubbling and expanding within the first few hours, certainly by a day. That is a good sign you have some wild yeast in there. Do not feed it anything other than the flour and water: no sugar, no salt, no dry yeast, no vinegar. Just don't do it. You want a "pure" sourdough starter.

After a week, you can begin using some of your starter to make stuff. Just remember to keep feeding it weekly. Store it in your frig under the shower cap. When you get this far, post again. We can discuss using this wonderful mixture.

Marty
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