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Old dough microflora?

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nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Old dough microflora?

Hi,


I'm keeping a leftover from a pizza dough that I made with yeast. I feed it every 6-7 days with water, salt and a pinch of salt. It rises very well both outside and inside the fridge.


I'm curious to know if the microflora of an old dough fed as I'm doing currently resembles the microflora of a sourdough, or if its origin from baker's yeast imply a different set of critters in the dough.


Are lactobacilli present? Do they work as actively as in a sourdough starter?


 


Thanks.


 

fancypantalons's picture
fancypantalons

The answer is in the flavour.  Is it sour?  I'm guessing not, which indicates that, if lactobacilli is present, it's activity is quite low (probably because the commercial yeast out-compete them for food).

Brot Backer's picture
Brot Backer

Try adding a touch of rye. Rye flour provides minerals that yeast don't absorb much of and whole rye flour has more undamaged starches, both allow lactobacilli populations to compete with the yeast. Given enough time your culture will "go native" with local microflora and microfauna.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Nico,


Commercial yeast really do not like acidic conditions much at all, and I'm not talking sour here.   I would expect a gradual takeover by the wild yeasts, as the levels of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae starts to fall back in these less than favourable conditions.


BTW, back to "rye-hard" issues:


Just made the final dough.   I was tempted to add water, as it is too stiff for my liking.   However, I'm going to leave it as it is and see what happens.


Did you use any bulk proof?   I'm going for up to 1 hour.


All good wishes


Andy

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

HI Andy, I used only one proof, but I guess and a short remix after 1 hour will only do some good to the dough, especially since it's stiff.


 


I didn't think to measure the ph, going to read at once :-)


5.0... very mild. Even the aroma is quite winish. I guess it's a pure baker's yeast culture for the  time being, right?

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Nico,


How long have you been refreshing this old pizza dough?


I would expect other yeast types to be starting to work.   The transition would be gradual.   But S. Cerevisiae fares poorly, even in mildly acidic conditions.   There are plenty of other yeast strains which will find it easy to prosper.


Am I not right in thinking you are really just creating a Biga Naturale here, if you continue to refresh?


My rye bread is too heavy; I should have added the water!   I wonder why we had such different results in dough texture?


Best wishes


Andy

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Andy, I made the 3rd refreshment 2 days ago (once every week). Probably I'll create a pasta madre (mother dough) if I continue with this refreshment rate.


I'm sorry for your bread! Is the flour you used fine or coarse? Mine was very finely milled and -as it was to be expected- it's surely much more easily attackable by enzymes.


 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Nico,


The current Dark Rye flour I have is very dark and very coarse organic, stoneground at an old Welsh watermill known as Bacheldre.


It likes water!


Tell me, is there a difference between a pasta madre and a biga naturale?


Best wishes


Andy

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Andy, in italian "biga" is the name for a preferment, while "pasta madre" is a solid wild yeast sourdough culture, thus


-biga is a generic preferment, most likely made with baker's yeast


-big naturale is made with some kind of sourdough (solid or liquid)


 


As for your bread I'm quite sure that the different results we obtained are due to the coarseness of your flour. Is your bread sweeter and/or darker than you used to get? Next time you could prepare the soaker with a finer rye flour if you want to do another try.

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi nico,


Thanks for explaining the terms, particularly 'pasta madre'. I am used to 'masa madre' from Spanish but had not thought to look for 'pasta' in Italian. And 'crescente'? I cam across this term in an Italian YouTube video for focaccia. The baker was using what appeared to be a natural leaven.


Kind regards, Daisy_A

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Crescente is a bit confusing term: it's used almost exclusively in Sicily and it's used both to identify "pasta madre" and old dough.


Moreover crescente is also the name of a kind of focaccia. Yes, it's a mess:-)

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi nico,


Many thanks for the clarifications. This is the link to the video 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ou5jCZmk9M


When I listened again, prompted by your categories, I realised the baker seems to be describing a mother dough, made with natural leaven.


The recipe is for what he describes as a Genovese version of focaccia. It makes a good bread. I had to listen to the video a few times, though, before I could grasp the fuller details in the Italian instructions. Bells were driving me mad by the end!


Ah well. 'crescente' isn't the only term used in a variety of ways. We all have them - try looking up some of the debates on the definition of 'barm'! ;-)


Kind regards, Daisy_A

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Nico,


Yes, I'd always understood a "pasta madre" to be a levain from wild yeast source.


A Biga, I have always taken to be a pre-ferment - stiff, and derived from a small amount of baker's yeast.


A Biga Naturale, I had therefore taken to be a biga, ie. stiff starter with baker's yeast, but thenceforth just refreshed with flour and water...exactly as you are doing with your old pizza dough.   As time goes on the wild yeasts come to dominate and S. cerevisiae drops off.


If I'm wrong on the above, then do you know what the difference is between a Biga Naturale and a Pasta Madre?


The rye bread I made ended up with about 5 hours of fermentation.   Too sour, and very heavy.   Yes, the flour was too coarse to successfully repeat your soaker.   Additionally, the final paste was under-hydrated, hence the ferment just got completely stuck.   I thought this may happen when mixing; just shows it usually pays to go with instinct doesn't it?


All good wishes


Andy

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

follow your experience! I'm sorry I unintentionally caused a bad rye loaf.


The only real difference between those 2 terms is that a biga is prepared only for the current bread and ends up in the  final dough, while a pasta madre is perpetrated.


I hope I was clear, if not  tell me :)