The Fresh Loaf

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Sourdough starter with whey?

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copyu's picture
copyu

Sourdough starter with whey?

Hi all,


It's my first post here, but I've been reading and enjoying these pages for quite some time. I'm looking for some advice.


A couple of months ago, I picked up a package of what I guessed was a sourdough starter mix in a fairly good food/baking shop in Tokyo. I already had a healthy sourdough culture in my fridge, but I was just curious and it wasn't expensive or heavy, so I just added it to my major purchases of flours, vital gluten, dried fruits, grains, etc. It's a 100g package (say, 3oz or so) but has no included information on how to use it. I searched the web-site of the company that produced it [Tomizawa] for more info and they were completely silent about its use, as well. I suppose it must be explained in some Japanese baking books that are WAY beyond my meagre Japanese reading skills.


On the label it's called "whole sour" and then, in parentheses, it says "sour seed" in Kanji (Chinese) characters. The label says it contains rye flour, wheat flour and whey (powder) but there's no mention of proportions. The recommended 'Use-by' date is approaching...


I've been baking 'New York Style' light rye bread successfully for years (without sourdough starter, mostly from bread machine recipes) but the main reason I started my first sourdough culture (with pineapple juice and rye flour) was eventually to bake real 'Bauernbrot' rye bread at home. (I'm not quite skilled enough to do that yet.)


I'm wondering what to do with this stuff. Does it need special care and feeding? Does it need milk instead of water or fruit juice? Is there really such a thing as a 'rye starter' as opposed to a regular 'wild yeast' starter? I have a respectable bread-baking library here at home, but my problems are more of the 'information-overload' kind...too much advice, quite a lot of it conflicting, and almost none of it relevant to the brutal Japanese climate I'm living in! (We're actually having a beautiful Spring this year--almost like Autumn weather--warm days and cool nights. I shouldn't complain...)


I apologize if this sounds like a 'rant' or if there are too many questions, but I'd appreciate any advice about this starter mix. I also want to thank Floyd and all the contributors to this great bakers' resource!


Best to all,


copyu

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The kind one adds to a rye bread recipe to sour the rye flour (up to 500g) and lower the pH, then eventually yeast is added.


Does it still smell good?  Taste it.  Is it sour?  After you combine with rye flour & water to let it sour,  remove a tablespoon or two and try to keep it like a starter but I would keep it on the wet side for the first few days.   Up to you.  It could easily be a dried starter.  I dry my starter and use it for flavoring too in straight doughs.


Mini

copyu's picture
copyu

I did wonder, at first, whether it was some kind of a 'short-cut' to sourdough bread. It would be right in character for the Japanese market, where convenience rules!


Indeed, until I started buying books dedicated to bread and found the great information on this site, I imagined that 'starter' might just be the usual powdered, dry, ingredient that we are all used to seeing in recipes. (Something like a 'starter' for cheese-making...)


I've transferred it to a small, sealed jar and keeping it refrigerated. It tastes and smells just fine. I'll try what you suggest over the next couple of days.


Thank you, Mini, for the response.

copyu's picture
copyu

I don't have the time to try your idea at the moment.


I have 'screwed around' today with a 3 cup NKB recipe--mostly AP flour with a few tablespoons of rye flour, a scant tablespoon of vital gluten and 3/4 cup of my regular sourdough starter...


I can bake tomorrow (today, actually) but then I go back to work for a very busy 3 days. (I just found out I'm flying out early on Sunday to Hong Kong for a week...DOH! <DOUGH?>)


I'll have a few free days to bake when I get back and will let you know if anything interesting happens with this 'sour seed'.


Thanks and take care,


copyu

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Mini