The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Creating different type starters

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bobku's picture
bobku

Creating different type starters

Do different starter recipies  create different type starters, I'm not talking about using different flours or changing hydraation. I have seen recipes using fruit, beer, potato  milk, sugar, seemingling differents way to collect the yeast. Do you think these starters will be end up the same  or will you get different strains of yeast and bacteria therefore different tasting starters, or does it all end up being the same yeast and bacteria just depending on your location.

dwcoleman's picture
dwcoleman

I would think they would be different strains of bacteria along with a different taste.  Otherwise everyone would stick to rye flour vs raisin water vs etc.

Also, you can create a starter from chickpeas believe it or not.  Alot of arabic bakeries would use ground up chickpea mush as a starter.

bobku's picture
bobku

I had no problem creating a starter with the pineapple method. Just trying to firure out if its worth trying another method. No recipes I've seen say why they use one method over another as far as taste goes, they just say there method works. Curious if the taste are different and what recipes create what king of starters sweeter, more sour, nuttier flavor etc.

proth5's picture
proth5

a topic of endless contoversy and much emotion.

The most educated opinion I have heard tells us that if the starter has gotten its start from a particular fruit or vegetable, it will only continue to have the qualitites from that origin as long as it is fed the same thing that started it.  If it is switched to just flour and water, it will gradually take on that characteristics of a starter that originated from only the flour and water.

I'm sure folks will chime in with facts and figures that illustrate the turnover based on refreshments, etc.

To me, the above makes sense since what we are doing is creating a stable environment for our microscopic friends.  The yeasts and baterica that thrive on - say, grapes - will not be the same as those that survive in flour.  Feed the wee beasties flour long enough and the grape friendly organisms will be out competed.

That being said, I am now sure that others will chime in about their very special starters that came from the organic grapes in misty gardens and gives their breads that extra special flavor. We all have  things that brighten our day and who am I to deny anyone their cherished beliefs?

Hope this helps.

jcking's picture
jcking

How a starter is maintained has more to do with it's outcome than how it was started.

Jim

bobku's picture
bobku

So You feel any starters I create,  if fed white flour and water will essentially end up being the same

proth5's picture
proth5

my opinion on the matter.  Don't let it stop you from trying things yourself, but do be sure to allow enough time for the starters to become stable before drawing conclusions.

There are people who have maintained starters under very strict conditions (using sterilized equipment, water, and flour) who will disagree.  These are not the conditions under which I keep my starter, so I respect their disagreement, without feeling that it relates directly to me and my baking. 

Hope this helps.

CJtheDeuce's picture
CJtheDeuce

It's not so much what was combined to bring them to life but how they are feed & sheltered that has the most influence on character ( flavor ). I keep two starters in my refrigerator beside the bench, one is maintained with A/P flour & is mild in aroma & taste. The other is maintained with only Rye flour & makes nice sour tasting breads. Both are from the same starter I made from the instructions found in The Bread Builders book. So I agree with Proth5 & in my short baking life what I feed my starter has had the most influence on final flavor.

Charlie

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

 

I made my starter on pineapple juice using white bakers flour. After it was up and going I split it into two and started feeding one of them on wholemeal spelt flour while keeping the other starter fed on white bakers flour only. They are now fed once a week. One is fed white B/flour and water. The other is fed on W/Meal spelt flour and water. They are kept in the fridge but are brought to room temperature on baking and feeding day.

Both produce good bread with different flavours. In my uneducated opion I think all starters will reflect more on what they are fed rather than what they were started with. Your own experiments and reasearch will eventually lead you to what flavours you seek.

I hope this helps...............Peter