The Fresh Loaf

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Alaskan Sour Dough Starter

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bobkay1022's picture
bobkay1022

Alaskan Sour Dough Starter

Hello I have been doing SD for a few years now and fairly good results from and a recipe and help from Mike Avery at  Sour Dough Home.

     A friend bought me back 2 packages of starter from Alaska. I followed the directions perfectly and had what looked

like a starter from their  directions that was ready to make bread when revived.   .

 Revive directions ( 2 cups flour 2 cups warm water Dry culture from package) When active cover and place in refrigerator.   To use take from refrigerator and use as directed. I let come to room temperature.

                                                                   It is a very wet starter when revived.

     The dough proofed  perfectly both times but very wet and impossible to handle or make a loaf.   I added 2-3 tablespoons of flour. Kneaded some more let rise again still not good. Did a stretch and fold . Put back in bowl let rise again. Put on my board and still slack dough. Did another stretch and fold. Put back in bowl in a warm location again. It rose in about 45 minutes. Still not a good firm dough.   So I Made a loaf the best I could . Put it on a piece of parchment paper . It started to rise a little but was flattening out. I had already heated a romertoph clay   baker in the oven.  I put the bread in. Closed the oven and 15 minutes later took the top off.  It had spring from the oven heat.  Continued baking for another 5-7 minutes.  The bread was only at a internal temp of 170. Had a very good rise in the oven   Supposed to have been done in about 13 minutes. Internal temp was about 170 degrees.  It was about  25 + minutes later that it had a internal temp of 200 -203 degrees and look perfect except for cracks as I did not slash.  The crust was over baked my fault I should not have taken the lid off until it was close to the internal temp.    The taste was unacceptable . The crumb looked ok . It had a pretty heavy yeast taste and just not a good tasting loaf.

 I  have been under the impression that you did not have to use yeast with a good starter in  sour dough bread.

I have no idea why I could not get the dough to a manageable condition. Also I did not use my KA to mixer.    I went by the old book and done it by hand. They mentioned use a wooden spoon to mix only If I had used the KA I am almost sure I would have added considerable more flour.   Using a wooden spoon to mix the starter  I assumed do not use a mixer with metal hook????

   Any suggestions

    Thanks

              Bob

 

Felila's picture
Felila

If you've been making sourdough successfully for a few years, why should you abandon all your proven techniques because a random recipe directs otherwise? The sourdough culture from Alaska is just a different strain of wild yeast than the one you normally use. Treat it as if it were your regular culture and see if you like the resulting taste. If you don't, don't bother with it. 

Use the mixer :) The metal hook won't kill your sourdough -- it doesn't kill mine. Add flour until the dough feels right.  You da boss. 

bobkay1022's picture
bobkay1022

Your more than right 100 %. Getting more brain dead as I near the 80 Y O Mark.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

over a period of time.

From my own experiments with store bought SD starter I remember that the results were not that great in the beginning, but improved over time and multiple feedings.

Karin

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

Ditto on what hanseata said.  I know from experience that a revived (or a new) starter typically takes many feedings over time to really become robust and active and for it to stabilize (I assume the yeast/lacto-bacillus balance, but could be wrong.)  I would say that given your description, that your starter is doing fine.  Just keep feeding it at least weekly and refridgerate it between uses.  You'll find that suddenly it just works better and the dough will rise more upwards instead of tending to get slack and rise sideways and that sort of thing.  You're working with nature here, not an optimized and commercialized product designed for low flavor but super perfect rising capabilities.  Sourdough works fine ...and is so much healthier.  It's worth waiting and working for.

 

Brian

 

 

bobkay1022's picture
bobkay1022

Thanks Bryan and Hanseata I think I will stay with the starter I have been using from Sour Dough Home.  It is well over a year old and works ok and the taste is outstanding . I had heard so many conversations about Alaskan starter I thought I would try it.  Really appreciate the  thoughts and knowledge.

Bob

bobkay1022's picture
bobkay1022

Thanks Karin.    That takes some time and feeding, My own is year plus and ok. Just had heard that this was a great starter. Not worth all the time if it will not be better than what I have.  

Thanks again,

Bob

www.siemann.us

Laurentius's picture
Laurentius

Hi Bobkay,

Thats a little hasty. Don't give up on the starter because you made a mistake! Keep feeding and nurturing it as you would any other thing that you hold dear, when you're ready to try again, you might be pleasantly surprised.

 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Bob, when I started baking my own sourdoughs, I used a store bought SD and my fresh home grown one side by side. My own outperformed the store bought over several feedings very quickly.

The other consideration: the more often you feed a starter with your flour, the more wild yeasts clinging to that flour get incorporated, so after a time it will be your "local" starter, and not the original Alaska or whatever SD anymore.

Happy baking,

Karin

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

That may be true, but I'll bet that the Alaskan yeasts and lacto bacillus cultures will never completely disappear either since they too reproduce in the starter.  Is it in Ed Wood's book where he shows how to dry and store starters in the freezer?  One way to extend the original starter's life in your environment is to re-start from dried starter every now and then, immediately drying another sample before you go off and use your new version much.

 

Brian

 

bobkay1022's picture
bobkay1022

Hi K

Older I get the more common sense goes by the way side.

Thanks

Bob