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Converting traditional starter to obtain mild, sweet bread

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DL's picture
DL

Converting traditional starter to obtain mild, sweet bread

There are times I want a non-sour sweet sourdough bread.  So, I convert a cup of my traditional sourdough starter (flour/water) to a Herman (flour/water/sugar/potato--two feedings) on the day I want a sweet mild bread.  Is there any other way to obtain the desire results without converting the starter?

DL

jlw's picture
jlw

When feeding your final starter, make it a little stiffer and mix it into dough within two hours.  This will keep it quite mild and fluffier.  You should also know that it is good to refresh your starter twice before using in the dough.

DL's picture
DL

       Thank you for a response.

       I like to keep a traditional starter going on the counter at room temperature by feeding it twice or three times daily depending on the seasons.  I do know that this keeps my starter milder.  On the day I would like the mild sweet bread; I feed it differently at 7am and  5pm.  I mix the dough up around 9pm (wet dough), proof overnight, and shape in the morning. 

      Do you know why the stiffer starter would yield milder results?  I'll give this a try by reducing the water contents in the starter.

      I noticed a lack of response toward help for sweet mild sourdough on this forum.  Should I post elsewhere?  Is this a forum only for the traditional ‘sour’ sourdough starters?  Any thoughts or suggestion would be appreciated and tried. 

SWA's picture
SWA

I would very much like to know your proportions/method of converting your regular sourdough starter to a sweet starter.


I am currently maintaining a whole wheat starter.


I refresh it twice a day


80 g starter/levain


110 water


140 grams whole wheat flour.


 


The bread is nice (I do about 33% levain - Bakers percentage) but definitely has sour overtones. It is pleasant, but I would also like to be able to make a naturally leavened bread that is completely sweet.


 


So I am interested in trying out your method.


 


Thanks


 


Thanks


SWA

DL's picture
DL

Jlw,

I maintain my starter with equal weight of starter/flour/water.  What ratio would you recommend for the last feeding to obtain a even milder result?

 

Sourdough-guy,

I agree that the manipulation of the starter and proofing times yield a wide range of taste results.  Thanks for the feedback.

sourdough-guy's picture
sourdough-guy

 

 

Sourdough-guy

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Can someone tell me about the use of what you are refering to as sweet starter?  What kinds of bread would be best suited for this starter?

Eric

DL's picture
DL

Eric,    

     Most of the time I bake with my traditional flour/water starter.  But once a week, I like to use a ‘sweet’ starter when making the mild sweet dough for cinnamon rolls, danishes, sweet bagels, sweet pretzels, etc.  So, instead of keeping an Herman starter, I convert my traditional one over on the day I bake sweet breakfast breads. 

    Over the years, I have experimented with my traditional starter by adding more sugar in the dough, shortening proofing times, etc.; but the results never give me the light, mild, sweet sourdough bread that I can obtain by converting the starter.  I was seeking information from fellow bakers who like to bake their own sourdough sweet breakfast breads.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks DL for the clarification. I don't usually bake sweet breads but as we speak I have a sweet cornbread in the oven. That wouldn't be a sourdough candidate but it got me thinking about sweet breads. So if I get this right you convert the starter because you want to adjust the background flavor of the bread. The added starch mellows out the flavor maybe? Thanks again.

Eric

DL's picture
DL

    Eric,

     We also like sweet cornbread, sweet tea……….

     I really don’t understand the how and why; but by changing the feeding ingredients, I can obtain a mild, light, wonderful tasting sourdough that I have yet to reproduce without converting the starter.   However, I have found that to get the results I like; I need to use a counter starter.  This helps keep the sourness to a minimum for the deserts.  The flavor I aim for is between a traditional sourdough bread and a bread made with a Herman starter.  Have you ever tasted bread made with an old Herman starter? 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I can't say I even know what it is.??

Eric

DL's picture
DL

BROTKUNST,

  I don’t know about Germany; but a Herman is common in this area.  I have only known one person who uses the Amish.  Do you use one?

Eric,

  Brotkunst is right.  You could do an internet search on Herman starters and look all day long.  They do not usually come up in a sourdough starters search as they are fed differently and considered a different type of starter.  I don’t particularly like just keeping a Herman as it will not give me the flexibility to cook all the bread recipes my family likes.  I can use my sourdough starter to replace yeast in most recipes.   I have never been able to do this with a sugar/potato/water fed Herman.   So I obtain the best of both for my household by converting.   

BROTKUNST's picture
BROTKUNST

The Hermann Starter is kind of a German 'Sauerteig' version of the 80's. It's somewhat like the Amish Friendship Bread (The Amish poeple are of German origin). The tradition was/is to pass the Hermann on to friends with a letter containing the recipe for a bread or cake. The person passes then a part of the dough as a new Hermann on to the next couple of friends. I think everybody in Germany had at one time or another a Hermann in the house ...

 

BROTKUNST

 

P.S. You may read this link to learn more about the background of the Hermann and the Amish Friendship Bread: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amish_Friendship_Bread

katkrazygrrl's picture
katkrazygrrl

Hi, I'm new here and am interested in using sourdough in sweeter breads too. Could someone point me to a detailed explanation of the Hermann starter and "sweeter, lighter" sourdough recipes? TIA!!!

Kathleen in SE MI

AMABAKER's picture
AMABAKER

Hi, I just found this web-site and I am really excited.  I know that these comments were made in 2007 but I am really trying to find out how to make the Hermann starter.  I long time ago I received a liquid Hermann starter that I kept refrigerated and had to feed once a week.  I feed it with warm water, sugar, and potato flakes.  I loved the flavour of the bread which was of course sweet.  Well needless to say I let my Herman starter die as life as a mother of 3 and work as a nurse took over my life.  Now I find this site, and lo and behold you mention Herman.  PLEASE, if anyone has the recipe to create Herman again, I would be extremely grateful as I really miss it.

Theresa in Somerset, Tx

rcornwall's picture
rcornwall

I have always thougght of the deiiference being a starter which gives the bread a distinctly sour taste and the other does not. A "sweet bread" is just that a bread that is sweetened to some degree as in the case of cinnamon rolls, etc... I have found that I can manipulate my starter ahead of time to adjust that flavor element. That way I can use it for a sweet or savory bread which is either sour or not. I do this by how I feed the starter. If I give it one good feeding and give it a few hours to a day or two to ferment I can maximize the sour. However if I give it a once  a day feeding for a couple of days and keep it under refrigeration I get a less wild (sour) taste accordingly. I have made cinnammon roll with a slightly sour taste and they were delicious too! I think its more a matter of prefrence.

rcornwall

KMIAA's picture
KMIAA

Don't know if this will help you but here is a link you can check out regarding sweet sourdough starter. 


 http://melissaringstaff.blogspot.com/2009/03/q-sweet-sourdough-tutorial.html