The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Would you ever need two mother starters?

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hsmum's picture
hsmum

Would you ever need two mother starters?

A friend gave me a starter for Amish Friendship Bread. It was a nice loaf and I wouldn't mind making it again for myself.  But I received the starter for this recipe shortly after nurturing my own first wild yeast starter (now "Sourdough Sam"). I'm not sure I want to keep two mother starters going!  Can they truly be that different?  From what I've read in the BBA, any starter, however exotic in origin, will eventually take on and be dominated by the local wild yeast.  That being the case, I have to wonder if the starter I received from my friend is only different from Sam in the hydration? Which I understand one can adjust for using baker's percentages when making any given recipe.  Have I got all this right, or is this the amusing musing of a newbie?  :)


Karen


 


 

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Sure! Two starters can be different, e.g., one might be a rye starter and the other a white, or one might be liquid and the other firm. Many authors, e.g., Daniel Leader, specify different types of starters for for different breads.


--Pamela 

hsmum's picture
hsmum

Gee that was dumb of me not to think of a rye starter...! :(  But as between wheat only starters, isn't the real difference one of hydration?  And if so, isn't substitution of a liquid starter for a firm possible just fine, provided you adjust for liquid in the formula?  Or do bakers choose a particular hydration for taste or other reasons?


Karen

xaipete's picture
xaipete

There are other reasons for choosing different hydrations, e.g., liquid starters are less sour and have more yeast than firm.


--Pamela

jmdestefanoii's picture
jmdestefanoii

At one point I think I had 5 or 6 going (much to my wife's consternation).  LOL   I'm now down to three:  A buttermilk/potato starch base with a higher hydration, a 100% hydration (based on the KAF SD Starter I got as a gift), and one based on Reinhart's Crust & Crumb Sourdough (my favorite, if truth be told).  Different flavors, different hydrations.  -- Joey D

ivyb's picture
ivyb

These are exactly the two starters I have.  My Amish is Sweet Sue and my "bread" starter is Josephine Baker.  :-) I have also, at times, started a rye, but can do that using Josephine as a "starter" on a as needed basis.


Enjoy,


Ivy, ny


 


 

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

One, Brigid, is my buttermilk starter, the other, Elsie, is my wild yeast flour/water starter.  Both make quite different breads.

hsmum's picture
hsmum

Back to the books I guess!   There's sure a lot to learn.  Thanks to all of you for your replies.


Karen

TeaIV's picture
TeaIV

I have worked with the amish starter before, and no way you can put that into your wild starter :(. for the amish bread, you use a ton of sugar and milk, and you put it in the fridge (correct me if I'm wrong). It might sour after a while, which is why you're supposed to put it in the freezer. I'd keep it seperate, or I would just make a new amish friendship bread starter each time I make it, since it really isn't hard to make, and the taste doesn't benefit too much from long fermentation. :) that's what the sugar is for!


 


 


 


TeaIV

hsmum's picture
hsmum

No, I wasn't planning on blending the two starters; just had been wondering if they were significantly different.  Sounds like we have different Amish bread recipes.  My starter didn't get fed any sugar and wasn't supposed to be kept in the fridge at all.  Anyway, I decided that at this point in my bread journey, I'm not ready for two starters, so I'm keeping my wild yeast one and abandoning the Amish starter. I know where to get a new one if I need it! :)


Karen