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Old 09-17-2005, 10:19 AM   #1
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Sourdough Starter

I know that a bigga is not a true sourdough. I also know that good soudough is made by capturing wild yeast that is always in the air. But then again, there are many other spores floating around. I have heard it said that the color of the sourdough is what lets you know whether you have a substance for making bread, or a subtance that will make you ill. Does anyone have mistake proof advise for raising a proper sourdough starter culture, and how to tell if it's a safe organizm to consume.

Any help is appreciated.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

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Old 09-18-2005, 08:31 AM   #2
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...waiting patiently for an educated response as this is a question of mine as well...
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Old 09-18-2005, 08:50 AM   #3
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I never had any luck capturing a wild yeast culture to get a sourdough starter going. I always started off by mixing 1 c each water and flour with 1 T of yeast, and maybe a little honey. Let it sit for four days on the counter. Once it starts to smell like it's going, I would feed it 1 c each milk and flour, then into the frige.
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Old 09-18-2005, 09:01 AM   #4
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I bake all my bread by myself and I do a lot with sour dough. You can tell if the sour dough is good by smelling at it. If it went bad you definately will smell that, it's real sour stinky than. Making a sour dough is quite a sensitive procedure. Sometimes it can happen that the starter doesn't rise , no bubbles or foam developing. Reason could be that the temperature is not ok, or was not steady. Maybe there was an open window ...sour dough is very sensitive.
I'm doing this now for over 6 years and had no problems yet that somebody got ill or something. Not at all.
Just use always clean dishes, I always boil them in water before and after each use.


And here is how to make sour dough (use wheat flour or rye flour dependignon whats your favorite...I like rye or spelt (whole grain) because I don't like white breads too much.

Rye Sour Dough Starter

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Old 09-18-2005, 09:22 AM   #5
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Goodweed,

The color you have to watch out for is pink.
If your starter turns this color, dump it as quick as you can
and sterilize the container it was in.
I've made hundreds of starters and only one went bad on me
All you really need is Whole Wheat Flour (Organic)
And bottled water because Chlorine will kill wild yeast.
You can actually make sourdough bread without using a starter.
That was how it was done 2000 years ago but using a starter speeds
up the process. (Long Story)
Stay away from Websites that try to explain sourdough as some kind
of highly scientific method.
The Gold Miners in Alaska kept their starters in a ceramic beer bottle,
sealed with a cork.
Their starters were kept in bed with them at night to keep them from
being frozen or stolen.
They did'nt care about PH balance or acidity. They just wanted to make
good bread and they did.
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Old 09-18-2005, 04:48 PM   #6
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Goodweed, thanks for the tip about bottled water! Maybe that's why when I tried to capture a wild culture, it wouldn't take.

I've heard about the Alaskan gold miners keeping sourdough in a container against their skin for warmth, but hadn't thought about the security issue. I wonder if they slept with their gold as well?

A ranch cookbook my boss has mentioned that old-time chuckwagon cooks would sleep with their sourdough cultures when it got cold.
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Old 09-18-2005, 05:35 PM   #7
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AllenMI; It wasn't me that said gave the tip about chlorinated water, but it does make sense. I read several internet recipes for sourdough. Each of them were variations on the same theme. Each took plain wheat or rye flour, mixed with equal amounts of either milk or water, and kept them in a draft-free place, covered with a damp towel in a constant 70 to 75 degree temp. All said that it's a combination of wild yeast and bacteria that float naturally in the air that gives sourdough its unique flavor. The yeast eats one type of sugar while the bacterial eat another that is also contained in the flour. Both give their own unique flavors and acids to the sourdough. Both are required.

If the temperature get above 80 degrees, then the temperature is suitable for organizms that we don't want to be injesting. If the temperature is held in the mid-70's then the good critters are being incubated.

I'll be trying to make sourdough starting tomorrow night.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 09-18-2005, 07:16 PM   #8
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Someone gave me a starter long ago, and I kept it going for years. Whenever I fed it, I'd leave it out on the counter overnight, then put it in the fridge in a tupperwear bowl. Sometimes if I didn't use it for a while or forgot to feed it, it would get kind of funky, so I'd just take out about a cup of it, and get a new batch going.
A friend complimented me on my sourdough biscuits once, and I offerred her a starter, but she said she didn't want anything in her refrigerator that she had to feed.

Sourdough makes fabulous pancakes!
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Old 09-18-2005, 08:11 PM   #9
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Woops! Thanks, Goodweed. Tree Toad, thanks for the tip about the water!

I never got good at sourdough biscuits, but then, my idea of biscuits is Bisquick (and I claim to be a "from scratch" type person!). Sourdough pancakes and waffles rock! However, remember that sourdough pancakes (at least the ones I made) are thinner than normal pancakes.
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Old 09-19-2005, 10:18 AM   #10
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Recipes for Sourdough Starter

I got to looking yesterday, and found several interesting recipes for making a starter.

BEER SOURDOUGH STARTER
1 Beer -- flat
1 1/4 cup Flour Mix well, let sit on counter 5-10 days, stir 3 x per day. When it begins to separate into
creamy thick bottom and thin liquid top, it is ready to use in any sourdough recipe.
Yogurt Sourdough Starter 2 tb Natural plain yogurt
1 c Low fat milk
1 c White flour Heat milk to 100F on thermometer. Remove from heat and stir in yogurt.
Pour into scalded glass jar or bowl, cover with plastic and place in a warm location for 18 hrs. Consistency will be like thin yoghurt. Stir in flour until well blended, cover again with plastic and pierce with fork to release gases. Place in a warm draft-free location at an even 85F for 2 days; stir several times each day. It should have a strong sourdough smell and show bubbles. Refrigerate until ready to use. When replenishing starter, add lukewarm milk instead of water.


Sourdough Starter
4 c Lukewarm water
1/4 c Sugar
1 pk Activated dry yeast
5 c Unbleachd flour
1 tb VINEGAR; VERY IMPORTANT
Pour the water into a crock or a wide mouth gallon jar. Pour in the yeast and let it dissolve. Stir. Add vinegar, sugar and flour. Mix. Cover w/cloth and set in a warm place to sour..(2 to 3 days). When activity STOPS, the mixture flattens out. An amber colored liquor comes to the top..And it SMELLS.. THAT'S IT! Mix it up. It will look like whipping cream. Put it in a GLASS JAR with a screw type lid; place in refrigerator. IT WILL KEEP FOR MONTHS. Growing better as it continues to age at a very slow pace. It is super in pancakes; waffles; coffee cake; rolled bisquits; quick drop bisquits; cinnamon rolls; cobbler; BREAD; cake; oatmeal cookies; etc..


Potato Sourdough Starter 2 tb Sugar
1 pk Dry yeast
4 c Flour
4 c -warm water
1 Potato; raw quartered
Dissolve yeast in warm water; and then mix all ingredients in a 1-gallon crock. (Do not use metal container) Cover with a close-fitting lid and let the starter rise until light (12 hours in warm weather, longer in cool weather). Do not let the starter get cold, ever. After using part of the starter, add 1 cup warm water, 2 teaspoons sugar, and enough flour to mix to the starter's original consistency. Add more potato occasionally as food for the yeast, but don't add more yeast. Use daily for best results. Starter improves with age.


SOURDOUGH STARTER
1 quart water -- lukewarm
1 package dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
4 cups flour
Put water in 1/2 gal jar, add yeast and sugar to soften, stir in flour. Cover with a clean cloth. Let rise until mixture is light and slightly aged, about 2 days. Mixture will thin as it stands; add flour as needed. As you use starter, replace with equal amounts of flour and water. Sourdough Starter #3 2 Cups flour 2 1/2 Cups water -- tepid 1/2 Lb red grapes -- stemmed Wrap grapes in one yard washed cheesecloth and crush. Mix flour and water. Add grapes in cheesecloth bag....(Do all this in a crockery bowl or stainless steel pot or bowl. As with any sourdough, do not use aluminum). Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for six days. Stir once a day with wooden spoon. At end of six days remove grapes. Starter is ready to use if you want an especially sour taste....if you prefer a milder starter feed it with one cup flour and one cup water for three day period before using. Refrigerate between feedings, (after mixture has bubbled). Always let starter return to room temperature before feeding....replace amount used in each recipe with like amount of flour and water. Allow starter to bubble before refrigerating.
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