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BBA Barm - Just Use My Starter?

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alienbogey's picture
alienbogey

BBA Barm - Just Use My Starter?

I've read through my new copy of BBA several times and I'm trying to get my head wrapped around it all.  The answer to my question below seems obvious but I want to make sure I'm not missing something.

In the book the author gives a multi-step set of instructions for making the 'barm', from which various 'firm starters' will be made on day one according to the recipes for breads that will take two days to make.  At one point he calls the barm the 'mother starter'.

Now, to me the barm looks like what many folks would call sourdough starter.  So, I've finally arrived at my question:  Given that I have a sourdough starter that has been perking away for years now, can't I use that as my 'barm' with no need to make a new one a la' the author's steps?  Or does making the barm via the BBA instructions infuse it with special powers?

One thing to consider is that my sourdough starter is fairly sour - it came from Carl's Oregon Trail Starter.

 

 

 

 

Janedo's picture
Janedo

I just use my regular liquid starter because in the end it's all the same. I looked at his recipe and the only differences were that he used grape water and malt, etc to get it going. It doesn't change the type of colony of wild yeast and bacteria, so there's no sense in making another one. It's strenght will always depend on how you care for nd feed it. If he asks for a white starter, feed it white, if he wants a whole wheat one feed it whole wheat. You can seperate your liquid starter in two. I took my original one and made it into a variety of different forms depending on what I'm baking, but I always keep my basic liquid.

Jane

 

PS. Even Reinhart has dropped using the term "barm" because it causes confusion 

alienbogey's picture
alienbogey

Thanks for the reply.  It makes sense and I'm glad I can just use what I have on hand.

If he doesn't use 'barm' any longer, what term is used for the 'mother starter', the starter-formerly-known-as-barm? 

Janedo's picture
Janedo

I don't really know because everything I do is in French! I'm still learning the English words. Isn't it just "starter"?

shimpiphany's picture
shimpiphany

in the "sourdough variations" section in the basic sourdough recipe, and reinhart indicates that 100% hydration starter can be substituted directly for any recipe of his that calls for barm.

holds99's picture
holds99

Mike Avery responded to a post on this site re: barm and Reinhart's use of the term with a very good explanation of the difference between barm and sourdough.  Here's a link to the question and Mike repsonse.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/5994/maintaining-and-using-barm

Howard - St. Augustine, FL