The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

wild yeast starter

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tutti's picture

Wild yeast starter - NOT sourdough

September 2, 2010 - 10:29pm -- tutti

hey everyone,


i've been creeping these forums for a few months- since i've started baking. i'm just wondering whether it is possible to capture wild yeast but not have the starter/water/whatever go sour. one poster talks about it here. she loosely describes her method in her post, but does anyone know about a conversion chart that lists 'wild yeast water'? i wouldn't know how much to use in a recipe...

Renee B's picture

Pineapple juice starter

July 13, 2010 - 6:17pm -- Renee B

I started my first sourdough starter about a year ago.  I didn't want to order a starter from King Arthur I wanted to capture the wild yeast.  So, I searched this sight and found the easiest starter possible using ground wheat berries and pineapple juice.  It worked great and I now have a beautiful, mature starter, but it just doesn't seem to do well if I don't feed it with pineapple juice.  I would really like to feed it with stuff like flour,sugar and water, but it refuses to double when I do.  Any suggestions?

RobinGross's picture
RobinGross


Croissants made with 100% wild yeast (captured in Paris).  5 rises over 2 days and enough folding and turning to create 55 layers of butter and dough in the final croissant.  Tasty too.

ANFlynn's picture

Contaminated Starter?

April 26, 2010 - 4:43pm -- ANFlynn

I was wondering if it is possible for your sourdough started to some how get contaminated with commercial yeast?  My started (made by Reinhart's method in BBA) made great bread for a while.  Lately, though, I have noticed that the rise is too fast and although the starter still smells sour, the bread isn't coming out like it used to.  It acts just like instant yeast!  Thoughts?

DownStateBaker's picture
DownStateBaker

Sorry for the delay. I thought I would have a chance to post day two right away. I am now in day three of the creation of the starter. So let's catch up!


Day 2



This is how my starter looked at 30 hours from the initial mix of 300g flour 300g water. I stirred it 5 times over the 30 hours. In the first 12 hours i had left the bowl, covered, on my pellet stove. It got up to 90 F, this was initially thought of as a mistake by me. So I moved the bowl to somewhere at room temp. Then over the next 28 hours it was alive with activity so awesome. So hopefully over the 30 hours you've seen activity similar to what is shown above. If it takes more time than 30 its ok, this is what you want it to look similar too before going on to the next step.


Feeding


You should have 600g of starter mix. Take 300g of this mix, add 150g of flour, and 150g water. I had just poured a glass of a nice weizen-bock and mixed the water with the yeast sediment in the bottle. I figured the more the merrier, yeast wise. Then mixed it up until well combined (No chunks of dry flour). To look like this.



Day 3



Here is how it looked at around 12pm today before I mixed it up again (not adding anything). Updates to come

DownStateBaker's picture
DownStateBaker

Introduction to bread baking


Bread has been baked since 4000 BCE. Keep this in mind while reading this and other bread books or information. So really all you need is some simple tools, flour (in this intro flour quality won't be a huge issue), salt, water, an oven, and most importantly time.


Tools


Hands- These are your greatest tools. Their most important attribute is what they can tell you. They can tell you how strong, moist, warm, cool, and proofed your dough is. You will develop how to interperet these tactile sensations through practice.


The Bowl- While not entirely necessary, it was one of the earliest and best development in baking. When choosing one look for durability (I use a steel bowl) and size (big but not too big to hold under your arm while mixing, but big enough to have a lot of space for mixing).


A Mixing Implement- I use a wooden short handed flat spoon thing I found somewhere (pictured).My implement


Oven- In this introduction I use an electric oven.


Flour- We could go on and on about flour, but for the sake of brevity I'll keep it short. At home when I don't always have good bread flour I use King Arthur All-Purpose or Gold Medal All-Purpose flours. I am not above using store brand all-purpose if money and the availability of these flours are an issue.


Salt- A nice unrefined sea salt containing calcium and magnesium is best. If this isn't available then I would go with Diamond Crystal Kosher salt. In a pince non-iodized table salt will do fine (iodine is no good for yeast or other microbes that we might like in our bread).


Water- I am lucky enough to live in a house where I get really nice water from a well. I don't know the chemistry of my water but it works well. In general acidic water weakens gluten and alkali strengthens it. Hard water helps create stronger gluten networks because of the presence of calcium and magnesium. Less water makes denser easier to work with loaves and more water lighter more difficult to handle dough.


Yeast- In this introduction we're going to be catching some wild yeast. But store bought yeast will work if you want bread ASAP (this goes against my bread philosophy, but I understand when you want bread and you want it now). Dry yeast has a longer shelf life than cake yeast. So if you are unsure of the freshness of the yeast in your local store go for the packaged dry yeast. Check the expiration date.


Digital Scale- I am also lucky enough to have a scale in my home kitchen. I suggest anyone serious enough to be on a baking forum get one. Grams are what I use when writing my recipes. I like the exactness making rounding a rare occurence. If you don't have one on hand this website has good conversions http://www.veg-world.com/articles/cups.htm


Time- The more the better.


Lets Begin


First get your bowl and mixing implement ready and clean.


Next get some flour and water (I use 80 F at this step). Weigh out 300g of flour and 300g of 80 F water. Now you can also get creative and add some ripe fruit or some bottle conditioned beer if you want a little help in cultivating the yeast. Water and Flour first added


Mix the water and flour until combined (Picture).



Keep the mixture covered in a clean warm spot in your house. Stir every few hours for the next 24 hours. Four or five times should do it. Don't worry if the mixings aren't equally spaced apart just so long as there is about 5-6 hours between mixings. We are mixing it this many times not so much to develop more strength in the dough but because we want to expose more of the mixture to the air containing ambient yeast as well as spreading out yeast that has begun colonizing the mixture.


Tommorow I will update.

KenB's picture

Does this look more like it's supposed to?

March 21, 2009 - 12:22pm -- KenB

A couple of days ago I posted an introductory tale of woe related an unfortunate experience I had with PR's wild-yeast starter in BBA. I don't know how to properly describe the first batch, but suffice to say it didn't work like it was supposed to. I threw out the first batch and started another. Below is what it looks like three-quarters way through Day 2:


Day 2 BBA starter

ejm's picture
ejm

Onion Rings - June 2008

I've been meaning for ages to rave about the onion rings we made weeks ago using Tanna's (My Kitchen in Half Cups) brilliant idea for using up left over sludge after feeding the wild yeast. They were fabulous!! And very very bad for us. Because we want to have onion rings every day. This is not good. I really don't want to have to buy new trousers.

yves's picture
yves

Ive been looking into various recipes and explanations of creating a starter, and i thought id put a summary here.

--

Pretty well all of the recipes include a replication step like "divide in two, disposing of one half, and adding back a particular ratio mixture as a replacement". A very few have slightly different steps in the first few days but end up with this process at the end.

Additionally almost all recipes have the same general description for success: a mixture that when replicated displays a leavening effect (rises to about double its size) and a sort of "large bubble" foam on a consistant basis over several days. Notably many authors mention that it is common to see a false leavening effect caused by undesirable bacteria in the early phase of the process that then disappears after several days only to be replaced by the real leavening effect a few days later.

By far the most common recipe comes down to: take a 1:1 by weight mixture of flour and water and replicate every 24 hours until stable. Some recipes suggest 12 hours, and some require specific types of flour, with many recommending wholemeal or rye flour until the mixture is stable and then switching to AP afterwards. Most suggest that the unit be a cup of water. Also a number suggest using a 1:2 mixture (1 cup flour to 1 cup water is about 1:2 flour to water by weight),

Occasionally a few additives are suggested:

Acidic additives: These usually include some kind of acidic juice, with pineapple or orangejuice in the initial steps. The idea is that the juice lowers the ph preventing undesirable bacteria from growing but providing a good environment for wild yeast while at the same time providing sugars for the wild yeast to feed on. Vinegar is also suggested occasionally for similar reasons.

There are a much lower number suggesting using milk products. In this case the intention seems to be to encourage lactobascili, and also possibly the same justification as for the acidic additives.

Diastatic malt is also sometimes recommended with a tiny amount being added in the initial steps, also people that use AP flour will be unknowingly including tiny amounts of this as it usually added by the miller. The intention of this seems to be to provide sugar to the wild yeast, but enzymatically from the starch from the flour. Sometimes sweetener is suggested for similar reasons.

A few sources seem to suggest that you can manufacture wild yeast from commerical yeast, or that commerical bakers yeast will revert to wild.

One or two seem to suggest using things like unmilled rye or barly, or using the skins of wild or field grown grapes.

---

When i decided to make a starter I had access to a commerical starter "Seitenbacher(c) Natur Saurteig" that is widely available in grocery stores where I live in Germany.

Since I thought that was kind of cheating I decided I would make two, one a replication starting from some left over dough from a batch i made with the starter, and one with raw material. Aside from the fact that one included a small part of the dough I did exactly the same thing with both: replicating of a blanced blend of rye and wholemeal flour mixed at 1:1 with water with the base weight being 200 grams. I was very careful not to contaminate the wild one with the commerical, always working with the wild one first. On the third day I added a tiny amount (0.1 of a gram or so) of diastatic malt after I replicated (i didnt have any to add on the first day), And by the 8th day i had stability. The two behave somewhat differently with the wild one being a little slower to rise, but rising further in the oven, and they make a nice loaf mixed together. :-)

My opinion of this is that Im not all that convinced by the additives, with the exception of the diastatic malt. For the juices the reason is that I think its hard to control how acidic the formulation goes, and that citrus frust have their own associated bacteria and yeasts, which are probably not as appropriate as the yeasts we see living naturally on grain. (I will say though that I have seen one particularly cogent argument, incidentally posted here, in favour of using juice.)

For the milk i think its just generally a bad idea, some of the bascili in milk can kill you and also most milk you can buy is pasteurized anyway, and i think that the bascili we want grow naturally on the grain and on our hands and other places. We dont need it from milk. Sweetener I think is a bad idea. In general they are preservatives,

My feeling is that one wants to encourage the wild stuff on the grain to replicate and that introducing things that are totally foreign wont help. Diastatic malt is an exception because it is a substance that does naturally occur in wheat and other grains and so adding a bit more doesnt drastically change things. Also its effect is slower, something that i think is important, providing a steady supply of sugar over time instead of a huge amount at the start which tapers off over time, something which doesnt seem to me to be inclined to make for a stable environment, and after all one thing we are looking for is a stable environment.

Anyway, Im no expert, form your own opinions. But most importantly try it, it isnt very hard. :-)

 

 

bakebakebake's picture

yeast refusing to hold on

April 12, 2008 - 9:38am -- bakebakebake

Hi everyone!!

Boy am I happy that I found this site!!  I am having trouble (of course) with what I thought was my first attempt at sourdough starter..

I am using BBA method for Seed Culture, hoping to get to the Barm stage at some point.  I have two questions.  #1) I see here that many say that this method (BBA) is a method for Wide Yeast NOT Sourdough starter.  Can someone clear up the difference for me?  And how does one start a Sourdough Starter?

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