Sourdough video - very interesting
Liked this! Nice oven too. Beautiful loaves. Not sure I'd want to spend 15 hours a day making bread but I'd be really good at it if I did.
What is it about bread videos? I'll watch anything.
This one--I got cranky when he claimed the microorganisms colonize the flour/water medium from the air. Are they like Martians that land in your incipient starter? This strikes me as a bit of a romantic notion--at least as to yeast. As I understand it, the LAB can and do come from all different sources, but initially even the LAB come from the flour.
I suspect many people believe the yeast come from the air because a bunch of other people do as well, and they keep reinforcing the idea among themselves. I have a friend who believes this, even after I explained to her that the yeast is already in the flour. I've even told her about experiments done with sterilized flour that strongly point to the yeast already being in the flour. She still thinks they come from the air because almost every single book she's read on fermenting says the yeast come from the local environment. (Of course, she is a bit of an anti-science nutjob, so it's no surprise that experimental evidence doesn't do much to rid her of her misconceptions.)
Yes, it is one of those hard to dispel myths that is perpetrated even by some unscientific sourdough books- like you are supposed to leave the top loose on the sourdough starter jar so you can catch some of those little beasties that are floating in the air. But that aside, I loved the beautiful oven producing some great loaves of bread.
I think the important thing is that he makes real bread. Most people admit that local conditions influence the results, is it the flour, is it the temperature, is it bacteria inhabiting the bakery, is it the hydration of the sourdough culture that is being maintained ...... or is it a combination of all those. If you talk to 10 bakers as to what has the greatest influence on their bread is you will probably get 12 different answers. What is important is the bread and it looks like he is making real bread and there are not many places like that anymore.
This is the internet, where myths tumble like statues after the fall. I should add a wink.
I am fascinated by sourdough. It fascinates me in two distinctly different ways. One way stimulates my senses: the feel of the dough, the crust, the crumb; the color of the crust, its landscape of gringe, ears, blisters, braids; cut or torn its plains, peaks and valleys; and, of course, its smells and flavors.
It's sciences also fascinate me. Baking an artisan loaf of bread relies on as many different sciences as sending humans into space, or to the bottom of the ocean: microbiology among the many.
Which brings us to wild yeast. Among it's many attributes it reproduces in two ways: asexual and sexual. Sexual reproduction involves yeast spores: two kinds that mingle. Both kinds are carried world-wide on the wind. (I think it's yeast's way of expanding the gene pool.) I would be one of the first to say most sourdough starters spring from yeast populating the flour used, but I'd be on safe ground arguing some of the world's sourdough starters began directly from airborne yeast spurs.
The point is: airborne yeast--and air borne bacteria as well--are not a myth. The scientists lable such air bioaerosols.
I didn't mean to assert that yeast are not in the air. What I am saying is a myth is the claim that a starter typically springs to life because yeast from the air falls into the flour and water mixture and starts growing. It's true that can happen in some cases, but the vast majority of the time, it's simply the yeast already in the flour waking up when conditions become favorable.
As JCKing points out, it probably had to travel thought the air at some point, so airborn yeast must have something to do with it. I'm no expert of course, and agree you can't rule out yeast colonizing from the air. I've read, for instance, that one reason starters take off more quickly in a bakery is that there may be a lot of baker's yeast in the air. I do have to say, however, that the general route of air --> wheat in the field --> flour --> starter just seems more plausible to me. The wheat sits in the field for an entire season, giving microorganisms abundant opportunity to colonize. A starter sits on top of the fridge for a week or two, probably with a lid on it most of the time.
Which brings us to wild yeast. Among it's many attributes it reproduces in two ways: asexual and sexual. Sexual reproduction involves yeast spores: two kinds that mingle. Both kinds are carried world-wide on the wind. (I think it's yeast's way of expanding the gene pool.) I would be one of the first to say most sourdough starters spring from yeast populating the flour used, but I'd be on safe ground arguing some of the world's sourdough starters began directly from airborne yeast spores.
We are surrounded be a variety of yeast and bacteria and so are wheat fields, where certain yeasts and bacteria find the wheat stalk friendly for growth. So it could be said that the yeast and bacteria in a sourdough comes from the air. As the wheat is processed and travels to your home, it is exposed to more yeast and bacteria. Yet the word capture seems a little silly as it would be quite difficult to keep the yeast and bacteria out of the sour dough process.
I made this little bread video at home