The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to maintain a starter line from the 1700's???

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cececamimom's picture
cececamimom

How to maintain a starter line from the 1700's???

I just received a starter from the 1700's and I am a novice baker.  How do I maintain this starter so that I can work with it and begin learning how to bake sourdough bread!?  I am so excited!  Please help!

jeffbellamy's picture
jeffbellamy

Basically you want to make it feel at home just like any other guest in your house.

 Feed it three square a day and in a couple of weeks it will be a permanent part of the family.

 I'd love to get a bit to try out.

 jeff bellamy

http://i12etu.com

"A little and a little makes a lot"

cordel's picture
cordel

Wow. I would love to taste a bread started with it. I just revived mine today, after more than a week of languishing, and I am glad to see it be so enthusiastic, after looking bad and smelling a little nasty. it is now fresh, and sour and perfect.

GrapevineTXoldaccount's picture
GrapevineTXolda...

Wow! I'm excited for you. First, don't panic. As Jeff said, simply feed that houseguest three square meals a day. Eventually, there will be no need to give it any more special pampering than a family member, oh, did I really say that? (joking).
Congratulations to you, by the way. Feel free to grow that baby, big, and then feel free to share it. I'll bet we'd pay shipping and handling, and in my case, I'd send a bit of my five month old, Texas starter. (Rolling eyes...LOL).

bnb's picture
bnb

Hi everyone,

 Since this thread is about starters, I'd like to jump in with a Q.

I am working on a rye starter, 2 days old. I am feeding it once every 24 hrs. It should be ready to use in about 2-3 more days.I might have to freeze some of the starter coz I don't bake very often. Once a frozen starter is thawed does it need to go through the 1 week cycle of feeding to make it usuable again?

bnb's picture
bnb

Anybody have any advice/suggestion vis-a-vis my question?

hokietoner's picture
hokietoner

If you have a separate question you should post a new topic. All of the topics in this forum are about starters. Asking a new question in someone else's topic is usually called hijacking, and leads to frustration if the original poster finds their question is being overshadowed by people answering the hijacker's question.

bnb's picture
bnb

Hokietoner,

 If I am intruding upon another's post it is not intentional. I am new here and maybe a bit over zealous in seeking answers. I am retracting my question. I don't see any way of deleting the post.

But for all the talk about politeness going on in this forum, that sure was a cold response.

BNB.

 

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I'm sorry, I don't have an answer for you. You can post this question yourself under "Create Comment" and perhaps someone else can give you some guidance. Welcome to TFL

bnb's picture
bnb

 No problem, Paddy. I appreciate your guidance. Thanks!

hokietoner's picture
hokietoner

Read my post however you want, but I didn't say anything mean or rude to you. Lacking the benefit of vocal inflection, written notes can be interpreted in many ways so you shouldn't assume I posted with a cold tone. I figured you were new, and you'll notice I didn't accuse you of deliberately hijacking the thread. But I also wanted you to know that changing the subject is generally looked down upon in forum circles, and your lack of a reply was more due to its placement inside someone else's thread than because nobody could help you. I also didn't want to give any advice to you about sourdough, for fear of hijacking the thread despite my own warning. So take this as you will, but you have no need to feel insulted.

JERSK's picture
JERSK

    This is how I feed my starter. I take out half, by weight, and add equal amounts flour and water to it. I keep 4 oz. starter, so I take out 2 oz. and add 2 oz. each flour and water. Keep it, and the original starter (the mother), in a warm place(70-80 deg. F) and wait until it gets real bubbly. This will take some time, a few hours at least, depending on how often you use it. At this point, you could just return 2 oz. back to your original. I usually build it up one more time to the amount I want to use in my bread recipe, plus 2 oz. and wait for it to get active, then return the 2 oz. Depending on how often you want to use it, you could just stick the mother in the fridge, or keep it out for a few hours to ripen and then refrigerate it. I hope this helps. If it's a whole wheat starter you'll want to feed it whole wheat flour, rye if rye starter, all purpose flour if it's white. There's plenty of info on this site and other places about feeding starters, but I like to keep it basic. FYI, I've heard there's no big difference between really old starters and newer ones, but it's nice to have an heirloom and keep it going. You can dry out some of it and freeze it if you're worried about losing it. anyways, good luck with it.

cececamimom's picture
cececamimom

Thank-you so much!  I have been doing something similar, but this really helped me a lot!  I found a great way to keep it warm, I use a seedling heat mat, which keeps it 10-20 degrees warmer than room temp, which is perfect! 

I just have trouble wading through all the nauseating amount of info on websites, and like to get advice from another human being!  Thanks again!

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

There is really no need to ever freeze your starter. If you feed it enough flour to make a firm consistency it will keep for weeks (even months) in the fridge. Of course, it is better for the starter to not go months between feedings. Drying is also a good option for back-up.

cececamimom's picture
cececamimom

Sourdo lady,

 Thanks for the input.  How would I go about drying some starter?  I plan on just keeping it in the fridge and I do bake at least once a week, so I plan on feeding it once a week and using part of it.  But I would like to have some dried out as a back up.  I read that freezing it can kill the organism responsible for the "sour" in sourdough, and I cant have that!

Thanks!

raisdbywolvz's picture
raisdbywolvz

I've only been doing this a short amount of time, but this is how the person who got me started in sourdough told me to do it and it works nicely. When it's all bubbly and ready to use, the first thing to do is take a big spoonful out and pour it onto a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet, then use the back of the spoon and spread it out really thin. Set it aside in a dust-free place and let it dry. Overnight should do it. Then peel it off the parchment paper. It'll kind of flake apart. Put your flakes in a small plastic zippy bag, label and date it, then put it in the fridge. Like you, I've heard that the freezer is death to a sourdough starter, even one that's dried.

Good luck! If you dry a bunch and want to share, I bet lots of people here would love to have some!

 

cececamimom's picture
cececamimom

I would love to share some of my starter, I'll have to dry some and then get back to those of you who have requested some.

I don't really know if I am feeding it or using it right, because I made some sourdough pancakes and they didn't taste all that sourdough-e!  I will have to try making some sourdough bread and see if it rises and how it tastes. 

Anyone have a good recipe for sourdough bread that does not add any commercial yeast?  I want to preserve the natural sour taste, and see how well my starter can rise bread.

 

Thanks all!

jeffbellamy's picture
jeffbellamy

Sourdough Starters are not necessarily 'Sour'. Or at least not much.

Your starter will become more sour as it becomes hungry. A friend of mine says he keeps his starter more sour by lowering the hydration (having less water and more flour in the mix.

In an attempt to give my bread a little more sour taste I added yogurt.

http://i12etu.com

//i12etu.com/wordpress/2008/02/27/sourdough-yogurt-bread/Sourdough Yogurt Bread: http://i12etu.com/wordpress/2008/02/27/sourdough-yogurt-bread/ 

You might try one of the no knead bread recipes, replacing the instant yeast with 1/4 - 1/2 cup starter (depending on how active it is. 3 c. flour, 1 1/2c water, 1 1/4 t salt.

When I bake cakes or make candies and deserts I take the Chemistry Lab approach and try to do everything just so. With bread i just try to break it down to it's most basic elements and bake.

 

 

 

"A little and a little makes a lot"

cececamimom's picture
cececamimom

YOur bread is beautiful!  Thanks for the suggestions!

raisdbywolvz's picture
raisdbywolvz

I've found that a long retard in the fridge gives my sourdough more of a sour taste, as opposed to just shaping and letting it rise on the counter.

cookie cruncher's picture
cookie cruncher

Wow, what's the story behind your starter?  Where did it originate?  How did you acquire it?

The Breadtopia website has several videos on sourdough starter how-to's.  Here's the link to the video on how to dry your starter for storage or shipping:

http://www.breadtopia.com/drying-sourdough-starter-for-long-term-storage/ 

I wouldn't mind tasting your starter too if you ever decide to go that route...