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Commercial 'Sauerteig' / Sourdough culture from "Seitenbacher"

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copyu's picture
copyu

Commercial 'Sauerteig' / Sourdough culture from "Seitenbacher"

Hi all,


I received two sachets of "Seitenbacher Natur Sauerteig" in a parcel from my nephew, who lives in Germany. I had asked him to send me some caustic soda [NaOH—Sodium Hydroxide, food-grade] for pretzels and he included some spelt flour, some whole spelt grains, a couple of varieties of bread spice and the "sourdough" sachets.


Does anyone know how the 'sourdough' mix should be used? [I am *mostly* a sourdough baker...I have a vigorous (2-year-old?) rye starter in the fridge right now...] I suspect the product I have might just be a 'flavor' enhancer...the ingredients don't mention yeast ("Hefe" in German)—only rye meal, water and "sourdough cultures" (pluralized in the original German). To me, "sourdough cultures" would include yeast...Has anyone tried this stuff?


If so, I'd be happy to hear from you!


Thanks,


copyu


PS: The US "Seitenbacher" website lists the product. The web-site appears to be translated almost word-for-word from German into English. There is a warning that "Baking experience is needed to use this product". Yeah! So? I'm not a beginner, but I don't know where to start! I'm tempted to add half a pack to my current starter and the other half to my next loaf. What do you think? Thanks very much! copyu


 

rocketbike's picture
rocketbike

I brought a packet back from a recent trip to Germany, where the Seitenbacher product is available in many supermarkets.  I ignored the instructions and fed mine a couple of times with equal weights of rye flour and water.  The result looks, smells and performs pretty much the same as my home grown rye culture.  I've baked with it only once, mind, so I can't comment on its long term prospects.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, copyu.


I don't know the product you received, but I wonder if it's a dehydrated rye sour. If so, the thing to do with it is to re-hydrate and feed it to make a new sour. In other words, it's a complete rye sour (minus the water), not an additive or flavoring agent.


If the packet is a powder of a tablespoon volume, I would start by mixing it with a tablespoon or two of water and a tablespoon or two of rye flour. Let it come alive, which may take 24 hours or more. Then continue to feed it as you would a new starter you had "captured" yourself, until it looks ready to raise dough and smells right.


Please let us know if you discover more authoritative information about this product and what you end up doing with it.


David

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I was playing with the stuff 3 years ago and decided it was a dormant sourdough that if fed, could be up and running in a few days.  It has a nice flavor.  It is designed to sour any rye you may use and needs a kick of yeast if using right away. 


If you feed it, you can also make a sourdough culture using it.  Just type in the name and you'll get there fast.  I would get it up and running on its own before adding to your present starter if you want to do that.  Its in the beginning of the thread in April/May 2007.  While you're at it: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2928/beauty-sourdough-facial


Mini 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi copyu,


I've bought dried sour preparations on the net before, and they've performed excellently.


All the above posters give great advice, particularly David's idea to give a gradual feed at first.


Hydrate as is your preference for rye sour.   Mine is 100 flour to 167 water, but I know others go stiffer, particularly Hamelman.   Whatever works best for you; only, please let us all know how  it all goes with the reconstituted culture


Best wishes, and thank you for your kind comments on my students' hard graft


Andy

copyu's picture
copyu

I'm now keen to try this stuff.


I 'googled' the "Seitenbacher" name and didn't get any 'hits' related to TFL in the first couple of pages. I suppose I really should have searched TFL before posting, anyway...mea culpa!


I was thinking of trying to 'grow' it, but the basic dough recipe on the package recommends 10g of 'dry yeast' for 500g of flour in addition to the 75g of 'Sauerteig' so that made me a little suspicious. I thought it might just be a little package of typical sour bacterial by-products


Thanks for the link to the sourdough "facial treatment" post, Mini. That 'secret recipe' is still there on the second package! I might have to try that, too. At my age, it couldn't do any harm.  


Thanks again,


copyu

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I went into a German Sauerteig-Forum (www.der-sauerteig.de) where they discussed the same issues.  Their expert opinion was:
Store bought ready made sourdoughs (Fertigsauerteig) were usually no good substitute for a home made starter. They were mostly “souring cultures” (Saeuerungskulturen), containing no yeast, and were not usable for making an own sourdough starter.
The same could be said for the so called rapid sours (Schnellsauer), used by many commercial bakers. That would be an industrial souring tool for bakeries, to make, with the addition of yeast,  a halfway acceptable sourdough bread, but no adequate substitute for sourdough, and, also, not usable to make an own starter.
There were also some powdered sourdough cultures available. Their labels would show whether those were real sourdough starters (with their own sourdough yeasts) that could be fed and kept as mother starter, or, again, only a souring aide.
The Forum listed some products it had tested - the ones recommended were Vitam-R Sauerteig Extrakt (powder) and Walkmuehle Sauerteig (dried).
I also checked on the Seitenbacher product description, but they omitted any details other than adding it to flour together with yeast and other ingredients. Therefore I think this is only what they call a “souring aide”.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

It is a sourdough culture.  Seitenbacher claims such.   It must be dormant, it contains only rye water and sourdough culture.   I know it can be up and running on its own in 36 hours.  I quote their site:



Unser Sauerteig lässt sich auch weiter vermehren, da es richtiger Sauerteig ist, es ist aber schwierig. Man braucht fundiertes Fachwissen.



The translation:  Our sourdough allows itself to be multiplied, because it is a real sourdough, it is difficult.  One needs to know (sourdough) knowledge.  
copyu's picture
copyu

Thanks to everyone's responses, I've been thinking about this a bit more. My conclusions?


I figure there's no way, short of pre-roasting or boiling their rye meal, that they could eliminate ALL the natural yeasts that occur on the rye berries. There wouldn't be any real advantage to that, as far as I can see. Also, there might not be that much yeast to worry about, anyway.


They also recommend refrigeration, or at least keeping the packages in the dark and under 22°C, which is below spring/summer room temperature here. I guess there is a small danger of the packages bursting, perhaps due simply to fermentation. It sounds likely.


Regular feeding would probably work, but there are several ways to 'inoculate' it also. I suppose I could soak German rye Flocken or Spelzweizen, or some California raisins in filtered water and use that for a couple of days' worth of feeding, just to guarantee some 'yeasty' action. 


Finally, if regular feeding doesn't get any action, I could just use the same stirring stick as I use for my established rye starter, without wiping it first. That should really get something happening...


Your thoughts and opinions are much appreciated. Thanks very much to all!


copyu


 


 


 


 


 


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I'd go with using it 1:5:5 (S:W:F) with rye and let it stand 24 hours, then reduce to 20g and feed again  1:2:2  until it starts to rise, blow bubbles or change aroma, then back to 1:5:5.  Feeding every 12 hours.  Just water and flour with no "frills"  75° - 85° F.


Mini

copyu's picture
copyu

You've got the experience with this stuff that I was hoping to find on TFL.


It'll have to wait until next week before I give this a try. I had to work all last weekend and had to change my schedule a bit this week to suit some students of mine...I haven't actually baked anything for 3 weeks. (I guess baking is a bit like riding a bicycle...I hope so!)


I'm working on a blueberry pie at the moment, however. That must make up for the lack of home-baked bread, for sure.


Cheers for the advice, Mini.


copyu

copyu's picture
copyu

you were right (...as usual, no doubt!) Your explanation was perfect.


I modified the schedule a bit...I did 2 feeds, 1:5:5 (S:F:W) 12 hours apart, before reducing the volume. After 12 hours, I was intrigued by the honey-like smell. This continued through the next 10-12 hours. The stuff actually rose in the jar without any real 'yeast-like' activity (visible bubbles, for example) but it was certainly alive! I guess this was bacterial, rather than yeast, action.


I stirred it down and reduced the volume to 20% of original. (I couldn't resist putting a dessertspoonful of the discard into my established starter) and fed it 1:2:2.


[Before that 3rd feeding, I checked the pH with my meter...it was still very acidic...pH 5.1 or so.]


At the 36-hour mark, as predicted, it was a starter. Hurrah! I didn't have the chance to bake with it, then, but I feel confident it would have made a good loaf from a pile of rye flour, a dash of salt and some water...it's been on a regular feeding schedule for about a week and is now languishing in my fridge. I think this method should be on the 'highly recommended' list for getting a starter going quickly; at least a rye bread starter, anyway. [If I weren't a rye bread fanatic, I don't think I'd bother keeping a starter, except for fun and 'educational' purposes...)


Well done, Mini, and thanks a lot for all the help.


Cheers,


copyu


 

rocketbike's picture
rocketbike

I'd been keeping a bit of my Seitenbacher culture in the fridge since May, feeding once a week at 1:1:1 (culture:rye flour:water).  Yesterday I picked it out and made another Hamelman Vermont sourdough with whole wheat.  As before, the result was essentially indistinguishable from my homegrown culture - both in terms of appearance and flavour.


The loaves


The crumb


The way this works - usable immediately out of the packet in place of a 'normal' culture,  with successful subsequent propagation - convinces me the Seitenbacher product is more than a souring aid:  it is a rye culture proper.


R.


 

copyu's picture
copyu

but more important is congratulating you on your outstandingly beautiful baking.


Great job, rocketbike!


Sincerely,


copyu