The Fresh Loaf

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Third generation Starter fed with potato flakes and a weird happening

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paulheels's picture
paulheels

Third generation Starter fed with potato flakes and a weird happening

I have a starter that was given to me.  It has been in the family for a long time, third generation.  The directions that I have, say to feed it with potato flakes.   I have been doing everything and the bread has been turning out great.  IO have had some experimenting to get the finer points tuned in, and after the bake this morning I am very close. 


 


The thing i am having an issue with just dumbfounds me.  My starter is TWO cups worth.  I use a cup to bake with or discard the cup when I feed, usually ever 3-4 days.  this is what is weird.  So I will measure out one cup.  When I go to add the new feed, it will make more than one cup.  I know i am only using a cup of water and I know that there is only one cup left of the starter.  I have tried it two different ways, it seems like when I just add the sugar, potato flakes and water separately, it equals out to more than two cups.  When I mix the sugar and warm water and stir, then add the water sugar mixture and flakes to the old starter, it doesn not have that problem. 


I hope this was not too confusing, it defies the law of science, but it is happnening and I am confused.  Some one help me out here.  Also when this happens I have been pouring out the excess starter so that it equals two cups.. Should I being doing this.  Suggestions are appreciated. 


 


Also, the taste of the bread, consistency or rising have not been effected at all.

K.C.'s picture
K.C.

If you're adding a cup of water plus other ingredients that is more than a cup. How could it not be ?


You're measuring by volume and that's never consistent. Measure by weight and you'll gain accuracy. 


How much the starter rises also depends on the temp and how long it's been since you last fed it. Since you're doing so at irregular intervals, i.e. 3-4 days, the volume of starter you're subtracting from is going to be different. 


You also mention nothing about how you're measuring the other ingredients.


 

paulheels's picture
paulheels

feed the starter, let sit out 12 hrs, put in fridge until 3-4 days later. three table spoons flakes, 3/4 cup of sugar, one cup very warm water.


I am new to the bread baking scene and pretty new to baking in general lots of experience in the art of cooking tho.  Baking is a challenge because I have to follow a recipe.  When I cook its all by taste.


I dont have much experience with this, so most of what I am saying is as a rookie. 


 


Thanks for the help and suggestions

virginwinemaker's picture
virginwinemaker

Would someone please provide the recipe for the potato starter?  I made this bread 1000 years ago and would love to start it up again.  Please be sure to include the recipe for making the bread.


Thanks so much


 

K.C.'s picture
K.C.

http://tinyurl.com/468ml4f


Though it's not what most would call a sourdough starter. It is a common technique.


I'm not surprised it's generations old. Adding that much sugar you couldn't kill if it you tried.

paulheels's picture
paulheels

why is it not considered sour dough sarter?  Thanks for the link.  look forward getting some more tips on bread.  I like being self sufficient!!

K.C.'s picture
K.C.

Traditional sourdough starters are made with flour and water. What you have is a sweet dough starter. Adding that much sugar it can't help but taste sweet.


Sourdough gets it's flavour from fermenting dough. The yeast are sustained by the flour and over time enough grow to create a levain. 


Sourdough breads are made with levain, flour, water and salt. 

Oldcampcook's picture
Oldcampcook

I have been using this exact recipe for my "Spuds" starter for almost 5 years.  I use it as the leaven in my sweeter breads, usually with cinnamon, pecan and raisins.


Bob

EvaB's picture
EvaB

sugar has what is called water of composition, which is bound into the sugar chrystals, so therefore when you add it separately, its adds more water because you have measured the original water already, by mixing it into the water, you don't add the extra because you probably add the water to the sugar in the cup and add water to the measure mark!


I know this because my brother was a wine and beer maker, and was always calculating the sugar that needed to be added before adding any water to the brew!

paulheels's picture
paulheels

Ok, this is aweosme information.  So my starter is for "Sweet ." bread.  and the esplanation on the sugar is helpful.  Thanks for all the help.  after I get this bread more dialed in, I am defnitely going to do some real sour dough.  And yes the bread is sweet, but I would not say overly sweet.  If does make great cinnamon rolls and I make cinnamon bread also.. Thanks.

VA Susan's picture
VA Susan

Sourdough doesn't have to taste sour to be sourdough. It's just a colony of wild yeasts fed various ways. Each kind is good for different kinds of breads. Quite a few sourdough starters do use sugar. The Amish Friendship starter, the Potato Flake starter and the Hermann starter all have sugar in them. Joy of Cooking has a recipe for the Hermann Starter even though she doesn't call it that. It uses 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup sugar to feed one cup of starter. It doesn't have to be fed as often as the flour and water kind because it has more food in it for the yeast. It also makes a milder tasting sourdough. I love bread made from the potato flake starter the best. 


I started with the Amish Friendship bread starter a friend gave me for making Amish Friendship bread.  It's a sweet cinnamon-nut bread and is delicious, not at all sour. I adapted that starter to the Hermann Starter using half the sugar.  I've had three kinds of starter going at a time, the regular, potato flake and Hermann. Now I just keep two. I loved making baguettes and no knead breads with my regular starter but my electric bill was awful from using such high oven temperatures, so I couldn't keep doing that.  I started some potato flake starter using a little bit of my Hermann Starter in the water, sugar and potato flakes.  The "Potato Flake" bread is my favorite kind to make and eat now. You could try using some of your starter to make other kinds.

K.C.'s picture
K.C.

Urban language evolves the definition of many things. You site a perfect example.


"Joy of Cooking has a recipe for the Hermann Starter even though she doesn't call it that."


The classic definition of sourdough can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sourdough


Excerpted for the wiki page: " In comparison with yeast-based breads, it produces a distinctively tangy or sour taste, mainly because of the lactic acid produced by the lactobacilli..."


 

VA Susan's picture
VA Susan

PS.


Joy of Cooking uses the Hermann starter for a sourdough French bread so a sweet starter does not necessarily have to be used for a sweet type of bread.

VA Susan's picture
VA Susan

My potato flake starter directions say to feed 1 cup starter with 1/2 cup sugar, 3 rounded TBSP potato flakes and 1 cup warm water. I have spring water so I boil my water and keep it in the fridge to make sure there's no bacteria in it that would hurt it.  I usually keep about a half a cup starter in the fridge then feed it a couple times to get enough to bake with and have some left over to feed.