The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New from Cincinnati; where may I "borrow" some starter?

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cake diva's picture
cake diva

New from Cincinnati; where may I "borrow" some starter?

Hello!


I'm a new bread maker, but with more experience in cakes and cookies.  I live in the suburbs of Cincinnati, OH.  It is such a delight to be part of this wonderful community of passionate people, and I hope to be able to contribute very quickly.


Now, I read that it is acceptable for bread makers to share starter.  Is there anyone nearby that I can ask for some starter for my personal use?  Is it kosher to ask Panera or other commercial bakers for some?


Appreciate your advice.


 

Oldcampcook's picture
Oldcampcook

I have a lady somewhere near to whom I sent some starter.  I just emailed her to see how far away from you she is and if she would share. 


If too far or she doesnt have any to spare, I will mail you some of mine.


 


Bob

crunchy's picture
crunchy

Do you want to "borrow" it for a particular reason, or just think that making your own is too complicated? If it's the latter, I assure you that it's not true, despite what people make it out to be. Takes a week to 10 days and is extremely satisfying.

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

If you want to make starter but don't know where to, um, start, I'd be happy to give you step-by-step instructions, along with the encouragement not to give up when you are sure it has gone haywire.  I'm working on a video tutorial, but it's not ready for primetime yet.


Phyl

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Making your own starter is simple - all you need is flour and water, plus a bit of patience.  Since you'll have to keep a borrowed starter going, why not just make your own?


Keep in mind that naturally leavened breads have been around for about ten thousand years, so you don't need a degree in rocket science to be successful!


BTW, welcome to TFL.

Oldcampcook's picture
Oldcampcook

My contact says whe will be more than happy to to give you some starter.  She lives about 30 mins from Cinncy.


If you will send me an email at         oldcampcook@yahoo.com   I will send you her phone number and name.


I agree that making your own is fruitful, but getting one ready to use will just get you started down the garden path a bit faster.


Bob

newgirlbaker's picture
newgirlbaker

Hi There,


I got my starter from Carl Griffiths 1847 Oregon Trail starter.  Just google it and someone will send you one.  I am getting ready to re-constitute it.  I think its Carls friends.  I sent a self addressed stamped envelop and received it in about 2 weeks!


HTH

cake diva's picture
cake diva

Thank you all for your quick response!


Yes, I must confess I was intimidated by what I was reading as I followed the threads of communication on this site.  Phil, I think it was you who was having some difficulty in the beginning;  kudos to you for hanging in there until you met with success.  I'll wait to make my own after you publish your video.  But I am a bit envious of everyone's bread, so I can't wait to try a few experiments myself even if I were to start with someone else's starter. 


Another confession: I am a scientist :)

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Here's a very simple method from the Sourdough FAQ created by the members of the rec.food.sourdough listserv.


No incantations, fruits, or sacrifices to the sourdough fairies are necessary.   Just flour and water.  Keep your starter going and it will just get better as it ages.  Sort of like a fine wine.


 

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

Yes, I did post early on about my sourdough misadventures.  Like many first-time sourdough makers, my starter got to a certain point and stopped behaving like the book said it should, so I figured I must have killed it.  I pitched it and started over, but the second time around I was emboldened by what I had read here, so I pressed on past the "oops" stage and ended up with a great starter that I'm still using, several months hence.


Im afraid if you wait for the tutorial, it might be a while.  I started trying to film it today.  I'm not a scientist, especially not of the computer sort, so I'm working on the technical aspects of filming, getting onto the computer, uploading, etc.  Once I sort that all out, I'll post the how-to. 


In the meantime, if you want to try making sourdough with some virtual hand-holding, I'd be happy to walk you through it via e-mail.  It's not that scary, and unlike a famous science experiment, there's very little chance that you will create a monster that will go around eating people.  Very little chance.


And if you want to cheat to begin with (hey, I'm not one to judge), I live near Cleveland, and I'd be happy to mail you some of my starter.

pjkobulnicky's picture
pjkobulnicky

There is a lot out there about starters but here are a few tips to make starting a starter REALLY easy.


 


1. WET :  Make what is called a liquid starter ... same weight water (NO Chlorine) and flour.  Whole wheat works a bit better at first than white but white works. Try 3 oz each by weight, not by volume.


2. Visual Confirmation: Mix them together in a glass bowl so you can see all action, even action that is under the surface.


3. Warm and airy: Put the bowl somewhere that you can keep at ~80 degrees F. (~25 C) for 24 - 48 hours but make sure it can get air. The good yeasts are in the air and on the wheat berries; that's why it has to get access to air and that's why whole wheat works a bit better at first. 80 degrees is obviously trivial in the summer  but be inventive in the winter. Small (25/40 watt) incandescent light bulbs under a bath towel tent, or in an old cooler can work wonders. Peek all you want.


4. Refresh: Once it starts bubbling (check the bottom of the bowl if the action is subtle at first; you will see a sponge like structure) then refresh it ... equal amounts by weight starter, water and flour (you can switch to white now).  A refresh is usually about 12 hours. After refreshing 3-4 times  it should be bubbling out of the bowl. If and when you have good action, go to ambient house temps.


Once this is started you can easily convert it to a solid starter because your starter is 50/50 flour and water by weight so the calculation for conversion to the solid starter is easy (remember, you are a scientist).


Paul


 


 

cake diva's picture
cake diva

Yeyy!  Found some starter that Bob passed on to someone nearby.  Thanks, Bob!


I will attempt to make my own starter though, with you all as coaches.  Paul, thanks for the tips on how to create a high- temperature environment.  I was wondering how I would do this without cranking up my thermostat.  I think this was my problem with my panetonne batch not rising;  I had to wait till today (the 4th day) to wait for it to increase in volume, and I just gave up and stuck the loaf in the oven.  I am very happy to say that the oven spring bulked it up some, and the resulting loaf, though not light and airy as what one would expect, still came out with an incredible beer-like aroma, slight tang, soft texture and eye-rolling mouth feel.  I will eat the entire 2# bread all by myself!


I am so happy!  This bread making is so therapeutic.  I think it is because of the elements of challenge and uncertainty (at least for me ) of the outcome, and when you do get great results, the wonder and sense of accomplishment are just big rushes.  I hope these feelings never go away!