The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Steve H's picture

Desem Starter

June 12, 2009 - 7:53am -- Steve H

I am considering trying to make Desem bread, and the recipe I've found for it requires 10# of freshly milled whole wheat flour to get it going (maybe 5# according to Mike)  I do have a friend with a (small) mill so I might be able to make this happen but I have two questions:

1.  Does anyone have a Desem starter they would be willing to share? (I wonder if it is dryable/freezable like a normal starter)

littletemchin's picture

Sourdough Starter

May 17, 2009 - 7:49am -- littletemchin

I have a starter and it does not seem to leaven properly. It bubbles just fine when I feed it however whenever I try to bake anything out of it, it just doent leaven properly. Now whenever I try making sourdough bread I have to add small amounts of comercial yeast just to be sure that my bread will rise. Is there anyway to make my starter stronger? If so, how? If anyone has any suggestions I would be very grateful to hear them.

maja z's picture

sourdough starter impairs gluten development perhaps?

May 15, 2009 - 4:24pm -- maja z

I started my own sourdough starter a couple of months ago - simple organic white bread flour and water - and moved it into the fridge a couple of weeks later. It is lovely, lively and just the right level of sourness.
But I have recently started to notice something odd.

Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

I had to restart my sourdough starter due to neglecting it recently and, this time, I've made some interesting observations.

It's much more active this time around. I mean, really, really active. I fed it at around 10 AM and 3.5 hours later it's already doubled.  This is the 8th day and last time it took me 14 days to get to this point.  Also, the starter was taking 6 or so hours to double completely.  The only change from last time was that the house was warmer in the first days of the starter's life.  The 3rd day it was 80 degrees outside, and the 4th it was almost 90. The house got up to 75 the first day and 78 the next.  That would've been the time that the yeast would've started taking over. It seems that having the temperature warmer those two days helped the good stuff kill off the bad stuff without a problem.

The other observation I've made is that a 10 degree temperature fluctuation hasn't really mattered much to my starter. Once it got going, it has been nothing but smooth sailing since.

I can only conclude that if I keep my house between 70 and 80 degrees this summer and feed my starter twice per day that I will have a great one this time around. But the bread will be the real test. Tomorrow's bake will be Susan's Ultimate Sourdough. :)

flour-girl's picture

leftover sourdough starter?

April 13, 2009 - 5:34am -- flour-girl

Hi --

I've been dutifully feeding my Hamelman Liquid Levain Culture every 12 hours for the past week, dumping half of it down the drain each time.

That just seems wrong.

So, now I'm saving the discards in the fridge. I made some pancakes yesterday. While not especially sourdough-y yet, they weren't bad.

I'm discussing what to do with leftover sourdough on Flour Girl today and am wondering what you guys do with the discarded portion before feeding?

jstreed1476's picture

Alton Brown's Proto-Dough?

March 21, 2009 - 9:17pm -- jstreed1476

Anyone here have experience using Alton Brown's "Proto-Dough"?

I have a container of it percolating in the fridge right now. It's been there for about two weeks, actually, unused while I've worked on some other baking projects. Earlier tonight, I mixed in the quarter-inch or so of hooch sitting on top, and it smells fine, I guess, so maybe I'll use it in a simple recipe like Beranbaum's Basic Hearth Bread.


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