The Fresh Loaf

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Inkoate's picture

A Sourdough Non-Starter

March 20, 2007 - 5:00pm -- Inkoate

I know this is a rather common question around these parts, but I'm very new to sourdough, and my seed culture that I've been working on just doesn't seem to be turning into a healthy starter.  I started off from the BBA formula to grow a seed culture, but by day 3, when the culture was supposed to have doubled in bulk, it had not, and but had grown by about half instead.  As instructed, I discarded half and mixed with the prescribed flour and water and fermented for 24 hours.  It again failed to double in bulk, at which point it says to leave it out for another 12 to 24.  I

pumpkinpapa's picture
pumpkinpapa

I created a delicious spelt starter at the beginning of February and made some great loaves from it recently.

 

The one on the left was a 50/50 organic AP with organic light spelt flour (I can only afford 2.5 kg bags of spelt and ran out) while the one on the right is a 100% light spelt loaf. Both were excellent! The kids liked the 50/50 while I found the 100% to be exactly like pumpernickel in texture, great spread with peanut butter or pb/banana/honey!

I used Sourdolady's recipe for starter but reduced all liquids by 25%, otherwise too much liquid and the starter never matures. After a week the starter was active, not as much as white or rye, and definitely not as volatile as whole wheat, but it was bubbly and produced a pleasant aroma. You can use either whole or light spelt with no loss of nutrients as they are contained in the germ not in the bran as in wheat.

I used the basic sourdough recipe as given in Peter Reinharts BBA but with 25% less water again:

Starter:

4 ounces spelt starter, 4.5 ounces spelt flour, 0.75 to 1.5 ounces water

Final dough:

20.25 ounces spelt flour, 0.5 ounce Celtic sea salt, 9 to 10.5 ounces lukewarm water 

Kneading took about 20 minutes, but my house is cool these days which affects proofs immensely as well. However unlike all my sourdough experiences (save for yeats spiked variations), this spelt sourdough had far faster and greater second proofing results than wheat or rye starter.

This is going to be my main bread, and if the kids continue to enjoy it then I should experiment with spelt cinnamon buns soon too. 

Noche's picture

Test Drive your Starter

March 2, 2007 - 8:31pm -- Noche

I smelled my starter before I baked today. It was trying to tell me something.

In the begining, this starter was never very sour, but now at one month old it has changed and can be where ever I steer it. This one had been mildly neglected this week and got pretty powerful.

It told me it was going to be very sour and I don't like "very sour." I should have waited a day or two and washed the starter until it smelled like what I like to eat. 

Next time I crank up a starter to cook with in a day or two, I'll not only shoot for volume but also taste.

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