The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

taking the amish starter in other directions

petebert's picture

taking the amish starter in other directions

Hi, I'm new to using starters and relatively new to bread making. Only been working on my own pizza dough for a couple years.

So I got this amish bread starter from someone and thought it'd be cool to keep it going but use it as a starter in all sorts of stuff calling for yeast.

I see alot of referance to a sour dough starter but is that what I'd want for general use, pizza dough, italian bread, bagels, etc... From what I've read I'm probably better off with commercial yeasts for general use but this will be a fun experiment for now.

Any reason I shouldnt keep it going as prescribed, flour/milk/sugar. Most of the recipes I'm looking at so far call for some sort of sugar and isnt the sugar I'm adding actually being eaten by the bacteria?

Does it need to run the 10 day cycle after feeding or can I keep a big batch on the counter and use it whenever? Everyday I stir it and it gives up a very good alcohol smell, smells like it could make a great beer.


SourdoLady's picture

If you want to convert the Amish starter to a conventional one, just start feeding with four and water only and forget the sugar and milk. If you start with only a couple of spoonfuls of the sweet starter, it will be converted fairly quickly. You can still keep a portion of it as it was originally for your Amish recipes.

Some Amish starters are made with commercial yeast and some are not. If yours was, then it may not ever be a true wild yeast starter. Sometimes it will convert itself to wild yeast from the yeast spores that are present on the flour, but not always.