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Sourdough moving experiment.

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Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Sourdough moving experiment.

Many many months ago, in Austria far away, a sourdough starter was supplied from a baker, good and qualified. The Austrian starter was dried and traveled to China where part of it mixed and grew nurtured in the presence of Chinese all purpose flour and later with Austrian Rye flour. Sometimes it sat out to grow, sometimes it sat in a refrigerator, one time even froze but it lived long and prospered and provided many a loaf of bread. Then it was dried. This happened at various times in the last few months.

It might be interesting to compare the starter 6 months ago and now, making two identical loaves and see if the SD has changed in flavor. Two very different environments. A change in starter flours and water not to mention treatment. Will they taste the same? Will they rise the same? Have I changed the characteristics of the starter from the original?

First part of experiment requires re-hydration of dried starters, then feed and stabilize, keeping them separate but treating them alike. Then to use in a recipe and do blind taste tests. Mad scientist has her baggies of dried starter ready and they are February dried starter, April, and August, a control has been made using no starter. 10g of each dried starter was placed into a jar and 40g water was added, after 10minutes 15g of rye flour was stirred in. Each is covered with butter paper and just sitting there waiting for action. One interesting observation...April dried starter smells like cream cheese. (it should be noted that this sample was stored in glass for a long time and the others in plastic baggies...hmmmm)

Comments

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

How was your trip? I can't wait to see your loaves!!! :D

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Good to see you up mini-oven. Did your starter fair well?

Eric

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

starters along the way to lost baggage or customs. Almost forgot a starter on top of the fridge but rescued it in the last minute. (only to become a guinea pig) I have all three here. Chinese Breakfast, Austrian, and Pkg-instant.

I will have to think about this a bit. Bill, got any ideas? Thoughts to add? The kitchen/lab has 22°c and seems stable. It's a relief to have a scales again! Anyone else? Concerns?

Just to help you get your caps on....some thoughts: Should I start out with just two starters? Rye or AP wheat? Bleached or unbleached? Two rye and two wheat. Starters of Austrian 6 months old and now. These will all have to be watched and compared to each other. Just wet and watch or should I make up a time, feed schedule? Also what should be the control?

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Hi MiniOven,

I somehow missed this for a day or two, but I'll be very interested to follow along and see what happens. Good luck with the experiment, MiniOven.

Bill

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Sept 4) Today took 10g of dried starter combined it with 40g water and after a little soak added 15g rye flour. 22°c have 4 jars: FEB, APRIL, AUG, and CONTROL

observations. April smells like cream cheese. :)

Sept 4) 4 hours later: added 10g white flour to each, stirred and went to bed. April still smells like cream cheese. Nice?

Sept 5) 7:30am All starters smell about the same. Took 15g of each starter frothed it up with 45g water and added 15g white flour and 30g rye flour. Covered and waiting for mass wee beastie budding (sex) parties on the dishwasher. Being very careful to use separate spoons etc to prevent cross contamination of starters. Control is runnier and thinner than others.

Sept 5) 21:15 No signs of life. Is 21°c or 70°F too cold for budding parties? Set them on top of the TV for warmth. This is not looking good.... :(

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Sept 6) 7:00am Well this is interesting, 24 hours and what do I see? My control has doubled! And still rising! What does this mean? Smell test (and this before I've had my coffee, hope it doesn't kill me...)

CONTROL: Pungent old wet grain smell, sort of like overripe melon, or maybe rotting pumpkin not sure if it's a good or bad smell but it sure hangs in the nose.
FEB: wet grain but half as strong as control jar.
APRIL: A sweet smell but very faint, almost no smell at all.
AUG: Sweet grain smell, a very faint sour smell.

CONTROL has large bubbles and only one with any active signs of life. (I will look again after my coffee starts to work) The others have leveled off just a little removing all my finger dents on surface. They had a cold night of 20°c (68°F) in the kitchen, water heater is too well insulated to use for warmth. I put them into a cupboard and turned on the counter top light underneath. That should do it. (I could borrow an aquarium heater from my son, put water in a small cool box and float the jars there.) The weather is supposed to get warmer soon.

Something is keeping the dough from rising in the three jars....This is the classical bacteria action going on in the control that gets everyone so excited, right? Now what to do.... take out samples and feed again? or wait for dry starters to show signs of rising?

bwraith's picture
bwraith

MiniOven,

It sure sounds like classical bacteria action. I'm certainly excited about it. I seem to get this more often than most when I start cultures. Always smells bad, and I used to think it delayed the starter from becoming really healthy and ready, but I'm not so sure anymore. I did some side by side startups where the ones that stunk ended up being ready before the ones that didn't. I had acidified the ones that didn't with some ascorbic acid. It's interesting that the control is flaring up but the others aren't. Hopefully, that might be because the cultures in the others acidified it enough to discourage the flare-up. Just a little wishful thinking from afar.

I'd be itching to give them some more flour and water after 24 hours. What's your plan for feeding them?

Bill

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

At 14:00 or 2 o'clock this afternoon:
I stirred and took out 20g starter added 25g water and beat em up real good. Then gave them equal amounts of AP wheat and rye, 10g each to total 20g of flour. 5g more water to flour than before so they aren't so stiff. Put them into clean jars and marked them. They are back into the warm cupboard 28°c or 82°F.

It's been a good 2 hours and nothing obvious is going on. I have noticed that with the heat, the stink in the CONTROL and FEB started to thin out and a grain smell was developing. AUG has just a hint of chamomile.

After feeding, they all smelled the same. Even this far into the experiment it is obvious that they are all not behaving the same. Wonder if this corrects itself.

Just did a rotation of jars and sniff tests. CONTROL is mildly stinky and the rest smell like sweet grain. APRIL still is most mild of scents. No rise. By opening the cupboard it is now 27°c. Maybe I should give them some red lights and drive them into a budding mood... Play a little Berry White and give them a shot of Red Bull.

Mini Oven

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Hi MiniOven,

There is something comfortingly consistent about FEB being the stinky one along with CONTROL, since they might be the ones starting with the least amount of the "right organisms", if there, hopefully, are any left in the dried samples.

That AUGUST might smell more than the others also sounds good in some way.

I don't get much aroma even a couple of hours after feeding. In fact, I usually don't detect a whole lot of aroma, other than a yeasty warm odor, until they've doubled or more.

Good luck. Hopefully an explosion of legitimate activity is just around the corner.

Bill

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Control rising

Control rising

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I'm thinking I might have added just a little sour to my starters, like orange juice, to help them up on their feet.

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

At this point I think it would be a good idea, since they obviously aren't responding. I think that if the starters were still viable they would have woke up by now. You are at the point where in another day or so you could be birthing new starter from the organisms in the flour you are feeding.

Were your dried starters stored in the fridge soon after you dried them, or kept at room temperature? I always keep mine in the fridge.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Sept 7) 14:00 or 2pm) I think that was April, the others were room temperature. I can safely say that after another 24 hours, that they are all the same. Smell the same, look the same and don't rise. AAAHHH! I think you're right in that I'm probably starting new starters from the flour soon. Maybe there are lacto bac there but no yeasts... will continue...

Sept 7) 22:00 A little late with a 24 hour feeding but well I have a life too. Went to feed them before going to bed. Noticed all had a little skin on top, AUG skin had little fuzzy patches just starting. So, moving the skin aside took out 20g from each added 25g water, 1/8 tsp 5% apple vinegar and 20g flour (10g Rye 10g wheat) stirred and placed in clean jars, covered and left. Did notice all smell the same and they're getting a little frothy but not rising. No sour smell yet. (Glad I still have tiny dried samples left, will try it with vinegar water or orange juice from the start and see if it comes out different from these.)

Sept 8) 10:30 Dummy me. Just reading over how I started up dry starters before and did one great big blunder! Should have started from the start with Orange juice. Worked before so why forget now? Guess I'm just not used to starting up starters, So today added a Tablespoon of OJ to each but fear I'm too late and created new starters instead. As if I don't have enough jars in the kitchen, I will keep what here but run some more using the last of the original dried Austrian starter. I could just run over to the bakery but that would be too easy.... die hard that I am... and what point would that prove?

The little package of pre-packaged SD extract is sitting half folded, propped up in the corner by the knife block mocking me. "Why bother?" he asks, "We all know by now that the yeasty beasties are in the flour, it's all in the flour and it's the prep of the water that makes us all unique!"

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Sept 8) 13:00 I had one gram of dried starter left, that's a scant half teaspoon. so out came 4 glasses and in went dried starters and
FEB#2 1g starter 30g Orange Juice 10g AP flour
APRIL#2 (love that sour cream smell) 10g starter 30 OJ 10g AP flour
AUG#2 10g starter 30g OJ 10g AP flour
CONTROL#2 30g OJ 10g AP flour

5 hours later everybody still smells like breakfast except April with her creamy orange and AUG#2 is milder than FEB#2 or CONTROL#2. FEB#2 and CONTROL#2 separate quickly. So that keeps me checking on them and stirring them up often. At 20:00 I added 15g OJ and 10g AP flour each.

The other guys, Group One, the ones that test my patience are foamy/frothy but not really lifting, AUG shows more activity and has risen one centimeter only. Smells besides orange:
FEB sweet&sour yeasty
APRIL mildest of 4, pear yeasty
AUG Pear yeasty
CONTROL Close to FEB in that it is sweet&sour yeasty but a little of the stinky is there too

At 20:00 they got another 15g shot of OJ plus 10g AP flour. I've been stirring them about every 2 hours. If they rise in the next 4 hours, I will give them more flour and thicken them up before I go to bed. --Mini O

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Are you coming over or starting your own blog? My jars started to rattle when they heard they weren't alone.... I got Campari for the extra juice. Oh oh, the beasties want a bedtime story. And they're all gathered around...

"Once upon a time, there was a beastie bud. It had great ambitions of being in bread, but no, not just any bread. It wanted to be part of the September 1st house blessing ceremony conducted by the new Pastor for Family Grandel at Seidelbastweg, that's the lane, house number 4. It planned to be a special and noteworthy event and all the community's influential members would take part in the feast and festivities." Now Beasties, if you want to hear the rest of the story, be fruitful and multiply! --Mini O

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Sept 9) 06:30 A mosquito woke me. Now isn't that to beat! APRIL and AUG have doubled and still on the rise! Both have a ripe pear smell, yep, can't miss it. Last night around 22:00 put 10g rye flour in each. I think they're hungry soon. What to do about FEB? Refresh with the other two?

They seem to like bedtime stories....where was I? "...Ah Yes the prominence! Well the mayor is to officially come, and his assistant, the Butcher along with a good side of beef and the cold cuts! My gosh where would we be without, oh yes and all the members of the women's auxiliary! Herr Grandel volunteers for the Fire Dept. so naturally all the firemen are coming, and the elder Herr Grandel, who reportedly financed half the house and drew up the "master plan," as sure as half the houses in Oberndorf, will be showing off his latest ideas. The choir, an enthusiastic group of teens, organized by the sister-in-law to the younger Frau Grandel and the somewhat related local musicians who call themselves, well, translated means: Foot stomping hell raisers, and their families will all turn out. Dress of the day is Folk, meaning dirndel and lederhosen." Beasties, you know what is required, get to work! --Mini O

bwraith's picture
bwraith

MiniOven,

Sounds like things are heating up over there big time. Quite a colorful gathering.

Is the ripe pear smell something you recognize as unique to this starter? In other words, are you thinking the original starter is recovered, after all?

Bill

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

No, not really, not until I noticed it was written down only yesterday. I've mentioned pears before but not with this starter. Williams pear to be exact is aroma coming off the starters. I still think there might be new starters in the making or something strange going on, like a fight between the beasties. The alpha beastie trying to establish itself. That's why I'm curious to see if the second group mimic the first. The second group will not get any rye until later. I think that is the pear smell. The typical smell of Austrian starter is cream cheese, fruity nutty.

Sept 9) 09:30 Took out 20g starter from each of first group and added 25g OJ, 20g AP flour, 10g rye flour. Slightly stiff.
Group #2 all got a 10g shot of AP flour and get stirred often.
16:30 APRIL and AUG doubled in 7 hours. FEB & CONTROL thick and foamy.
19:30 APRIL and AUG still holding up and still rising.
Group #2 those with starters are foamy and FEB#2 and CONTROL#2 no longer separate. No rising yet. (waiting for Bacteria to raise CONTROL#2 but this time might not happen because of the OJ)

So now what? Keep feeding, even the slow pokes? Instinct says I should let FEB & CONTROL rise first before feeding again. Could make a split and add two more jars, watching them till they mold or make it. _
The left over starter makes great pancakes btw. When I add milk and egg it has a buttermilk effect with the orange juice.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Sept 9) 21:00 Hungry starters fed. Split FEB and CONTROL to see if they would rise. All samples: 20g starter, 30g OJ, 20g AP flour, 10g rye flour sent off to bed no story.
Group#2 All samples: 20g starter, 30g OJ, 15g AP flour

Sept 10) 10:00 Group one: APRIL & AUG clearly risen and fallen, APRIL having risen higher. FEB one cm risen. (Older split samples, FEB 0.5 cm, conclusion: not worth the effort of splitting, better to reduce amounts of starter to feed.)(next feed: 20g starter, 50g water, 40g flour: 30 AP, 10 rye.)

This is interesting: Group #2: FEB#2 and CONTROL#2 are rising just a tiny bit! (this could mean that 1g of starter is just not enough to control bacterial rise) smells: all 4 mild flour and OJ will wait till evening feeding.

Mini O

I've got quite the container of old starter and it reminds me of the noodle dough that is plopped onto a wet board and tilted toward a pot of hot boiling water. With a wet knife or scraper, thin noodles are cut and get all kinds of organic shapes as they set. When they float up, fished out with a slotted spoon. It goes in rounds till all the dough is cooked. Then the noodles are reheated and cheese or other flavorings/toppings are added. Oops too goopy need to add some fresh flour. :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

ended up adding an egg and flour. Fried in butter and added cheese herbs etc, glorified mac & cheese but there is a sour taste. OJ? Mini O

bwraith's picture
bwraith

MiniOven,

The noodles sound like a fun way to use old starter. I'll have to give that a try.

Just to clarify, with the old FEB that was split, was it the one that was fed that ended up rising 1cm or the the one that wasn't fed?

Bill

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Both of them rose. By splitting, the old jar had half as much starter in it. Didn't feed it either. The new split was combined with OJ and flour so it had more fresh food. The old one rose .5 cm the new 1 cm so they rose relative to volume.

Sept 10) 19:00 and there is activity. They are on water now and they are all foamy and slightly increased in volume with APRIL the highest (1/3 increase) then AUG followed by FEB & CONTROL.

Group#2 FEB#2 is leading the way with 1/3 increase and the other 3 are flat lined. Try to explain that one.

Mini O

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Sept 10) Day 6) 22:30 Group One:20g of each starter was fed 50g water 30g AP wheat flour and 10g rye flour.

Sept 11) Day 7) 08:30 They did something and I didn't catch it. FEB,APRIL and AUG show definite signs of rising and falling. Not sure about CONTROL, must feed and observe. APRIL & AUG giving off pear note. 09:00 mixed 20g starter with 50g water, 15g rye, 30g AP wheat. 23°c or 73°F

Sept 10) Day 3 for Group#2 22:30 Noticed that no matter how often FEB#2 is stirred down, rises to 1/3 height. All starters 20g into clean glass plus 30g OJ & 20g AP wheat flour.

Sept 11) Day 4 for Group#2 08:30 FEB#2 rising. Orange Juice is rather hard to smell through, covers up a multitude of other smells. I do pick up just a slight sour-yeasty delight in FEB#2. Stirred all starters. Foam in each but the CONTROL#2 is sort lumpy thick where the others are smooth thick. 10:00 mixed to the jars 15g OJ and 10g AP wheat flour. While stirring, easy to tell APRIL#2, that fresh sour cream note is there. 12:00 FEB#2 APRIL#2 CONTROL#2 rising at equal speed, one cm above "the line"

Mini O

bwraith's picture
bwraith

The cream cheese smell is what you recognize from your old starter. Is it in any of the others besides APRIL#2? Somehow it would've been nice if the youngest, fed without rye, fed w/OJ would be the one easily restored, i.e. AUGUST#2? However, it seems like APRIL has done better than AUGUST. Why would that be?

browndog's picture
browndog

Does that sound like an excellent cheesecake or what?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Something fishy going on here and I think I could have accidently switched their labels on SEPT 10 in the evening. But like the good mad scientist, thought out a trick. I just let them sit and make a stink. Did not feed or refresh them last night and just wanted to see what would happened if they got "ripe." Turns out AUG#2 started smelling like rotten pumpkin and CONTROL#2 started smelling creamy orange. Now doesn't that ring a bell? So this morning I switched their labels back. Hey, I'm only human. I try to be real careful too. Today Group#2 got bigger glasses along with water too. They are all lined up on my window sill above the heater, all about 24°c, looking like ducks on the edge of a rice field.

April was dried and put into a glass jar right away and refrigerated. That is main difference between the other samples, they were in plastic and kept room temp. I did not keep track of how ripe the starters were when I dried them. Maybe that has something to do with it but it sure smells nice and not at all yeasty.

Austrian starter by drying never smelled strong like vinegar. I remember the package starter that I purchased in a foil pouch, later fed as a starter and when drying, smelled like vinegar, the whole house did. Some other starters as well.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

That would make sense. And it looks like it's happening. I feel like my hands have been slapped from the ghost of my science professor for changing labels.
Mini O

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Every time I go on a binge of starter starting, I end up swearing it off. Somehow, I end up passed out at 4AM with starter jars laying all about one more time. I never learn. It's been 45 days since I last started a starter. I would think the old science professor is getting a good laugh at the moment.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Sept 11) 22:00 Decided not to do anything. Group One all rising except CONTROL. Rising very slow. APRIL & AUG followed by FEB. Not really strong risers yet. Let ripen overnight.

Group#2 All frothy and risen 1cm except AUG#2 (suspect switch of labels) Will wait till morning.

Sept 12) 10:30 Looks like Group one has 4 starters. Time to refresh and see. 20g starter 30g water 10g rye and 30g wheat flours. Pressed dough into clean glasses and by 14:00 nothing yet going on.

Group#2 10:00 Smell test: APRIL#2 & CONTROL#2 acting the same Creamy sour orange nutty and similar gooey stir. AUG'2 didn't rise, runny, stinky rotten pumpkin smell. FEB#2 mild orange nutty stirs like APRIL#2 and CON#2 and so I suspect AUG#2 and CONTROL#2 have had labels switched. Changed labels on these two. (And keep this in mind)
11:00 All samples 20g Starter, 30g water, 30g AP wheat flour. 15:00 nothing yet.

Sniff tests this evening will be more conclusive....Wouldn't it be a bummer to get a cold? "Knock on wood"
Mini O

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

poor little thing, coughing in the wee hours of the morning. Let her out and made a quick check on my starters and have to say. This stuff can sure get crazy, meaning drive you crazy. I'd forgotten what a roller coaster ride making a starter can be. I don't know anything anymore. And there are 8 of them here! There is a 6 flags in my kitchen! I'm not even sure the labels were wrong on AUG#2 and CON#2.

Here is what's happening....

Sept 13) 11:00 24 hours later....

FEB, doubled and still rising smell: yeast,sour
APRIL, little more than doubled and falling smell: yeast, sour
AUG, little more than doubled, fell light yellow dried skin on surface (removed) smell: yeast, sour, hint of alcohol
CONTROL, no rise but foamy top smell: wet flour, sour

FEB#2 fine foam, no rise smell: hint of cream cheese, sour
APRIL#2 Foamy, no rise, separating water on top, smell: light sour
AUG#2 foamy, no rise, smell: light sour
CON#2 Rising 1/2 volume light yellow dried skin on top (removed) foamy smell: yeasty, different sour from others - faint orange

Plan to repeat yesterday's feedings.
Mini O

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

Sounds like you are moving in the right direction if you are getting doubling and yeasty smells from some of them. As hard as you have worked on this, you certainly deserve to have some success. Perservere!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Sept 13) 18:30 Group one fed: 20g starter/30g water/10g rye/ 30g AP wheat flour
Group#2 fed: (cut starter in half) 10g starter/20g water/20g AP wheat flour

Sept 14) 08:30
FEB risen 2/3 still rising, smell: yeasty, sour
APRIL doubled, bubbly still rising, smell: pear, yeasty, sour
AUG doubled,bubbly still rising, smell: pear, yeasty, sour
CONTROL flat, dense paste, smell: sour wet flour, (-one would think after 10 days this would be a starter)

FEB#2 flat, smell:sweet nutty
APRIL#2 flat, smell nutty
AUG#2 (CON#2) flat, faint nutty
CONTROL#2 (AUG#2) doubled, smell: PEAR

Will I ever see bread? I will refrigerate Group One starters 2 hours after each one crests and falls. Maybe get them all caught up with each other. I tasted each one (forced myself) and all 8 are sour. That CONTROL#2 (AUG#2) smells like pear just knocked my socks off! I think it's ripe and that 4 days before Group One! 10:00) Added 10g AP flour to all of Group#2. Plan on going to the baker to pick up some fresh sourdough to make comparisons and ask questions.

Mini O

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

But I'm tempted...just getting this together, make some changes, then get back with the results. I picked up a sample from the baker to compare, it's pure rye, so some adjustments must be made. All suggestions welcome. Also because they're sour, I think I've been starving my starters.

Sept 15) 16:00 Took 10g of each and every starter, both groups, and added 30g water and 40g rye flour. Made dough balls, rolled them into rye flour and covered them. Also took 10g of the three foamy but not rising starters of group#2 and combined them with 30g water and 40g AP wheat flour. So now I have 11 starters standing. (There are also 4 in the fridge too.) If you can't follow, raise your hand.

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Mini, when you prepare your starters like that, how long will they keep without more feedings? (both at room temp and in the fridge.)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

With so many of them, I'm loosing track even though I'm writing notes. The ones in the fridge (5°c) seem to hold for at least several days. The ones at room temp 22°c, seem to be in different stages of development. I'm sure that working with them individually, each could be made into a working starter but to do that with so many starters simultaneously is mind boggling. Interesting developments have come out. They are all in a firm stage sitting in little bowls and I can quickly walk by and mark them as they double.

By mixing up all the starters with Rye, one could predict that all the starters fed rye would do well, not so. FEB and AUG (only one turning dark mold like) of the first group failed (although with white flour, both doubled in 12 hours). Also APRIL#2 is a "no show" for rising activity. The most active of starters were the CONTROL of both groups, so something has to be said for starting a new starter. The sample from the baker is still stronger and faster than my fastest starter. I am having double activity in 4 hours From CONTROL, CON#2, and AUG#2.

Now to finish this experiment before I go nuts. I must compare traveled starter to original starter to see if the flavor has changed. I see 4 small loaves (.42kg each) of Vermont Sourdough in the making. I will continue to refresh the starters with rye. I would like these particular 4 to be pure rye starters so I can compare them, get in some good sniffs, and go from there.

Mini O

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Dough ball starters, ryeDough ball starters, rye

Mini O

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Sept 18) I mixed my Levains for my little Vermont Sourdough loaves and there are always surprises! Now, after 10 hours, Aug#2 just fell out of the line up by not rising. I suppose going back and forth with rye or wheat feedings is zapping their little starter beasties into shock! Good! If they can't take my abuse, they can get out of the kitchen! I've tried to be so careful with the labels, always double checking. Little loaves so they all go into the oven together.

I still have 4 starters because Feb#2 insisted on being in the line up. After at least two pure firm rye feedings: FEB#2,CON#2,CONTROL all have an interesting smell after about 6 hours, a slight note of almond but this goes away after it is fully risen (or throughly cracked up and bubbly gooshy in the middle, spread out and smelling sour.) AUSTRIAN smelled sour and nutty at that time and so I conclude it's timing is ahead of the others.

Mixing of the Vermont Sourdough levain (page 153 of Jeffrey Hamelman's "Bread") requires wheat only. They all seem to be rising together and smell about the same, amazing! Kitchen has 21.5°c or 70°F. The recipe has no yeast:

Levain: 38g bread flour, 47g water, 8g starter (12-16 hours)

Final Dough: 187g bread flour, 25g rye flour, 116g water, 85g Levain (autolyse or rest 20-60 min), then mix in 4g salt.

The fun part will be mixing up the dough(s) and keeping times between them very close together.

Mini O

bwraith's picture
bwraith

MiniOven,

I've been enjoying the lab reports and looking forward to finding out how the bread turns out.

Bill

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Back to the Story. While I'm waiting for the little loaves to bulk rise, let's continue with our story....

September first?!? How unfortunate, October first! That's the big day! So much excitement and me upsetting the date. Do please forgive me little beasties. Please greet your future, grandeur awaits the crackling crust of your great pristine efforts, give gas and bring joy to the hearts of the... what that heck? (A deep boom sound from out in the kitchen.) ...The lid just blew off my plastic dough bowl... wow, beasties can really do that! Could that happen with Tupperware?

I should tell stories more often. That noisy dough is a yeasted caraway with sourdough starter scraps. Plan on rolling out into a big circle and cutting it up like a pizza,then make rolls by rolling up the outside edge first.
Egg wash and caraway seeds. Hmmm I better go check....

Mini O

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

Mini, your story has been quite entertaining. I am still following it, albeit a bit confused at times. I don't know how you can keep track of all those starters! How did the breads turn out?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I eliminated starters when I had 12. How anyone can maintain more than 4 is beyond me. I will hang on to one and wash the rest down the pipes. My drains are smelling much better and seem clearer in the last week.
Do we have a plumber amongst us who could test a sourdough starter on kitchen sink pipe residue? Mini O

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

In mixing, had to add about 30g more water to each dough. The dough balls bulk rose in unison, got folded one after another, shaped together and proofed side-by-side on a baking sheet. Slashed identifying patterns and after 10 min got a very good oven spring. Looked orchestrated, a sourdough ballet for 25min at 220°c, removed, left to cool. This morning I laid out each with a cutting board and knife. They all smell the same. Crusts the same. Cut the same. Tasted, well, all tasted the same. So far, I cannot tell one loaf from the other. I will see if flavours develop in the next few days. With the exception of sourdough tartness the bread is rather bland for my tastes.

CONTROL, starter made from scratch using rye flour
FEB#2, starter made with one gram dried starter (almost nothing) starting with orange juice.
CONTROL#2, starter from scratch using orange juice and AP wheat flour (or could very well be AUG#2 10g dry starter using orange juice and AP wheat flour and I switched the label making confusion)
AUSTRIA, refreshed starter obtained from the baker

So what does this all mean? It is interesting that Group#2 had more successful starters. That would be the orange juice lowering the pH to benefit the desired beasties. If the beasties came from a dry starter or simply the flour, one has not been proven better than the other. Almost all the starters could have been made into viable starters, I'm sure of it. But I have neither the time or the patience to attend to so many at once and who needs so many starters? I have shown that the starter dragged off to China still can churn out sourdough tasting the same as original if given the same flour. Does it all come down to the flour?

Mini O

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Hi MiniOven,

I've been enjoying the ongoing adventure story. I feel like I did after the final episode of the Sopranos. What will I do without another installment in these adventures stories? What adventures they have been, of starters back from the dead against all odds and travel to and from far away places.

Your conclusion seems in line with what I've encountered so far with the few starters I've baked with, which is that there is not much difference you can really detect between starters, as long as you revive them to a healthy state before using them.

I do think there were some subtle differences in the flavors of breads made with the SDI starters I was playing with this summer, but not enough to motivate me to maintain more than one. I get to the same point as you do, and toss them in favor of the simplicity of keeping just one.

I did see that Leemid has a couple of starters that are actually fairly different. If I can get over the revulsion from my last starter starting binge, I may see if one of the other SDI starters is more different than the ones I have tried so far.

Bill

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The holidays are over and my firm rye dough ball is there, sitting in the back of the fridge.  The container, when opened (I was waiting for something to jump out) was still clean and looked "in order"  meaning: no mold, alcohol, or discoloration and just a little clear,gel like hootch on bottom.  I've ignored it for over 2 months.   It smells like sourdough but not too strong. (could have left it longer?)  btw this starter is a comination of the experiment winners.  

I cut it open with a knife and spooned out the thick mass in the middle, no larger than a Mozart kuggel (one inch diameter) and proceeded to mix into 50g luke warm water with my fingers. (Sguish therapy) Added a bit of coarse white wheat flour when I realized I should be adding rye.  Now where is that stuff?   Found it, tasted it, not too bad, AH YUCK !  Aftertaste, bitter, like a nut gone bad!  Good I only tasted a pinch....  OK, no rye flour, finished with the wheat to stir up a pancake type consistancy using my mini whip, let it sit on the counter top covered.  Is it still alive?  Also added about 1/4 teaspoon of honey.  If the beasties survive me, they gotta be good.  

Mini O

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Hi MiniOven,

So, the experiment isn't over yet, after all.

In this same vein, I left some white flour starter, stored firm and immature, in the refrigerator of my parent's cabin in Montana. After 6 months, it starter right up, rising by more than double from a 1:4:4 feeding at noon in about 20 hours. I made a levain from that and bread was baked by midnight, only 38 hours from taking it out of the fridge after 6 months.

Also, I have gone crazy with your brass sieve idea. I'm grinding and sifting my own flour from wheat berries using brass sieves and a sieve shaker. Having lots of fun with it. The first couple of tries were whole wheat-like, as I had not sifted it aggressively enough to make whiter flour. However, in a recent attempt, I made flour that is about 1% ash content, and the results are very nice for a country miche I made, which I'll post sometime soon when I have a chance.

Bill