"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > General Cooking
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-25-2011, 10:08 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Nitesatin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 6
Thumbs up Sourdough starters

I have a few questions about sourdough starters. What is a good starter without using yeast? Do starters have to be refrigerated? How can I get a nice rise on the bread dough? All help would be greatly appreciated!

__________________

__________________
Nitesatin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2011, 10:51 AM   #2
Executive Chef
 
Selkie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,796
A starter IS a yeast mixture! No yeast, no starter.

Now, you can make a quickbread (using chemical leavening - baking powder and/or baking soda) and then add a tablespoon or two of vinegar to give your bread a tang like that of sourdough.

True sourdough flavor comes from a particular kind of yeast that excretes acetic acid as it converts the sugars. So by adding acetic acid (the stuff that makes vinegar sour) you can "kinda-sorta" emulate the same kind of flavor.

Quickbreads need no rising time. They react to the heat of the oven. You'll need to do some research on making the kind of quickbread you're looking for. But you can't convert a yeast bread recipe, so don't try. It's a different kind of creature entirely.
__________________

__________________
"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard
Selkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2011, 11:23 AM   #3
Master Chef
 
FrankZ's Avatar
Site Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Chesapeake Bay
Posts: 9,633
I started my starter with flour and water, no added yeast. The flour carries the critters you wish to cultivate.

A simple way to start is a 50/50 mixture or flour and water by weight. Let it sit loosely covered for 12 hours. Feed it and let it sit another 24 hours.

You might see some activity at this point, but you can feed it again. I would wait another 24 hours for activity then feed. You might get a bit of a unpleasant smell up to now, just keep going. After the next feeding start 12 hour feedings.

When you feed mix equal parts starter, flour and water by weight. You will need to discard some starter or you will overwhelm yourself. I usually do 50g unless I know I will be making bread then I increase to 75g. (50g = 150g mixed, 75g=225g mixed).

Before you use the starter for baking it needs to be able to double itself (at a minimum) in 12 hours (the feed cycle). If it can't raise itself it won't raise dough. If your starter is sluggish or you want to help jump start the feeding you can take a bit of rye flour and substitute it in for some of the flour. For instance 12g rye + 38g white flour to add to 50g water.

When you mix you don't need to get it smooth, lumpy is fine. Make sure the container is clean, you are cultivating bacterias and yeasts, you don't want the wrong ones in there.

You can refrigerate the starter but I wouldn't for a while, you want to give it time to get happy and find its way. The 4-6 weeks it is best to just feed on a 12 hour cycle and keep it in a warm place (around 80F).
__________________
"First you start with a pound of bologna..."
-My Grandmother on how to make ham salad.
FrankZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2011, 11:25 AM   #4
Assistant Cook
 
Nitesatin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 6
Thank you Selkie. I do realize it is a yeast. I apologize for now making myself clear. I meant to say without "commercial" yeast.
__________________
Nitesatin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2011, 11:30 AM   #5
Assistant Cook
 
Nitesatin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 6
FrankZ... the starter I have uses sugar also to feed. Is it unnecessary? I guess I'm confused. I make 4-8 loaves at a time. Why throw out part of the starter after you feed it?
__________________
Nitesatin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2011, 11:34 AM   #6
Executive Chef
 
Selkie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,796
Oh, in that case I use a 50/50 mixture by volume of flour and water in a ceramic bowl with a lid. I let it set for three days, stirring once each day with a wooden spoon.

By the third day your starter should be far enough along to refrigerate. I prefer not to refrigerate it until the third day in order to give it a chance to really bloom and begin maturing. It should be OK to use after about 2 weeks.

Don't expect a San Fransisco-style sourdough. It's NOT going to happen. Wild yeast changes flavors in as little as 30 miles, so the entire world has different varieties with slightly different flavors depending on where you are. That isn't to say it won't be good, but just not the same as S.F. sourdough.

Personally, I use Hobson Mills yeast for my starter (otherwise known as a poolish or biga - look it up on Wikipedea) after 3 days in a 50/50 mixture of flour and water. I like their yeast flavor and I don't risk the starter from "turning" (going bad).
__________________
"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard
Selkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2011, 12:03 PM   #7
Master Chef
 
FrankZ's Avatar
Site Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Chesapeake Bay
Posts: 9,633
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitesatin View Post
FrankZ... the starter I have uses sugar also to feed. Is it unnecessary? I guess I'm confused. I make 4-8 loaves at a time. Why throw out part of the starter after you feed it?
I use no sugar in my starter.

You do discards because if you follow the formula 1:1:1 by weight you would fill a swimming pool in 2 weeks.

I use 150g of starter when I make bread (usually) and that is a total of 960g flour (2 big loaves). You should deduct the flour in the starter from your recipe, in my case 75g of flour.

Selkie,

There is a lot of debate on the yeast and bacteria that you end up with, other than it is all the same species. Our house has a fairly good HEPA filter and I started mine in the middle of winter (the lowest airborne yeast time of year). It is more likely my beasties came from the flour than the air. I used a plastic container with lid that pops on, further reducing the likelihood of outside beasties getting in. When I fed it a little shot of rye it perked up like nobodies's business. Rye is whole ground and contains a larger amount of beasties than white flour does.
__________________
"First you start with a pound of bologna..."
-My Grandmother on how to make ham salad.
FrankZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2011, 12:24 PM   #8
Executive Chef
 
Selkie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,796
FrankZ, I believe all of the whole grains (rye, bran, whole wheat, etc.) carry enough of the "beasties" to get a good starter to bubbling.

Although I don't use a Hepa filter, one of the major reasons I use a particular packaged yeast (after a lot of experimenting) is I want to produce a consistent product and not leave the wild yeasts, whether in the air or on the grain, to chance. But that's me. And neither do I want to have to fuss with a starter so far in advance. Three days is about as far ahead as I care to plan or think about!
__________________
"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard
Selkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2011, 12:44 PM   #9
Master Chef
 
FrankZ's Avatar
Site Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Chesapeake Bay
Posts: 9,633
I usually need 3 feedings to be ready to bake. I take the starter out at midnight and feed, then feedings at noon and midnight and ready to make dough around 8AM (I find Grumpy peaks around 6-8 hours after a feed). I plan about 10-12 hours for rising and then I can bake.

So all in all it is about 48 hours of time. Of course as it is "naturally leavened" I am on its schedule, not the other way around.

I also find the flavor fairly consistent as long as I start the process with a peaked starter (have to keep an eye on it).

I keep meaning to get around to doing bread with a poolish or biga, just haven't.
__________________
"First you start with a pound of bologna..."
-My Grandmother on how to make ham salad.
FrankZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2011, 01:02 PM   #10
Executive Chef
 
Selkie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,796
It's easy to become slaves to our bread!
__________________

__________________
"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard
Selkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.