The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Russian Super Culture

  • Pin It
wutan's picture
wutan

Russian Super Culture

 


As much as I care about the women who shares my kitchen she has tested the bonds of our relationship like nothing in the past twenty years. One morning while waiting for coffee she nonchalantly stated that she threw out the slimy, white stuff in the fridge.  I said what?....she said.... you know the stuff in the container with the orange lid?..... I said.... my sourdough mother that I've kept alive for over year that provides your morning toast? She said oops.... I guess I should have asked you. To say the least "woe was me" and (wife) was sentenced to two weeks of store bought bread.


After recovering from the loss of my old friend  I purchased a Russian culture from Sourdoughs International and built up a new mother. The new stuff is quick and while it produces adequate SD bread it proofs so fast that my baking habits needed adjustment. With my old yeasty friend first build was usually 3-6 hours (85 F) with the second at 12 hours (75F) and the final at 2-3 (80F) hours. I know the times are off but my loaves were nicely proofed had awesome oven spring were golden brown tasty and sour. The new Russian culture is now heading into hooch at 12 hours, I tossed the first batch and tried a second which proofed the same way. With all that said is anyone using a Russian culture from SDI and what are your results??  The culture also has a very unique SD aroma which is nothing like my little friend from last year. Could anyone using the SDI Russian culture please share their experience with it..


 


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Given the provenance of the culture, I wonder if it was used mostly for rye breads in its native habitat.


David

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Hi wutan,


Welcome to TFL! And my condolences about your poor departed friend. :>(


I never gave my wife the chance to chuck my starter: immediately after I saw the telltale signs of wild yeast in the mixture, I told her all about the importance of the goo in the container, its relatively lofty value in the scheme of things, and how much sweat and tears went into making it (yeah, I lied, but it made a strong impression!).


If you're not happy with your current starter, maybe you should try building one from scratch. There are very good starter starting methods here on TFL.


David


 

hullaf's picture
hullaf

"wutan" - do you still have your Russian culture? I also bought one a while ago and made it up per Ed Wood SourdoughClassics book. It took off like it was on steroids, exuberant to say the least. Unfortunately, I found out that I did not like the sourness or taste of the starter in bread. It does have an unique sourdough aroma. I have kept to my old friend starter, a part whole wheat one that has been with me for about four years. 

wutan's picture
wutan

 


Sorry to say I dumped the Russian culture for many of the same reasons, I think the odd smell bothered me more than the taste. I did pickup another San Fran culture which is happily snoozing in the fridge, wish I had the time to bake something..........

Drifty Baker's picture
Drifty Baker

Keep this new one around for a couple of months and it will act just like your old.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

It was my wild child. Hungry all the time, hard to keep without starving and tended to rise quickly-the first time. Also lost it's oomph quickly. It slowed down over time but I did another starter and have just let the "wild child" go. It was too unpredictable to enjoy.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

What was the feeding schedule and the quantities fed?


Mini

hullaf's picture
hullaf

Mini, the feeding schedule was this: to get it "working" after being dormant in the refrigerator I fed it (1/2 cup sponge starter+1 cup water+1 and 1/2 cup flour). This rose within 6-7 hours at 85 degrees or 8-10 hours at room temperature (68-72 degrees). Then to get it "active" I added an additional 1/4 cup water+1 cup flour to the jar. This rose within 4-6 hours at 85 degrees.  (And many times it more than doubled when I wasn't looking!) It then was ready to be used in a recipe. 


Even then the dough fermented and proofed quickly and you had to be very careful to catch it at the right time. The resulting flavor was distinct, depending on how much starter was used. I tried it in some of my favorite everyday bread doughs and it just had a slight to moderate different taste. Not a bad taste but. . .  just not quite right. 


Sorry to say, I also "let my wild-child" go to compost heaven.   Anet

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Mini

friar120's picture
friar120

What does "be very careful to catch it at the right time" look like?


 

hullaf's picture
hullaf

friar120 - to catch means to be careful of the elapsed proofing time before it goes too far and over-proofs, or heavens forbid, collapse. This super charged culture would proof and rise so fast that I almost had to set my timer for every 10-15 minute increments. 


In fact, I tried to not let my dough (using this sourdough culture) proof more than 75%, not fully risen. I had to know the recipe of course and what my oven acts like, etc, etc. 


Hope this helps, Anet