The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

ancient sourdough

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silviavittadini's picture
silviavittadini

ancient sourdough

Hello from Italy! I discovered this site that gives a very useful map of SOURDOUGH DEALER all over the italian peninsula!

Thanks to this initiative I have now a new friend and she gave me last week 100g of a very old sourdough which origin are from the south of Italy (Calabria). This sourdough is older than me: it's 42 years old!

This loaf above is made with that sourdough, it rose for 12 hours and it's flavoured and sweet..delicious!

But my husband is worried.

Is it healthy use a paste that we don't know where it comes from?
Or cooking eliminates the problem?

Thank you

Bye Scake

 

cranbo's picture
cranbo

I wouldn't worry about the sourdough; in fact, delight in the fact that you have a new friend who shared some old sourdough with you. If you keep feeding it to maintain it, any "strangeness" that it may contain will become your own, in the sense that you are feeding it the flour & water you buy for it. 

And yes, baking does kill the yeast and bacteria in the dough that are used to leaven the bread. 

Enjoy!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

My starter 3 years younger than yours, has changed drastically over the years from when it was started in SF in 1973.  I really don't know what happened to it when I was in the service for 4 years or when I lived overseas for several years as it was taken care of by others.  Its been dried and frozen too over the years.  But it started out a WW and milk starter and is now a rye sour starter that had a orange juice rye starter mixed into it a while back.   It becomes what ever you feed it, where you live and how you maintain it.  Your starter, like mine, probably isn't that old - just since it's last feeding :-)

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

I must be absolutely prehistoric at 57!  ;-) 

Those of you in your 60's and beyond must hail from the Cretaceous or Devonian or Silurian eras.

Paul

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

that at 42 years old it is still just starting out....   A few years ago our daughter used to think we were from the 'Embarrising Era'.  Now I think, she thinks we're from the 'Money Bags Or Money Tree Era.'    I'm thinking when she graduates from college next year she will be from the 'Reality Bites Back Era' :-)

Right now I'm pretty deep in the Kaiser Roll Era which I think was right around the First World War.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

I turn 68 next month. I knew the guy who invented bacteria.

Stan

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

The guy I want to talk to is the one who came up with mosquitos, black flies, and so on.  He has some 'splaining to do!

Paul

silviavittadini's picture
silviavittadini

You guys are wonderful! What a merry band of old loaves! I'm really proud to belong to this club.

Thanks for having reassured my husband. In the meantime he' s getting out half a loaf...
Scake

baybakin's picture
baybakin

My starter was given to me by a scottish one-legged homebrewer friend of the family, I don't know how long he had it before me, but I know that the only ever used it to make quick breads and waffles.  It has changed an enormous amount over the years, feeding schedules, flour types, hydration levels, etc.  If you think that's an ancient sourdough, I've read there are bakeries in france that have been using the same culture from the napoleonic era.  (It may be this one http://www.sourdo.com/home/cultures/france/) Crazy huh?

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

This is the one I would buy if alleged antiquity was my goal: http://www.sourdo.com/home/cultures/egypt-the-giza-culture/

Unfortunately for Ed Wood, I prefer to bake with a culture of my own nurturing.  *smile*

silviavittadini's picture
silviavittadini

I'm discovering a word I didn't know. It's crazy that a sourdough can live soooo many years becoming what you decide!

Our forefathers were doing pacific bacteriological wars as well as conquering conflicts!!!! 

I really appreciate any input about ancient sourdough, even legends you want...

Thanx

Scake

Grenage's picture
Grenage

Considering that the true age of a sourdough culture is rarely more than a couple of weeks at any time, I find it odd that anyone would buy one, unless they were struggling with getting one started at home.

 

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Don't get me wrong, despite the fact that starters change with time (adapting to local conditions), they definitely do not all behave (or taste) the same. 

I had Carl Griffith's starter, and it definitely tasted and behaved different in my baking than my own starter (built using Nancy Silverton's grape technique). I didn't like it as much, so I threw it away. 

SF sourdough fans might want to track down a SF sourdough starter to get a specific sour character. It might not remain the same in time, but I bet with proper, consistent maintenance you'll be able to retain its character for a while.

From another perspective: yeast is not yeast. There are different strains that produce different flavors. If you don't believe me, check out any resources on winemaking or brewing. Commercial yeast is produced in many styles and tailored to enhance and complement the characteristics of the fermentation medium; likewise wild yeasts & bacteria must exist in different subtle varieties.

Some brewers/winemakers will save some of the settled yeast (e.g., in the lees) to innoculate future batches, much like we do for sourdough. Depending on environmental conditions, this may only work for a few batches, as over time the local environmental characteristics start to encroach more and more. 

 

 

 

Grenage's picture
Grenage

I can't speak about their differences over time (I've only got one starter), so I'll bow to your experience; I can cetainly believe that there are differences!  I will however never be convinced that the age of the starter makes any difference at all, once it is stable.

Judy Ward's picture
Judy Ward

Hi !  I am new to the Forum as of today! So haven't read many of the entries before me.

For a very long time I have been wondering what the bread was like that Jesus ate while He was on the earth.  I do realize that there was no such thing as white flour at that time, so the bread ingredients must have been Very Healthy, and that their leavening was, in all likelihood, the wild yeasts  found on grapes, grain and in the air, and made into a Starter, which they carried with them wherever they went.      Would anyone have a suggestion as to how I could get a very similar recipe to that used so long ago?  In Scripture it mentions that they used a kneading trough in which to mix their doughs, and that  bread was their staple of life. 

Again, if you have any knowledge of such information, I would be very grateful if you would pass it on to me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

clazar123's picture
clazar123

This was talked about a few years ago.I believe there were pics of an ancient bakery and forms.