The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

starter

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umbreadman's picture
umbreadman




 

This is my High Extraction loaf I made the other day. I'm finally understanding the idea of a full bakeand cooling before eating. In the past I'd think it was done baking, only to find the loaf soft and lacking in crust shortly afterwards. This one though had a nice crunchy crust (a little thick onthe bottom) with a solid, hearty crumb. Chewy, not too dense, and definately not too airy to be lacking in stubstance, very satisfying.

If I remember correctly, this was (for 2 loaves)

3 lbs Heartland mill golden buffalo flour (a high extraction flour)

75% * 3lbs tap water (add most to flour/salt for 1hr autolyse, add rest with starter dissolved in it afterwards)

~.7 oz salt

a few tablespoons of starter dissolved in the water

 

I've been taking a rather lax approach to refreshing my starter right before use, which I know is a recommended method. Generally, I've been taking my starter out of the fridge, mixing it in lukewarm/warm water, and adding it straight to the dough/autolyse. Since gas always escapes my sealed starter jar when I take it out, I take that as a sign that it is still active, and assumed that the flour in the final dough would be enough food for it to rise the dough. I do this partly because I'm impulsive, and partly because it's just more convenient... One day I plan on doing a side by side comparison straight starter addition vs. refreshed starter/sponge in a final dough to see if there's a difference. (any comments on this would be nice).

Ultimately though, a very tasty, smooth bread. No sweeteners, nothing. Very nice. I think I like this flour a lot, since it combines the best of white and whole wheat flours in terms of taste, nutrition, and texture.

u.m.breadman

mikeofaustin's picture

Using commercial yeast with starter... and other questions.

October 25, 2007 - 10:38am -- mikeofaustin

I noticed there are some recipes that require commercial yeast in addition to making an overnight biga, While others don't use commercial yeast and depend only on the starters yeast. Why is this? More of a rise? would there not be a trade off between taste?

Also, what's more preferrable, a biga or a poolish (I'm guessing it would depend on your desired final hydration level?)

mikeofaustin's picture

another starter problem. Mine only likes pineapple water.

October 18, 2007 - 12:44pm -- mikeofaustin

1st starter. So I've got a white flour starter (14 days old today) that I've been building for some time now. It smells good, with the occaional 'berry smell'. When I feed, I'll keep half old starter (stirred well) and half white flour, with spring water. Well, I will only see about 30 percent rise. But everytime I use pineapple juice instead of water to re-feed, it will double in volume at around the 7 hour mark. If I go back to plain spring water, it only raises 30%. Strangely enough, I don't get any 'houch' from this starter.

KipperCat's picture

Salt in Starter

October 6, 2007 - 1:42pm -- KipperCat

There has been some discussion here on salt in starter.  I think the point was to have the starter last longer between feedings.  For those of you who do this, how much salt do you use?  What is the overall effect?  I'm particularly interested in a firm starter.  I've been keeping mine at 60%.

Noodlelady's picture

Apple Starter

October 3, 2007 - 5:04pm -- Noodlelady

I've recently begun an apple starter. I let the apples sit in water and sugar for about 4 days. It was getting dark and very strong in smell. I added most of the liquid to bread flour to begin the starter. The day after it began bubbling. On the second day, however, I noticed what I thought looked like mold on top. I skimmed this off then placed it in the fridge. It has some bubbles even in the fridge and doesn't look like it has funky stuff on top. It does have a very strong apple scent.

Do you think that it is safe to continue with this starter?

klown's picture

Does anybody know how to develop a starter using raw dough?

September 18, 2007 - 11:40am -- klown

I would like to make a starter using the raw dough of a local pizzeria.  Has anybody been successfull doing this?  I imagine I would take some of the dough, add some flour and water.  But how much of each?  And what to do after that?  I would love to replicate the flavor of this dough.  Can you please help me?  BTW, I'm new here, this is a great place!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

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)

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