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Old 03-19-2006, 08:57 AM   #11
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just want everyone to know I'm a dedicated lurker in all these threads on sourdough and starters - never made it - want to learn!

Keep those questions and answers coming - and thanks to all.
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Old 04-16-2006, 08:24 PM   #12
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sourdough

i've used a number of sourdough starters over the years.

- yes, when you add more water and flour after using, they will rise. one thing you can do is to keep it rather thin, so that the bubbles will collapse before they rise too high. also, unless you are planning on using your starter the next day, there's no need to let it sit out over night. once the initial "romance" wears off, you'll probably only end up using it once or twice a month. if you get really tired of sourdough and find that you're not using it even once every month, but want to keep the strain of yeast you have, you can freeze some or spread some out on a cookie sheet or some baking parchment, let it dry, and crumble it up into a ziplock bag. store it in your fridge.
- there's no need to stir it every day, unless you need to keep it from rising too much. add a little more water if that's a problem.
- while water quality and taste can affect your bread, the strain of yeast used in san francisco sourdough is different from the strains used in other sourdough. the type, variety and ratio of wheat(s) used also affect the taste and texture.
- there are packaged starters available for san fransico, yukon, french, etc. which you can probably find on-line. here's a link for starters: http://shop.bakerscatalogue.com/land...earch&ref=pub1
- if you want to be adventurous and start one "wild", there are a couple of ways to go. you can just mix up some flour and water and let it sit out until something starts growing. no need to fan, there are plenty of spores floating around. i've had both interesting and nasty results with this approach. the other approach is to use something that already has benign strains of yeast. i had good results once by finely grating potato skins into the flour/water mix. you could experiment with things like freshly milled corn, grape skins, etc. i've always wanted to try using the murky stuff at the bottom of an unfiltered, microbrewed beer. "wild" strains take quite a while to get going.
- starter are very forgiving to work with. i've let them sit 2 or 3 months and still had them be active. that said, it's a better practice to just pour some off and feed it about once a month, if you're not going to be using it.
- personal favorite: sourdough buckwheat pancakes. make a thin batter using about 1/2 buckwheat flour, add an egg, salt, and sugar. let sit until bubbly (overnight?) and use without further mixing. great with butter and real maple syrup.
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Old 07-24-2006, 10:53 PM   #13
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The idea behind sourdough is to catch the right kind of yeast from the air that gives the bread the distinctive sour flavor and makes it rise as was done before the advent of bakers yeast. The first one I made, i started out with a little whey which came from separated milk. It took a week or so of adding water and flour and letting it ferment to smell pleasantly sour and be very bubbly. You use 3 or 4 cups in a recipe and put one cup in a closed glass jar in the refrigerator. The next time you want to bake, add two cups flour and 2 cups water to the starter and ferment overnight. Then you start over again.

I'm always looking for more whole grain sourdough recipes. If anyone has a good one, appreciate it.
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Old 09-16-2006, 03:58 AM   #14
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Pete, hope you don't mind me popping in on your thread and asking questions.
I've never used a sourdough starter. I have just made the starter and plan on letting it sit for a week before I use it. I do have a question though. After the week is up, can I go ahead and use the starter? So if my recipe calls for 1c sourdough starter, I can just measure it out? Do I feed what's left of the starter then?

Thanks!
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Old 09-17-2006, 01:39 AM   #15
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Your starter should be nice and bubbly and smell pleasantly sour before use. Take one cup out and refrigerate it in a glass jar. The next time you want to use it, just add more flour and water, let it ferment, and then you are ready to go again. Starting a culture can be tricky, there are lots of different kinds of wild yeasts in the air. If it smell bad, you will know the difference. I never had one turn colors, but I have read that you can take a tablespoon out, discard the rest and add more flour and water to it to ferment again. I started a fine culture with crushed grapes and rye flour. You have be sure to stir and add more flour and water everyday for a week or so, and also transfer mixture to a clean container.

Sourdough starter can be stored in the refrigerator for along time without going bad. I had some stored for at least a couple of months and it was fine when I took it out and used it again.

Love to make some whole grain sourdough dinner rolls if anyone has a recipe.
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Old 09-17-2006, 03:17 AM   #16
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Dina, how much flour/water should I add each day? I didn't realize I was supposed to do that.
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Old 09-17-2006, 03:21 AM   #17
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Sourdough

Your sourdough sounds perfect. It certainly is supposed to get big, like that. The more it expands the better. That will give your bread a nice texture.
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Old 09-17-2006, 07:39 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htc
Dina, how much flour/water should I add each day? I didn't realize I was supposed to do that.
there's no need to add even more water and flour every day, whether you're you're using a commercially available package of sourdough yeast or trying to start one from the natural yeasts floating around in your kitchen or those located on the skins of potatoes, fruits, grains, etc., etc.

just start off with enough flour and water to make several cups of batter about the consistency of pancake batter. either use the package of commercial sourdough yeast, or add some potato peelings, organic dried corn, organic apple peels, grape peels, etc. or simply just let it sit out in your kitchen. store-bought sourdough yeast will start working about as soon as any regular yeast. peelings, etc. or pot-luck will take days, maybe 4 or 5 or a week or so. eventually it will start bubbling, all you have to do at that point is to decide if it smalls pleasantly piquant, or simply foul.

if you decide it's ok to use, take out a cup or two to start a dough, and replace enough flour and water to make up what you used. if you're planning on using the starter within a day or two, let it sit out at room temp. over-night. if you won't use it till like next weekend, just put it in the fridge.
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Old 09-17-2006, 10:19 PM   #19
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Talking

[quote=philso]there's no need to add even more water and flour every day, whether you're you're using a commercially available package of sourdough yeast or trying to start one from the natural yeasts floating around in your kitchen or those located on the skins of potatoes, fruits, grains, etc., etc.

just start off with enough flour and water to make several cups of batter about the consistency of pancake batter. either use the package of commercial sourdough yeast, or add some potato peelings, organic dried corn, organic apple peels, grape peels, etc. or simply just let it sit out in your kitchen. store-bought sourdough yeast will start working about as soon as any regular yeast. peelings, etc. or pot-luck will take days, maybe 4 or 5 or a week or so. eventually it will start bubbling, all you have to do at that point is to decide if it smalls pleasantly piquant, or simply foul.

if you decide it's ok to use, take out a cup or two to start a dough, and replace enough flour and water to make up what you used. if you're planning on using the starter within a day or two, let it sit out at room temp. over-night. if you won't use it till like next weekend, just put it in the fridge.

I quess everybody does things differently. I never used a commercial sourdough starter. The first one I did was started with water, whey and white flour. used 2 cups of liquid to 2 cups of flour. I remember now that I had to leave that mixture to start to ferment for a number of days, before touching it. I dont remember now, how many days it was, it may have been about 3, but anyway after it starts to bubble, I needed to check it to make sure that it was smelling sour and not spoiled. After it started to ferment, i stirred it down and transferred it to a clean container along with one cup of flour and one cup of water more. I did this in order to insure that the yeast would have more starch to feed on, rather than on itself which may make it spoil. For two more days I did this, and by then, I had 5 cups of sourdough starter. I took out one cup, put in a jar in the refrigerator, and used the rest to continue with the recipe.

Everybody has a different way of doing things, but this worked for me. I just use the refrigerated starter now, and add 2 cups flour along with 2 cups water, let ferment overnight. remove one cup back in the refrigerator and start again. I get very good results.

I have a rye starter, that I made with crushed grapes, water and rye flour. It fermented and was ready to use in just 3 days because rye seems to ferment much faster than wheat. I saved some starter and reuse it, but I read that many bakers dont bother to save the rye starter because it ferments so quickly.

I made a really good dark seeded rye last week. Does anyone have any recipes for light rolls using a sourdough starter?
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Old 09-18-2006, 01:44 AM   #20
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It's been a couple of days, how do I know if the starter spoiled? It doesn't stink, just smells like yeasty and a bit sour.

Here are a couple pics of it. I'm not sure if you can tell from the pic but it looks like the mixture kind of separated, with the liquid on top and flour on bottom. Is this supposed to do that? Thanks!





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