The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Growing Gluten Free Sourdough Starter in the Refrigerator for a Milder Sour

sharonk's picture
sharonk

Growing Gluten Free Sourdough Starter in the Refrigerator for a Milder Sour


 


Growing starter in the refrigerator is said to minimize the sour taste of sourdough. It also enables us to reduce the feedings from 3 times a day to twice. I find my starters ferment very quickly these days making me wonder if I have enormous invisible colonies of yeast and bacteria in my kitchen. I also ferment water kefir, milk kefir, and kombucha so I assume there is quite a bit of activity going on.


 


A friend of mine, Peggy, likes to tinker in the kitchen. She experiments with many recipes and techniques and documents them in great detail. She tried growing a starter in the refrigerator, something I haven’t had time to see all the way through.


 


Here are her notes:


 


“I decided to go with a simple loaf of bread using quinoa and sorghum flours.


I had a small amount of rice-sorghum-teff starter left over from making multigrain bread and fed it for four days with alternating and equal amounts of quinoa flour and sorghum flour. I chose to use these because they were what I had on hand. I also was going for a lighter colored bread.


 


I gave it a little boost with 1 tablespoon of water kefir to perk it up on the second day.


 


After 24 hours of feedings I put it in the fridge because it was very bubbly and soupy! I didn’t want a strong sourdough flavor this time as I just baked two batches that were strongly fermented.


 


I continued to feed it 3 times a day continuing to keep it in the fridge.


 


36 hours later, I removed it from the fridge because it looked flat and dead But four hours later, when I next looked at it, it was furiously bubbling away!!! I had been deceived by the chilled mixture. I fed it and returned it to the fridge.


8 hours later when I took it out to feed it, it was actively bubbling even though it was so cold. I think it liked the fact that I had taken it out that first time for a few hours.”


 


She said that the finished bread had just enough sour taste to let you know you were eating sourdough. Not overpowering at all!


 

Comments

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Maybe they are affected by Fructose like many of us are and can't put out acids when eating it.  I can't help but notice when fructose is added to starters, or used when creating sourdough cultures, they get milder.   Something IS going on there...


 


A lot if detail is missing in the discription, number of "feedings" % and amounts.  Assuming discarding was done, how much was fed, and then what was the feeding?  Temperatures? 



After 24 hours of feedings I put it in the fridge because it was very bubbly and soupy! I didn’t want a strong sourdough flavor this time as I just baked two batches that were strongly fermented.


I continued to feed it 3 times a day continuing to keep it in the fridge.



The addition of Kefir, how did that effect the starter as opposed to not adding it?  What is the Kefir normally fed... lemon juice and... table sugar?  (which is half fructose)


More investigation is needed in my opinion to form something concrete.


Mini


 

sharonk's picture
sharonk

Hi Mini,


let me see if I can answer your questions.


There is no discarding in my gluten free starter technique.


I feed my gluten free starters one of two ways:


1. roughly equal amounts for small amounts of starter, 3-6 cups


2. increasing amounts for large amounts of starter 2 or more quarts


 


For equal amounts I feed 1/2 or more cups of rice flour and slightly less water


For increasing amounts I'll start at 1/2 cup of rice flour and slightly less water and increase by 1/4 cup for each feeding.


Not sure by your questions "temperatures".


If I think the ferment is moving too quickly I'll feed the starter with refrigerated flour. I always use water from the tap, whatever that temperature is. My kitchen varies between 67 and 72. My fridge is about 40.


 


Water Kefir: I use water kefir as a booster of bacterial activity and as a preservative. When I started making gluten free sourdough breads with only rice flour and water the starters often spoiled before they were ready to use. The water kefir speeds up the fermentation process and prevents spoilage.


I make water kefir liquid using water kefir culture (which I purchased and lasts indefinitely),  2 tablespoons organic dark sugar, water, a slice of lemon and 20 raisins. In 36 hours it's ready and I use 2 tablespoons of the liquid to boost my starter.


I also drink it in small amounts as a tonic. It helps repopulate the intestines with probiotics and enzymes and IMHO, is more economical than store bought pills.


 


If you want more info I offer a recipe download of my water kefir recipe and starter technique:


http://www.sanctuary-healing.com/food-recipes.html


Thanks for your comment!


sharonk


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

 I forgot about the raisins.  Wild yeasts and more fructose.  Interesting.


Mini