The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tartine Starter Attempt 1

mivigliotti's picture
mivigliotti

Tartine Starter Attempt 1

I love breadmaking and love the look of the Tartine breads so this is my new goal as far as what I want from my bread. I have made successful starter for my pizzas and now attempted the tartine starter from the book.

I have a glass jar and filled it halfway with water and added a handful of 50/50 blend of kabf and whole wheat flour. It was supposed to be a thick batter but was too watery so I added moreflour tothe mix. I mixed it by hand and covered with a towel and left it for 2 days on my kitchen counter with a temp of 72 degrees.

By day 2 it was actice and bubbly with lots of foam and a cheese smell. On day 2 I went to discard 80% as per the book and noticed that it was separated and kind of watery so I mixed it all togetether and discarded 80 percent just by eye. I added a 50/50 blend of my mix and did same routine as step 1. When I came home from work that day I noticed it was super watery and no bubbles at all, so I just waited till this morning to see if any bubbles came about.

This morning nothing at all just a watery mess, so I added more flour and water this time abour 60/40 flour to water mix and blended with my hand and coverd.

My question is did I start the feeding process too soon? Can I still save this mix and get the activity I need? Did I do the right thing by adding the 60/40 blend?

                                                                          Mike

jcking's picture
jcking

I don't understand why Chad gives precise measures for the doughs yet is so vague about the starter. Wish we could e-mail him. If you have a good starter use that.

Jim

mivigliotti's picture
mivigliotti

I agree 100 percent with you. I need to know exactly i have scales fort his reason. Tell me exactly what i need.

jcking's picture
jcking

Hopefully someone with experience with Tartine will chime in; until then. My best guess, looking at the pix in the book, it's about 80% hydration. Which means, by weigh, 8 parts water to 10 parts flour. Or 8g water per 10g flour. With the King Arthur flour, I believe your using, use the AP not their bread flour. Their AP is the protein level needed. Substituting in some unsweetened pineapple juice for the water in one feeding wouldn't hurt.

mivigliotti's picture
mivigliotti

I have some activity whew! Im going to keep the course for now see where i am in the morning. When taking out the 80% and replacing the 80 percent should I measure this out or just eyeball it?

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

Page 46: instructions on what to do after the stinky cheese smell arises.

"3) To feed the culture, discard about 80 percent of it.  Replace the discarded portion with equal amounts of water and the 50/50 flour blend."

It's a 100% hydration starter, if "amount" means "grams" as in the leaven.

 

mivigliotti's picture
mivigliotti

but how do u know what 80% is are we measuring this? If so by volume or weight?

jcking's picture
jcking

Chad wants to keep equal portions a secret,  maybe for his next book. Weight please.

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

Put the container on your scale.  Tare it.  Scoop out about 3/4 of the starter, or a little more.  Note the negative number and mentally divide it by two.  Put in about that much water, then make it up back to zero with the flour mixture.

mivigliotti's picture
mivigliotti

Perfect thanks!

jcking's picture
jcking

Take each and every cup, bowl, container, whatever you place on your scale and weigh it. Then use a permanent marker and write the weight on it. So when you forget to tare, or already have something in the container, you can do the math and figure the true weight.

mivigliotti's picture
mivigliotti

Great advice!

 

mivigliotti's picture
mivigliotti

I threw out my starter as it just wasnt active anymor. i dont know what happened I had activity after the initial 2 dasys and when I discarded and fed I never got anymore activity. Anyone have any reason why?

 

Anyway I started over.

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

Part two is more to the point, but here are the two parts of Debra Wink's research into why starters go quiet for a day or two after having been very active for a couple of days, even though they are not dead, and how to prevent that stage in the process.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10856/

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10901/pineapple-juice-solution-part-2

 Note that you don't have to use this method.  I didn't, when I made my starter.  Understanding what is happening, though, lets you decide whether or not to stick it out without acidifying your next culture.

mivigliotti's picture
mivigliotti

I will read this but did i do anything wrong i followed the tartine book to the T.

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

It does not sound like you did anything wrong.  I think if you had stuck with it, the culture would have started bubbling again.  So in that sense, throwing it out was a mistake, but not what you were doing up until then. 

Traditional sourdough cultures are made by discarding 50% instead of 80%.  It is possibly more difficult to get one going when you discard 80%, but it should work.  Unless the culture gets moldy or starts smelling like rotten eggs, be patient with it until it settles down into growing what you want it to grow.

mivigliotti's picture
mivigliotti

Well it was just the beginning so I didnt lose much time but the new one I will take my time. Question for you is if i dont see bubbling am i still coninuing to discard 80% and feeding the same way?

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

The Tartine Bread author wants to encourage the organisms that grow in the early part of each feeding cycle ("young"), but until you get a cycle going that might not be practical.  I would bet that he got there by experimenting with the more traditional method of discarding 50%, and only gradually discovered that he liked the taste better when he replaced more of the culture each time.  If it were me, I'd make a starter by replacing 50% once a day until I got past the part where it goes quiet because the culture's acid level isn't yet high enough.  That would be about one week unless you use the pineapple juice method.  Then I would start pruning it down to the "young" culture that Tartine Bread describes, by replacing 80% twice a day.

Think of it like cooking meat over some special wood.  First you get the fire going with cheaper and more easily lit material.  Then you convert it over to apple wood, or whatever, so you can cook.  You've got to get the fire of life going well in the starter, then you can start selecting for the desired flavor.

mivigliotti's picture
mivigliotti

As per the book he says feed once every 24 hours. I didn't get to a part where it says feed more than once in 24 hours.

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

Okay, sorry.  I got confused because you were reporting morning and evening results.  Twice a day did seem awfully much for a new starter and I hadn't gone back to the book to check.  *grin* 

mivigliotti's picture
mivigliotti

Nope just once. Ill keep you updated.