The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

? protease in starterh

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plevee's picture
plevee

? protease in starterh

I normally use my starter weeky but  bought bread for the past 2 weeks. When I got the stater out of the fridge it hadn't risen at all & smelled more acidic than usual. I fed it twice and got no rise and also noted a change in texture; slimey and gelatinous -kind of the way chewing gum goes if you have some food in your mouth.

The last time this happened, the bread I used it in got stickier the more I kneaded it. I was told by the kind people at KAF that I probably had a protease problem. I made another starter which has performed very well till now.

I've now refreshed  tiny amounts of the starter 4 times with no change.

Diagnosis? Advice?

Patsy

plevee's picture
plevee

Please!

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

By 'tiny amounts' I'm guessing you're trying to 'shock' or 'wash' it? If you've done that a few times, I'd stop doing that until you get it to rise again. Do a 2-1-1 feeding at 12 hrs until then. Example: 100g starter, 50g water and 50g flour (also assuming you keep it at 100% hyd). You need to get your yeast healthy again. If you don't get it to rise within 48-72 hours, it might be gone. There's no harm in using some pineapple juice if you have any. You also might try substituting half Whole Wheat for the flour, as that has been known to kick up a lazy or abused starter. Once you get it rising again, then we can see if you actually have a protease, or possibly a thiol situation, so first things first. Let us know and good luck!

- Keith

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

If you search in the archive you'll find a lot of threads on the thiol compounds turning the starter and the bread into a very sticky and extensible mess without elasticity. Who described the problem and the solution is Debra Wink. The cure is simple: keep on refreshing until the starter goes back to a healty status. Another possible solution (according to a friend of mine who is a chemist) is the use of a tiny amount of vitamin C in the bread dough as long as the starter keeps on misbehaving.

plevee's picture
plevee

Actually I used the starter in a 5 grain rye sourdough with a small amount of yeast & the bread rose & handled fairly well even though I'm seeing no activity in the starter.

I've given it a 1:2:2 feed with a little home ground rye & will increase the feeding frequency and see how it does.

Thanks for the advice,  Patsy

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Patsy, mind that rye is extremely rich both in yeasts and in protease enzymes. You will see your starter much thinner after a while, but it's normal with rye.

plevee's picture
plevee

Thanks.

I only used a little rye in the first feeding. I've been using the Morbread flour that is its usual diet since, on a 12h schedule. It actually seems so be coming back - it's bubbling and smells more like itself and the texture isn't slimey any more.

I'll be testing it at the weekend and send in the results.

It has been a really good, active starter without a sour taste. I particularly want it to be working to enter some bread in the local County Fair in July; it has been on the verge of extinction and needs entries to support it.  Patsy

Ford's picture
Ford

Rye is also deficient in the proteins that make gluten.   No gluten; no elasticity.

plevee's picture
plevee

I am delighted to report that repeated refreshments have returned my starter to its former activity and aroma. Very many thanks to everyone for the help.  Patsy