The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

herman sourdough

bakerincanada's picture
bakerincanada

herman sourdough

I found a recipe on the King Arthur site for making a herman sourdough from sourdough, milk, flour and sugar.  It is an easier way to make the Amish friendship starter that was popular a few years back.  It makes a great, moist long keeping cake.  There is a book called Best of Sourdough Herman by Dawn Johanson.  It has recipes for cakes, muffins and breads.  Anyone familiar with this book?  Any comments on it? Iam considering adding it to my library.  Anyone have any good recipes using the herman sourdough?  Thanks

Marni's picture
Marni

Bakerincanada,

Sorry, I know nothing about the book or making herman sourdough, but  I  am very interested in learning more about it.  I've seen recipes for the starter and uses for it on a favorite site of mine  www.allrecipes.com.  You could compare recipes and people leave lots of feedback.

Marni

Jolly's picture
Jolly

I went to KIng Arthurs and looked for the recipe. I wanted to check the recipe out and compare it. I couldn't fine it. I did a search under starters and sourdough starters. Couldn't fine any recipe listed for making a Herman starter. Are you sure you found this recipe at King Arthur's site?

Jolly

bakerincanada's picture
bakerincanada

bakerincanada

 So sorry you are correct.  My apologies.  This is the address for "Getting started with starters-Sourdough and Amish friendship bread."  http://www.texascooking.com/features/may2000starters.htm  Let me know what you think.  I have some other sites with recipes if you are interested. 

Jolly's picture
Jolly

Bakerincanada,

I checked out the site and yes the recipe that King Arthur's modified is much better than the ones at allrecpies.

Now the recipe I got from Allrecipes for making a Herman starter, it said I could either make the starter from milk or water. So, I decided to make a (Herman) starter with water for baking breads.

I've been using The Traditional Amish starter (Herman) for at least 10 years. And when I first got the recipe and made up the starter I wasn't en pressed with the starter. Then I decided to make the starter from an organic unbleached flour. Wow! Did it ever take off. I couldn't contain 1 cup of starter in a 1 quart jar so I'm now using 1 1/2 quart container, thats how robust the starter is.

I read about this flour in the book called (Rustic European Breads) from your bread machine by "Linda West Eckhardt and Diana Collingwood Butts." Then I purchased the flour through a Co-op.

Organic Bread Flour...it does not contain the bleaches, bromates, and other additives that are sometime found in all-purpose flour. It has a higher gluten protein count and forms a stronger gluten web, which holds up well. Insuring well risen loaves of bread and a strong oven spring every time you bake. Organic bread flour is made from high-gluten protein (12 to 14 percent) hard red spring wheat.

Wheat Flour---It is a wheat flour with a portion of the bran swifted out and contains all the wheat germ. Its not bleached but lighten naturally to a tan cream color and allowed to age in a cool place for several months. Organic bread flour will vary in color from batch to batch. You can also buy organic unbleached bread flour with all the bran and wheat germ removed. Last time I was at the Super Market I noticed Gold Medal had and organic unbleached flour. I've never used it, but the Rustic European Breads Cookbook highly recommended this type of flour too.

Breads---made with organic bread flour will tend to be more flavorful, moist, light, and well risen. Organic bread flour will help produce a robust awesome Herman starter.

In making soft sandwich breads--- I only use the organic bread flour to make the starter. Then I use Gold Medal all-purpose flour in making my bread along with very small portion of fresh milled rye flour. Plus other nutrients to enrich my breads further.

The Herman Starter---that's made with an organic bread flour is absolutely wonderful for baking soft sandwich breads with a nutty flavor. I have also baked Free Form French Breads, Boules, cinnamon rolls, hamburger buns, and cinnamon strip crackers using the Herman starter.

Amish (Herman) Starter---My adaption of the (Herman) recipe is almost like King Arthurs recipe. The only difference I use an (organic bread flour) to make the starter. And you can produce the starter over night. This flour amazes me.

Here is the original recipe for the Amish Friendship Starter (Herman) Adapted by King Arthur.

1 cup Sourdough starter
1 cup Milk
1 cup Sugar
1 cup All-Purpose flour (they prefer the King Arthur brand)

Take a cup of traditional starter and put it in a glass or ceramic bowl. Add the milk, sugar and flour and blend well. Cover with plastic wrap and let it work for at least 24 hours.

Here is my recipe adaption of the Amish (Herman) Starter, it will ferment overnight. (Recipe adapted by Jolly)
1 cup pure water
1 cup organic unbleached bread flour
2 tsp. basic sourdough starter (made from bread flour)
1/2 cup organic sugar (Florida Crystals)

Take a 2 teaspoon Basic sourdough starter and place in a 1 quart mixing bowl. Add the water, organic flour, organic sugar, and blend well for about 2 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let it work, ferment over night, until double in volume. If you want to give the starter two feeding just cut the recipe in half. NOTE---By using an organic unbleached flour and organic sugar in making a Traditional Herman starter. You will attain the most robust Herman starter to boot any of your favorite recipes.

Pancakes---This starter is so awesome! As long as you use the organic unbleached flour in making the starter. You can use any pancake recipe, remove 1/2 cup unbleached flour from the recipe, and substitute 1/2 cup organic unbleached flour and add only 1 TBSP Herman starter to the recipe.

1) SLURRY--- In a 1-quart mixing bowl combine water or milk, 1 TBSP liquid Herman starter, and oil, to make a slurry, stir to mix.

2) DRY INGREDIENTS---Combine in a 2-quart mixing bowl, unbleached flour, soft white wheat flour. Mix to blend making a well in the middle.

3) ADD THE SLURRY---stir until well blended mixing with a Danish whisk,. Do not over mix the batter, and let it ferment overnight. In mixing up the batter you simply omit adding the eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and salt.

4) IN THE MORNING---the batter should be fermented and bubbling. Lightly beat 2 medium eggs in a small 2-cup glass measure. Pour the beaten eggs, and 1 teaspoon salt, and vanilla over the fermented batter, and fold in with a Danish whisk. When you're ready to bake up the pancakes...Add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 TBSP water, fold in with a danish whisk, and let set for 5 minutes and bake. It will produce the lightest pancakes ever with an awesome flavor.

Herman Starter---I've learned that you don't even need to use a cup of starter in most of your recipes. One tablespoon will ferment 3 cups flour used in a batter for pancakes or muffins or cakes. Then adding a small portion of the organic bread flour to the dry ingredients you can produce awesome baked products using only 1 TBSP of Herman.

That also means by using just one TBSP Herman starter in any of your favorite muffin, pancake, and cake recipes you will not have to adapt the recipe or look for sourdough recipes.

I've been working with Herman for at least 10 years and I'm really venturing fourth in learning how to use this Herman starter more fully.

Now that flour has gone up in price---I'm not making large batches of starter. By using only 1 TBSP of Herman in my favorite recipes I can really stretch the starter. But in making sweet sourdough breads I use at least 1 cup starter in most of my recipes.

Recipe Book---No I have not bought any Herman Sourdough Cookbooks. I have my own style of baking and develop most of my own bread recipes. No doubt the cookbook will be of interest to you and very helpful. I'm wondering how far the writer has taken Herman. Should you buy the book let me know.

I've now developed a Stiff Herman starter---for baking my breads. Breads come out moist, light, and airy. When I mix up the dough I'll use a stiff starter and a liquid Herman starter and produce the most awesome breads. What a robust combination.

Sweet Sourdough Herman Tortillas---I've also been making tortillas made from the Herman starter and they're delicious. The tortillas are very soft and plyable and full of flavor. You can actually roll these tortillas up and they won't crack or split. In making the tortilla dough you can mix up the dough and let it set in the fridge up to week. Then proceed to roll them out according to your time schedule during the week.

Jolly

 

 

 

bakerincanada's picture
bakerincanada

Jolly you are miles ahead of me in your trials with the Herman sourdough! I was just re reading Rose L. Berenbaum Bread Bible - her section on sourdough also suggests that you should use bread flour.  I have always used A.P.  Anyway I am refreshing sourdough in the next day or so and will try the bread flour.  This winter I brought home some King Arthur flour to experiment with.  In the long run I think I like Canadian flour the best.  The bread flour is very strong and I think I will have another go at the sourdough Herman and try your version.  The book I mentioned I am not sure whether they use milk or water in their starter.  Your version will be cheaper than adding a cup of milk.   How long after refreshing can you use Herman.  The version with milk I read up to 10 days it can stay in the fridge.  Do you have any particular refreshment schedule for when you want to use it.  I am presuming you store in the fridge when you are not using. These tortillas is this your own recipe or do you have a link? What do you put in them?  Everything sounds great thanks for the input.

bakerincanada

bakerincanada's picture
bakerincanada

Jolly I reread your entry and realize that you probably only make up the Herman sourdough for when you need it.  That way you don't get into refreshments and hence no waste as you do per the directions on the site that I suggested.  Yes I like your idea much better - have one starter going and then you can either use for breads or to make the sourdough herman!

 bakerincanada

Mommy_of_7's picture
Mommy_of_7

I hope this thread is still active! I noticed that somebody said that they used their Herman to make tortillas. Would you be willing to share the recipe??? My email is: disipio9@frontiernet.net


Thank you,


Chrissy

Annieamie's picture
Annieamie

I have the book you mentioned in your original comment. Its a good book. Its a paperback with a wired spine. If there's any other info you need, just let me know.


The Herman "Starter" is as follows:


2 c AP flour


2 c milk


1 c sugar


1/3 c warm water


2 TB or 2 packages of dry yeast


Sprinkle 1 TB sugar over warm water. Sprinkle yeast over this and let stand in warm place to double in size (10 minutes).


Mix milk, sugar, flour and yeast mixture in a plastic or glass container about the size of a 5 quart ice cream bucket. Stir with a wooden spoon. Cover loosely. Herman will double, even triple at times. Place Herman in a warm place overnight. Refrigerate the next day, still loosely covered and stir each day.


After 5 days, measure out 1 cup of Herman to bake with. Give another cup to a friend and feed the Herman you have left with:


1 c AP flour


1 c milk


1/2 c sugar


Stir well and keep in refrigerator loosely covered. Keep stirring daily. On the 10th day, measure out another cup to use, you another cup for yourself to bake something and feed the rest. This time, feed Herman the following:


2 c AP flour


2 c milk


1 c sugar


The book says that you have enough to start using the Herman daily in a recipe or two. Feed the Herman every five days and keep stirring daily. It says that if you're not using the Herman often, to just add a tablespoon of sugar to the Herman every fifth day and "continue as long as forever."