The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough starter from whole wheat & cumin

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Sourdough starter from whole wheat & cumin

Sourdoughs starters methods vary.  Here is one from a Julia Child program featuring Joe Ortiz

Always good to know if you can't get a starter started, try a different method  (but please don't think you are capturing yeast from the "air," they come from the flour)

http://youtu.be/gEP3QW-V0sw

I haven't tried this myself but if you do, come back and comment,  Please!  

sweetbird's picture
sweetbird

Mini Oven,

Your timing amazes me. This is the bread I just posted! I wasn't aware that Joe Ortiz had done a demonstration with Julia Child until I saw your post. I loved watching this. Thank you! Here's the post I just put up today of the same bread, same procedure, cumin and all: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/27528/joe-ortiz-pain-de-campagne-wonderful

 

Janie

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

It is uncanny how several related posts run together now and again.  Often Q's and A's at the same time on different threads too.  

I wonder what the cumin does?  ah ha!  it's acetic!  so it lowers pH just like pineapple juice would!   (and it doesn't take much either)   :)    

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven
foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

Cumin is acetic? What acetate compound are you specifically referring to?

Or did you mean acidic...in which case I assume you'd be referring to the fatty acids...which in such a small quantity of cumin have minimal effect (why not add olive oil instead, for instance?)

Cumin DOES seem to have anti-microbial properties:

http://www.springerlink.com/content/q91lx06725072770/

However, it should be noted in that study, the results showed yeast were more sensitive to the extract than bacteria.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

or lowers pH of water & flour    sorry for the spelling error.

...then better to stick to ground cumin than the concentrated extracted oil or cuminaldehyde.

sweetbird's picture
sweetbird

Thank you, Mini Oven, I really enjoyed both videos. I love watching Julia Child's curiosity and child-like sense of wonder at the process. I have no words of wisdom on the cumin question, but it's interesting that it also pops up in an old and wonderful French bread recipe by Madeleine Kamen that I've had in my stash for probably 30 years. I haven't made that one in a while but have now pulled it out and put it into the pile of future projects!

All the best,

Janie

chris319's picture
chris319

Cumin is so pungent, I'd be afraid it would impart its flavor and aroma to the finished bread, not good for a bread that isn't supposed to taste or smell of cumin. It does make a nice, bubbly starter, though.

How can Joe Ortiz be much of a sourdough baker and not know that the microorganisms are in the flour and not in the air?

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

whole grains, whole cumin seeds also have yeasts and bacteria on them.  Anti-microbial properties wouldn't be too good when that is what your are trying to grow:-)  It is a very tiny amount of cumin and is only used once in the process and not for maintenance. I have used this method several times now and it always works.

Cumin is greater quantities is used in breads all the time,  For years i put some in every one of mime to make them taste better.  I got the idea from Clayton's Complete Book of Breads.  You can't really taste is but it does lend a deeper more earthy flavor that so many balers try to get into their breads.

Until scientists ruined it for bakers everywhere, most everyone thought that they captured wild yeast from the air with their SD.  Even great bread bakers like Joe Ortiz :-)  I remember my first SD culture was started with milk, whole rye and water.  The instructions said to leave the container uncovered so that the natural yeast can get in - 1973.  How smart we have managed to get since then thanks to scientists who check these things out.

chris319's picture
chris319

I'm sure there are some wonderful breads to be made with a delicious cumin flavor, but not all breads (S.F. sourdough, for example) are supposed to smell and taste like Indian food.

I have revisited cumin in my never-ending starter experiments, only this time using as little cumin as I could pinch between two fingers -- literally just a "sprinkle".

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

you would not be able to pick out the bread with cumin in it if you had 3 to choose from because there is no cumin flavor or smell since the amount is so small.  It just makes the bread taste better,with a deeper earthy flavor is all.  Indians don't put cumin in naan either   SFSD can have cumin in it too.  I  made it that way for years and still do on occasion ....as do others.  Cardamon is a different story though.  Horrible in bread but Scandinavians love it since they were raised on it - an acquired taste.