August 14, 2020 - 3:19pm
Back-engineering starter fr genuine Neapolitan pizza dough. Next step?
Back-engineering starter fr genuine Neapolitan pizza dough. Next step?Dear TFL community, I'm seeking help. I'm hoping to reverse-engineer a culture from fully proofed pizza dough w/ a lineage precious to me: 2 different sources, made with a strain of natural leavening continued day to day for 5 generations in Napoli, where my mother's family is from. I hadn't fed it or done anything with it till today; it's been neglected in fridge for months (pandemic re-prioritizing all else). Good sign: 13.5 hrs after first feed (1:2:2) there are tiny bubbles, size of pin pricks, on bottom; one or 2 slightly smaller than soda straw. Presumably no gas production yet: level hasn't changed perceptibly, and taut rubber-banded plastic wrap over top not stretched. It's extremely stiff. Presumably the dough was ~~75% hydration or less. My 2 feeds have been 100% hydration, but only 1:2:2. What's my next step? Besides (1) what ratio to feed, I also need (2) advice re TIMING of feeds.(Well, that's nearly everything.) Feed #2 was 14.5 hrs later (same as #1) The next I can do would be anywhere from 5-9 hrs from feed #2. I can't make the next feeds at 12 hour intervals, as tonight I hope to be asleep before 5:30 AM/05:30. My schedule is fairly nocturnal due to work across time zones but irregular.I could ask family to do some when they are awake & I'm not. Since I can't expect to hear for a while, I'll probably just keep refeeding as below (1:2:2). Or should I do less, at shorter intervals, to move to a schedule that keeps to 12 hours? Or not feed till more active?
- Fed 1:2:2 by weight/grams, using 00 Caputo flour and spring water.
- Feed #2 same, 14.5 hrs later.
- Jar & all utensils cleaned w boiling water just prior. I am working from flat white core.
- Ambient temp low-mid 70s; varies day/night.
- Important re original sample: I did not receive a starter, per se. Sample was fully proofed pizza dough, from natural starter.
- Italian starters tend to be very stiff.
- Pizza dough is likely to be 70-75% hydration, if the recipes I've seen here are characteristic, as they claim
- I have several other samples (clean, flat white from interior) in clean jars in fridge, as backup or to experiment with alternate methods.
My immediate goal: is just to see if anything I do now can continue the possibility of keeping these organisms alive. ( I do understand that a starter evolves in response to everything in its new environment so I can't truly keep that original starter going.) I'll be as patient as need be. I don't have any kind of deadline and won't have time to switch over to baking with them for a good while. Many thanks for any help! I refer many people to this site (esp. those asking non-bread-specialists on national newspaper sites) and I always say: TFL is what we had naively hoped the internet would be: people who know what they're talking about, generously sharing info and advice with others, for no personal gain. Be well. Stay safe. Thanks so much, Panettiera