The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dehydrated Pasta Madre?

solmstea's picture
solmstea

Dehydrated Pasta Madre?

At my local Italian grocery store today I noticed a packed of "dehydrated pasta madre with leavening" and though I have no experience with sourdough or pasta madre, I bought it. I have been long tempted by pasta madre anyway. However, what I don't know is whether this mix can be used to make an actual pasta madre mother, or if I should just be using it once and using all the dough. Has anyone ever come across this product? Googling around about it I only found one video about it (in Italian, so no idea what it says), so I'm curious if anyone has used this and whether I should expect this to be one and done, or whether I can turn it into a mother. 

Many thanks in advance!

Sarah

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Why not try it out? Treat it as you would some dried starter. Most of us have some dried starter in an air tight bag or jar to rebuild our starter in case of a bone headed error or loss of our starters. I keep mine in the freezer. Depending on the seasonal room temperature, it might take 3 or 4 feedings to build up an adequate quantity in my house. I keep the discarded starter in a plastic container in the fridge until the next weekend when I can use it in a pizza crust and not waste anything or my effort.

I did a quick Google search and found some posts that say the pasta madre is indeed a sourdough type starter.  Let us know if it works for you.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

run your link,

https://www.paneangeli.it/salati/lieviti-salati/pasta-madre-disidratata-con-lievito

through google translate, or another free translate service.

solmstea's picture
solmstea

I know what the site says, the problem is that it's just more advertising than explanatory. It says, "helpfully," that "the dough needs two leavening phases," but that's all the detail it gives. Anyway, I will give it a try! If it doesn't work, though, I won't know if it will be because of my own inexperience or the product. But ...how bad could it be!?

 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

It looks, or sounds like this "instant sourdough" product from Red Star that came out within the past year or so.

https://redstaryeast.com/red-star-platinum-instant-sourdough-yeast/

I have not seen any reviews of it.  

If you try it, please report back with a review.

 

solmstea's picture
solmstea

Will do! I know I will be coming back here with lots of questions, if it does work...(or maybe even if it doesn't)

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

I see packets of dried Lievito Pasta Madre all the time in supermarkets here, but I have never tried it as I already have my pasta madre. As far as I can remember, the last time I looked at a pack I think it said use one instead of yeast with 500gm of flour in your usual recipe.

If you post a picture of the instructions on the packet, I'll translate.

Jeremy

Anon2's picture
Anon2 (not verified)

Sourdough starter when dried takes time to reactivate. Instant sourdough sounds like dried starter for taste with some instant yeast. 

"Dehydrated pasta madre with leavening"

Dehydrated pasta madre meaning the dried starter and with leaving meaning the yeast. 

solmstea's picture
solmstea

Yeah, see, this is what I was wondering and was thinking (just sourdough "flavor"). It says it includes beer yeast. 

Here's a link to the back of the package with the explanation and ingredients

And here's a video I saw of a woman testing it (in Italian).

 

Anon2's picture
Anon2 (not verified)

That's commercial yeast. So it's sourdough flavour with commercial yeast.

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

Right. Basically sour-faux. Shame. But there are others here. I'll look next time I go to the supermarket.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Surely it is what it is...

To be clear this is a type i (1) sourdough that has been dried and powdered to which dried commercial yeast has been added. The product makes clear this is the case, there is no deception here.

If you were to take a piece of your starter, dehydrate and then powder it, add to it some commercial yeast you would have effectively the same thing. There is no shame, what did you expect?! A dried type 1 culture alone would suffer a long lag phase and probably a change of dominating microbes with refreshments before you could use it to successfully leaven bread. This product is intended to work 'out of box' hence the addition of dried commercial yeast.

The way I see it this product is a dried mix of commercial yeast with added natural improver.

 

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

I do indeed dry my sourdough, as a backup, although I don't bother to powder it. Flakes are fine. And they reconstitute perfectly well. I wouldn't attempt to raise 500 gm of flour with 10 gm of dried starter.

So, what's the improver here? The dried starter? That's certainly not my understanding of a dough improver.

Commercial bakers can indeed buy large bags of sourdough flavour to add to their breads, if that's their thing. And where there are no regulations on labelling, I consider calling bread made in that way "sourdough" tantamount to fraud.

 

mwilson's picture
mwilson

The point being you could and the result would be akin to making a mixed leavened loaf. A dried starter is pre-fermented flour and pre-ferments can be used as improvers.

Broadly speaking an improver could be any added ingredient that invokes a chemical change which provides a desirable benefit to the final product.

Bread made with a dried fermented culture can be classed as a Type III (3) sourdough. This dried culture has been pre-fermented by LAB.

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

All I want to say is that adding either a liquid or solid culture of LAB and other things does not, in my opinion, turn yeast-raised bread into anything that can fairly be called sourdough.

We can disagree about that, and I would like to see some sort of consumer protection that prevents the word "sourdough" being attached to any product that uses either liquid or solid LAB as an "improver".

gerhard's picture
gerhard

bakery operations in Canada don’t rely on on the yeast naturally occurring in their sourdough culture, I think they like the words artisanal, sourdough, handcrafted etc. but they don’t like the time it takes to bake true sourdough. Here is a label from COBS they promote themselves as natural artisanal bakers but they try to confuse that they use commercial yeast to the casual reader. 

solmstea's picture
solmstea

Well, I live in Kosovo, so there aren't too many diverse grocery options, but Conad has interesting things come through once in a while. If you find a good brand, let me know. In the meantime, maybe I'll just have to suck it up and make a starter from scratch, I guess. 

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

I'd be happy to mail you some starter. Send me a private message.