The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New Multigrain Sourdough Starter (India)

Gandhi's picture
Gandhi

New Multigrain Sourdough Starter (India)

Hi,

I'm new to sourdough and haven't yet baked my first loaf.

I am from Calcutta, India (warm and humid) and Im looking to share my progress and hoping to learn more from the community here.

this is a picture of my starter with almost equal amounts multigrain(primarily whole wheat) + filtered water on day 1

( I started it yesterday, 27th Sep. 2017 at 5 pm and as of taking these pictures it was just past 8 AM the next day)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Im hoping I'm somewhat on track. It smells kind of sweet cheesy but not like stinky cheese and its risen by about 1/3rd (definitely not doubled)

Weather is humid

Temperature is between 29 to 32 degrees C / 84 to 90 degrees F

Flour composition: Whole wheat stone ground flour (90%), Multigrain flour mixture (9.1%)(Defatted soya flour, Oat flour, Psyllium husk powder, Maize flour and Bengal gram flour).

 

when should i be feeding next ? Do i definitely need to discard some of the starter yet ?

Thank you for looking :)

Ankit

 

phaz's picture
phaz

First, welcome! And that mix sounds really good, really really going! My mouth is watering just thinking about it .... mmmmm ....good.

But, yes, you're on the right track. I wouldn't feed it just yet. Wait till it reaches max height, stir it, and when it doesn't rise again, feed it, don't discard yet. I would do that for a few days maybe a week (discard if you're running out of room). Don't be surprised if things calm down and you don't see any signs of activity, that's normal with most starters (I'm willing to bet that mix will come alive quickly). So far, so good

Gandhi's picture
Gandhi

so the starter seems to have doubled two hours after stirring.
Have not fed it a second time yet.

phaz's picture
phaz

Wow - did you see my post and reply already?

Gandhi's picture
Gandhi

Firstly, thank you for taking the time to look and for the helpful  information. :)

you and i replied simultaneously i think.

Im really looking forward to baking my first loaf, and any helpful information would be greatly appreciated.
Currently i have nothing other than an electric grill/ oven ( not very large but not too small and works okay ), no baking stone or dutch oven and i don't want to spend money one one just yet. ( I plan on investing on a medium sized cob/ brick oven in the future)

i do have access to cheaply available terracotta pots and griddles, which i can acquire at reasonable prices since they are traditionally and locally manufactured here and widely used. 
I might also be able to buy some cast iron cookware but they are usually more traditional in the way they are built and they should be available in either a griddle or a "Kadhai" which is a kind of a wok with looped handles on both sides.

Any ideas, as to what might be ideal to use out of the options i have ?
recipes that might work for the above.?

Just want to be prepared before hand since everything seems to be moving a little fast here :)

Thanks again,
Ankit

 

 

phaz's picture
phaz

As long as the oven can get above 350F it will work. I use a cheap thin metal bowl big enough to cover the loaf. That holds a good amount if steam (you want stream for the first 10 - 15 minutes of baking so the bread rises before the crust thickens) - or lightly mist the top of the loaf with water before it goes in the oven and a few minutes later). It doubled after stirring - it still had enough food. I try not to feed too much early on. The organisms in the starter need to create the right  environment to grow, and too much feeding at this stage tends to dilute things, thereby undoing what it has already done. That just slows the whole process down. As mentioned above, when it stops rising after stirring, it could use food. As long as it rises, its got enough food. Keep on going and you'll be baking before to long. Also, keep checking back, we have bakers from all over the world and I'm sure someone has some idea for ya (and probably better ones than I have). Enjoy!

IceDemeter's picture
IceDemeter

One of the better videos for visualizing what is going on can be found here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/comment/388038#comment-388038

With the higher temperatures and humidity at your location, things will likely move a fair bit faster than the timing shown in the video.  The main thing right now is to remember that the first big rise and activity is most likely from unwanted bacteria, and that feeding too much too soon will just keep the starter environment better for them.  By just stirring it today, you give time for the unwanted bacteria to start dying off, and for the starter to begin becoming more acidic.  It is that acid that kills of the unwanted bacteria and encourages the growth of yeast and the lactobacillus bacteria that you want.  There is quite often a "quiet" period between the unwanted bacterial action ending and the yeast and LAB populations reaching a point where their activity is obvious.  It can be hard not to worry at this point (especially since it is often accompanied by an unpleasant smell), but just not feeding it but stirring it frequently is the best way to get past that point to where the yeast and LAB take off and you have a healthy and happy starter.

As for the baking needs - well, what are the specs on your oven?  How much room is inside, how high do the temps go, does it have convection or not, and does it maybe have steam injection?  Unglazed terracotta could definitely be an option as a baking stone, and there are various steam production methods that can be used, depending on the oven.

Welcome to the addiction to bread baking - and remember to keep having fun with it and bake happy!

Gandhi's picture
Gandhi

Thank you for that link and information.

Regarding my oven, it does go upto 300 degrees C but has no convection (fanless, with coils above and below) nor any steam injection ( i plan on using a baking tray placed below with boiling water in it). Ive also ordered a piece of black unpolished granite about the size of my oven rack which is approximately 9.5" x 13"

I also have a convection/ microwave oven which only goes upto 200 Degrees C.

 

Regards

Gandhi's picture
Gandhi

Good morning,

So i have been checking up often on the starter and the rise and fall process seems to have stopped over the last day and a half.
The activity seems to have reduced a fair bit as well. Doesn't smell bad at all, was slightly vinegary before my last feeding

and here is where we are now:

is this normal ? If so, any guesses on how many more feedings/ days before i can even think about baking with this ?

 

thanks

phaz's picture
phaz

That's normal for most starters (reduced activity after the first burst). I mentioned not to be surprised if this happens. As this stage, you can skip a feeding or two (I would skip 2 feedings), then discard half of what you were normally removing, and feed half the amount you were normally giving it. After a few days to a week it should start showing signs of activity (rising again, only a little at first, then more and more as the days pass. How long before it can be used - it depends on the starter. I've made some that were ready in about 8 days, and some that took like 3 weeks. I would think that mix would be in the under 2 week range, but one never knows. Just let it do its thing till it's ready, trying to use it too early will just create issues and we don't want that! Patience is a must, when making a starter, and when making the bread. With this type of bread in particular, we go by when the dough is ready, not so much when we are ready. Don't worry, it'll be worth the wait. Keep posting progress when you can, I want to see this baby come alive!

PS - give it a good mixing a few times a day, it never hurts.

Gandhi's picture
Gandhi

SO I've had some heavy activity going on .

I hadn't fed it for about 2 feedings.

Did a small feed last night and this is where we are today morning.
From the looks of it it might have risen 3 times.

Maybe i should switch to feeding larger amounts now? :)

Thank you for helping me out and if there are any suggestions from here on please do share. :)

Cheers,
Ankit

phaz's picture
phaz

I would go back to the normal feeding schedule for a couple days. If it's rising and falling in say 12 hrs with those feeds, try doubling the amount you feed it, or discard twice the normal amount (that works out about the same). I would try and adjust the feeds so it can go 24 hrs between meals. Oh, how does it smell? I think you're on track to make bread in a few more days. And no problem with the help, that's what we do - breadheads are always happy to help out other breadheads! Keep posting progress

Gandhi's picture
Gandhi

:) :)

SO it was smelling fruity, almost in-between a peach and an apricot, now its smelling like really nice bread mostly and theres the slightest hit behind the bridge of my nose and i don't want to say alcohol because its super mild(i might have even missed it) but i don't know what else to compare it to. It does smell really good though.

 

heres what it looks like and its rising at a pretty decent pace.

Gandhi's picture
Gandhi

well on  it's way to tripling. It's higher than when I took the picture and smells great. No hint of any alcohol. Just like fresh bread on the inside.

should I discard and feed before collapse? or just wait 24 hours ?

:)

Gandhi's picture
Gandhi

Scratch that, I just read what you mentioned about stirring it and seeing if it rises again.

i have done just that and it smells a little bit like sweet lime , like a sweet lime bread :).

 

 

 

phaz's picture
phaz

Congratulations - a starter is born. 

Gandhi's picture
Gandhi

Thank You Phaz!!