The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tasting SD Starter

BetterBoules's picture
BetterBoules

Tasting SD Starter

Is it risky or does tasting a tad of SD starter have probiotic nutritional properties?  I've been tasting a bit of it for months now and rather enjoy it; however, recently I read of risks of E-Coli possible from the flour.  Anyone have any in-put? 

Balim's picture
Balim

I'm listening in on this thread because I typically taste a finger-full of starter each time I bake bread.  Only been baking SD for about a month now, but that's quite a few finger-fulls!  I hope I'm not playing sourdough roulette!  It's lactobacillus and yeast, right?  Aren't both of these in other things we eat?  Provided those are the only two beasts living in there (no E-coli hanging around), then it should be OK, no?

Abe's picture
Abe

Uncooked flour does come with a risk but I'm thinking that tasting a mature starter (fed and peaked) would reduce this risk due to the acidity and good bacteria taking care of the bad bacteria. This would be a question for Debra Wink. 

BetterBoules's picture
BetterBoules

I like your thinking that supports my own and thank you for sharing it. 

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Bacteria, yeasts, and other contaminants survive the harvesting and cleaning processes that precede milling and thus are present in the commercial end product.  A lot of work has been put into developing improved methods and the result has been a factor of 100 reduction in the cfu counts for commercial flour.  But it is still not sterile.

That said, the starter you maintain both dilutes and suppresses the native contaminants, and we have millennia of data that suggests that starter is not hazardous.  Whether there is any probiotic nutritional value is a different question all together. While E-Coli is a nasty bug, it is certainly not present in your starter at any significant level so that should not be a concern.  There are research papers that contain quantified data if you are interested.

BetterBoules's picture
BetterBoules

Thank you Doc.Dough for your helpful in-put.  Anxious to try a loaf of SD with my "Oh, so almost fruity- tasting mature starter" that's  a pampered  9 mo. old and finger-licking good.  Thanks again for your valued response.