Lalvain "French Sourdough" Starter from King Arthur?
Hi, Sourdough fans,
I'm fairly new with the Sourdough aspect of bread-baking, but I confess I've become obsessed.
I have tried to make my own 'wild yeast starter' without a lot of luck, but I continue to try. I have also baked a few loaves of Levain style bread using an aged 'sponge' including a a little SAF yeast and 1/2 cup of sourdough starter (made from the KA 'french starter' mentioned below), but I didn't like the taste of the bread (really bad).
My third approach involved using a 'starter' called 'French Sourdough'** from KA. (It came in a tiny packet (5 grams) of granules in the mail. Apparently this is a freeze dried starter and you add 1/4 teaspoon or so of this product directly to your ingredients for the first step in their recipe. This made a very very delicious bread and we all loved it. YUM!
Now, I would like to know if anyone else out there has used this product and what do they think about it?? (that is, Is it a sort of 'cheating' from the authentic sourdough method~~maybe it's just yeast and some flavour chemicals packaged and sold under the name 'starter'?)
Also, does anyone have advice on how to extend the use of the packet by creating a perpetual refrigerated starter, or freeze drying a part of a sponge, AND still maintain the same excellent flavor (french style starter).
Or can I buy it somewhere in bulk??
Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks. J.
**p.s. Here's the link to the KA Lalvain 'French starter' http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/french-sourdough-starter-5g