Floyd and Chris,
Thank you for your post. I am working on getting the original Laraburu yeast and bacteria. Can you give me some advice on how to access the yeast and bacteria files and how to get a sample of the yeast and bacteria to start a starter? Are there charges to get specific samples? I assume once I get the bacteria and yeast I add them to warm water and then add some whole wheat flour and let it rise. Can you give me more details and links on how to get the starter, bacteria and yeast to grow and form a new starter with Laraburu yeast and bacteria?
Since my post I have made some good progress on producing a very sour loaf which I can titrate and a loaf that is light but sour. I have a few unique situations. I have diabetes which means that regular white flour is bad for my blood sugar and I cannot use it. The other is that I am having massive dental restoration done and cannot chew hard crusted bread. While old I am not completely feeble and useless. At least I can still make good sourdough.
Another post by carthurjohn describes a common problem with sourdough and his hitting a brick wall. Below are my revisions for a sourdough starter and interesting dark sourdough relatively low glycemic bread.
1. The starter- Many people asked about making a very sour starter. I have one that is very sour and can be even too sour. I read a link about “pineapple starter” in which pineapple juice was used to make a very sour starter. The pineapple juice idea did not appeal to me. They did mention using Apple Cider Vinegar to make a very sour starter. This appealed to me. I use natural Apple Cider Vinegar to start Red wine Vinegar and it has worked well. It has a pure all natural safe lactobacillus culture which grows well. If it is too sour I add more water and flour to make a milder starter.
I took my standard sourdough starter (about 2 cups worth) and added about 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar and then refreshed it with warm water and white whole wheat flour. It started and worked well. I left the starter outside in warm weather (80-90 degrees) for a day or two and it was powerfully strong and I was ready to start using it.
2. Making Bread with a lower glycemic index. Now that I had a sour starter I experimented with trying it out. I worked from a recipe for Laraburu style French bread. Laraburu’s bread was not typically extra sour but a good balance. The recipe calls for adding rye flour to enhance the sourness.
The first step is to autolyse 2 cups warm water, 2 cups whole wheat white flour, 1 cup rye flour and 1 cup buckwheat flour. After letting it sit for thirty to sixty minutes I add 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 cup of the extra sour starter. I mix everything thoroughly by hand and then put a clear plastic film over it and cover it with a towel. I put it outside when the temperature is hot i.e. 80 to 90 degrees. I leave it overnight even if it cools off. By the next evening, it is ready for the next step.
The next step happens the morning of the second day after I started the process. I punch the bread down and add 2 table spoons honey, 1 tablespoon canola oil, 2 tablespoons regular yeast, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 cups of whole wheat white flour. If I want to make it sooner into loaves, I roll it out on a breaded marble top and set up the loaves. I usually get two French loaves and a round loaf.
The next step if I am planning to bake the bread that day is to let it rise at a lower temperature i.e. 70 degrees for anywhere from 1 ½ to 4 or 5 hours until doubled in bulk. I coat it with olive oil and sprinkle sesame seeds on it and bake it at about 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes. The loaf is light, sour and very dark. It is soft and easier to chew than crusty bread cooked with steam. I have tried cooking it over wood in a Weber stove. It was edible but somewhat burnt and heavy.
If I want to wait a day, I simply punch the bread down, add more flour and let it continue to rise. The next day I add the yeast, honey etc. and prepare the loaf as above.
One of the dilemmas with making good sourdough bread is that the bacteria are productive at 90-105 degrees Fahrenheit. Increased sourness needs a warmer rise. This slows or stops the yeast. I use two rises at different temperatures. One at a warm temperature encourages the bacteria and creates a sour flavor. The other at a lower temperature stimulates the yeast. By adding commercial yeast, sugar flour and salt before the final rising I get bread that is both sour and well risen. I debated about whether or not using the commercial yeast was “cheating” and should I or should I not rely on the wild yeast in the starter. My conclusion is that some times for a heavier loaf I go with the wild yeast. Since most of my friends prefer the lighter better risen yeast crust, I usually go with that. The rye and buckwheat flour makes the bread very dark but it also has much lower impact on my blood sugar.
I am interested in any comments or suggestions to improve on this process.