The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Herman/Amish friendship starter

rb75453's picture
rb75453

Herman/Amish friendship starter

Does anyone have a recipe which uses a Herman starter as a leaven, rather than just as an ingredient to add flavor?

Everything I have seen calls for the addition of instant yeast or baking powder to provide the actual leavening.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

tell us how you are feeding dear ol' Herman and how he behaves.  The more details the better.  Amounts, times and temps help a lot.  

Then I suggest we test his muscles with a 1.2.3 recipe and time him watching closely.  :). 

rb75453's picture
rb75453

Handling Herman as per Allrecipes.com. Keeping starter in refrigerator, stirring daily with plastic spoon.  On the 5th day discarding half of starter and feeding 1c distilled water, 1c whole milk, and 1/2c sugar.  Currently at 9th day, source says ready for use by 10th day.

After feeding some bubbles and slight increase in size.

On the 10 day I thought I could try using it as a poolish. Had not thought of 1.2.3, thanks for the suggestion. So tomorrow morning I'm take it out, discard and feed, leave it out all day and prepare 1.2.3 tomorrow evening. Proceed from there as a regular sourdough?

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I would think it as some LAB in it after 10 days.  I would also cut the recipe by a factor of 3 so you don't end up with a bucket of the stuff.

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/7063/amish-friendship-bread-starter/

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I couldn't  pull up the instructions without waving my rights so...

Since Herman is very runny, I would suggest removing half a cup an adding to that half cup, up to half a cup flour to thicken up to a soft dough and see how it rises giving it plenty of time to double or even triple in size.  It should peak under 8 hours at 26°C. Results will vary with temps.  Will have to see how long it takes.  Then weigh the peaked starter and use into a 123 recipe when the levain has proven successful.  

rb75453's picture
rb75453

Thanks for advice. Will do and will keep you updated on outcome.

Thanks again.

rb75453's picture
rb75453

Quick update. Mini, took your advice and added flour. At 70F it took 24 hours to double. So I then I made a starter 1:1:1 by weight. It trippled in 10 hours. I made another starter and used the discard to make a 1:2:3 bread. Turned out quite acceptable but I think I can do better. Would appreciate any advice, thoughs or comments.

Thanks for putting on the right track.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

yeast water.  Was the bread sour like sourdough?  This is one starter I haven't made but Lucy is getting ready to do so.

rb75453's picture
rb75453

Have never tried water yeast.  Considering trying it for beer but not bread. 

This starter began as a combination of regular sourdough starter, milk, flour and sugar. Regular feeding of milk, flour and sugar. The last two feedings were (67g) each 1:1:1+1T sugar.

No noticeable sour taste in the bread. Actually I found the bread rather bland. Will try again using 50/50 WW and bread flour and see how that turns out.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

has any SD in it.  If you started it with some then it is a SD starter from the  get go and can't really go back to the original Amish idea.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Is the starter still on a sugar & milk diet or is it being weaned from both during the feeding process?  

I would expect the starter to balk at first.  So try reducing the milk and sugar a little bit replacing the milk with more water with each feed until converted to water only and sugar is eliminated.  From my experience the starter will remain sweet and not result in sour tasting bread although the starter may taste sour.  

When the starter speeds up (and it will gradually peek sooner with each feed) peaking under 6-8 hrs, you may want to increase the flour ratio, closer to recipe ratios of 1:3 or 1:4 (starter to flour) and play with the water amounts.  Letting the starter peak will help to build the yeast population in the starter.   26-27°C ideal.

if the starter is peaking at odd hours, chill the starter when peaked and remove later to warm and feed to match your schedule.  Don't become a slave to it and loose any valuable beauty sleep.  :)

edit:  adding bread flour and in particular WW flour may change the starter drastically at this early stage so split the starter first and reserve the older starter in the fridge while you play with feeding WW.  Then if you don't like the WW changes, you can go back to the thickened Herman.   WW introduces a big gang variety of yeast and bacteria you might not want right now.   Up to you.  Bread flour only dumps gluten into the starter where AP is just fine.  With bland bread, you may want to look at uaing the WW or other flours and seeds for flavour when using a recipe.  I suggest keeping the starter simple and maintenance basic.  

rb75453's picture
rb75453

Sorry I apparently confused the issue. I have not attempted to change the starter. My test loaf of bread was bland. I intend to bake another loaf using WW and bread flour. Hopeing that will add to the taste.

I'm sorry I am so slow and I truly appreciate your patience.  But I am lost.

So, let me back up and start over.  I had never heard of a Herman starter before last month. I ran across a reference to Amish Friendship bread and was curious. So I took some sourdough starter and began feeding it milk and sugar along with the flour in order to create a Herman starter. Was i wrong in doing this?  If I was wrong, how should I create a Herman starter?

If I had a Herman starter what should I feed it in order to maintain it as a Herman starter? I assumed that the milk and sugar were what make this starter unique.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I haven't turned a starter into a Herman.  Keep going with yeast building and keeping the milk and sugar in the program.  Sorry, I thought you wanted the reverse. Started out with a Herman and wanted it to work by itself.  No reason it can't.  You may end up with a sweet starter to play with.  I think that is the essence of this type of starter, to raise sweeter breads.  Herman has been around a long time.  I remember my mother playing with the directions some 50 years ago.  

Keep us informed how the starter is behaving and working out.  

rb75453's picture
rb75453

Well Mini you misunderstood my question and I misunderstood your answer. Between us we've got Herman going strong.

I've tried his leavening quality but not Friendship bread yet. First was a1:2:3 plus sugar bread formula. Proofed adequately, some oven rise, close crumb. Made with AP flour. Taste nothing special.

Next I tried a 1:2:3 plus 1/3 c buckwheat honey, 50/50 whole spelt and bread flour. Proofed well, oven rise acceptable, texture tight but not too dense. Taste not bad at all.

Time to go Amish. I decided to try Friendship biscuits. Typical Friendship recipe from internet. AP flour,milk,oil,sugar,baking powder and baking soda. I thought this would be a slightly sweet angel type biscuit. Nice looking biscuits - taste, a great disappointment. Will try again but not soon.

Next a traditional Amish Friendship bread. Wish me luck.

Thanks for your help. At least I now have a healthy Herman starter.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Lol!  

So what you want is a authentic friendship recipe?

Spelt is a tasty flour, I prefer it to regular store bagged whole wheat.  Is there something particular you're looking for in the bread?  Buttery? Fruity or nutty?  Are you searching for a particular flavour or a specific bread?