The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Stainless Steel and Sourdough/Wild Yeast

alienbogey's picture

Stainless Steel and Sourdough/Wild Yeast

     I have seen warnings in references on sourdough bread to avoid contacting the starter with stainless steel (claiming it results in an off taste), yet in BBA I see the sourdough/wild yeast barms, poolishes, etc being mixed and fermented in stainless steel bowls.

     I've been making sourdough bread for years and don't even scoop the starter or stir the sourdough with stainless steel, but now this authoritative work evidently pays it no mind.

     Is the sourdough/stainless steel thing a baseless old wive's tale?  Does it have to do with the duration of the sourdough's exposure to SS?  Should SS never touch sourdough/wild yeast cultures?




colinwhipple's picture

I use stainless steel stirring spoons and stainless steel bowls with sourdough regularly, and have never noticed a off taste from doing that.



sphealey's picture

Consider that commercial bakeries, including small artisan bakeries, use stainless steel almost exclusively due to health and sanitation regulations.

I can see not storing very acid starters in stainless containers for periods of 1-2 weeks (commercial bakeries feed their staters at least daily), but the fear of any stainless item touching the stater seems a bit bit unfounded to me.


arhoolie's picture

I've taken classes from Zingerman's Bakery here in Ann Arbor.  We used stainless steel bowls and wooden spoons. 


JMonkey's picture

I'd not recommend putting sourdough starter or sourdough breads in copper, iron or aluminum bowls, as these metals might react with the organisms and kill them. But stainless steel is fine. I've been using stainless steel for nearly half a year, and couldn't be happier.