Author Topic: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International  (Read 8675 times)

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Offline Fernando

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #40 on: January 06, 2011, 07:33:59 PM »
Hi, I've ordered an Italian Culture from Sourdo and it haven't arrived on time.
Now, I'm trying to contact Ed or anyone from the website and nobody is answer me. (I already sent them 3 e-mails)
Any suggestion what should I do? Anyone know if can I ask them to send to another place or ask refund?
Thanks

Fernando


Offline jimd

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #41 on: January 06, 2011, 07:54:10 PM »
I think that Ed travels a fair amount, and selling the starters that he has collected is not likely a f/t endeavor. When I purchased two starters from Sourdo several years ago, it took Ed a week or two to respond to an email inquiry, but he did respond. I know you must be anxious to get started, but I would be surprised if Ed does not respond.

Offline Fernando

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #42 on: January 06, 2011, 08:08:39 PM »
I get it. I will probably won't get this starter soon. Because I'm from Brazil and my friend went to USA for a holiday. And then I ordered these starter to ship to my friend's hotel. But before that, I'd asked Ed about if it would arrived between "x" days.
But now my friend is already back and without my starters.
I'm not sure what can I do? Can I ask for refund?
Thanks for your answer.

Fernando

Offline sfspanky

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2011, 12:23:11 AM »
I bought Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International and have a few questions from those here that have worked with these.  1. Which of the two did you like the best?  Did you find one of them easier or harder to work with than the other?  2.  From reading here I would think it would be better to activate one culture at a time? 3. Does it matter which flour to use or whether it should be high gluten or not?  I’m reading “Sourdough tips” from King Arthur flour and this looks to be good advice, comments?  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/tips/sourdough-tips.html  ok all thanks




One thing to keep in mind about sourdough cultures...

They all adapt to your available yeast strains and bacteria after about two weeks and no longer have many of the properties of the propagated strain that you purchase. After 2 weeks you have a sourdough culture that you could have made yourself.

Winter wheat flours have a lower protein level, but have a higher grade of protein. For this reason, winter wheat is better for longer fermentations as the higher grade protein has a better fermentation tolerance.

Brian Spangler
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scott123

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2011, 01:40:24 AM »
Brian, while I consider myself a pretty religious NY 'slice' kind of guy, and I feel like sourdough is, for the most part, well outside of that realm, I have noticed on some of the sourdough crumbs I see here/elsewhere, that they have a creamy character. I do practically worship good naan, which has it's own lactic acid/scorching heat/high char going on, so maybe I might enjoy some bacterial action in my pizza dough.  Not a lot, though.  I lived down the street from Amy's Bread for about 6 years, and, although neighbors/friends talked about it in hushed tones, it was too sour for me.

Anyway, I've been contemplating a starter.  I've googled it on multiple occasions.  It seems like there's countless ways to approach it and none appear to be foolproof.  How would you approach creating a starter for the first time?

Offline sfspanky

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #45 on: January 17, 2011, 01:57:28 AM »
Brian, while I consider myself a pretty religious NY 'slice' kind of guy, and I feel like sourdough is, for the most part, well outside of that realm, I have noticed on some of the sourdough crumbs I see here/elsewhere, that they have a creamy character. I do practically worship good naan, which has it's own lactic acid/scorching heat/high char going on, so maybe I might enjoy some bacterial action in my pizza dough.  Not a lot, though.  I lived down the street from Amy's Bread for about 6 years, and, although neighbors/friends talked about it in hushed tones, it was too sour for me.

Anyway, I've been contemplating a starter.  I've googled it on multiple occasions.  It seems like there's countless ways to approach it and none appear to be foolproof.  How would you approach creating a starter for the first time?

First off, start with organic rye flour and water.... that's it! Organic rye is recommended for two reasons. 1) organic because there is more live yeast strains and 2) rye has A LOT of food for the yeast to consume, which promotes activity.

Feed your started at least twice a day at 12 hour intervals. Start with equal parts rye flour and water. Take 50% of the water and flour mixture and mix it with 100% flour and water. For example, if I take 1 kilo of rye flour and 1 kilo of water, I need 500g of the flour/water mixture (starter) also added to the formula. Toss the remaining flour/water mixture. Once the culture becomes active, you are always tossing away starter unless you find someone that wants a new child, just like yours.:)

Temperature is key as sourdough likes temperatures around 78 degrees. If you keep your room, water and flour at this temp, everything will be more predictable and consistent.

Once you feed your starter with a ration of 100% rye flour and 100% 78 degree water everyday, you will notice it becoming very active after about 10-14 days.

Once you notice that your starter is starting to crack or cave-in on itself at the 12 hour mark, you can now start adjusting to 100% wheat flour.

When my starter is at full steam, we feed it with 10% starter. Your own environment will dictate how much starter you need to get your new feeding to full ripeness at the 12 hour mark.

You mentioned that you do not like sourdough too sour. Neither do most bakers:) Amy is an old friend of mine and I have always enjoyed her bread and thought of it very well balanced in the lactic/acidic acid levels. I haven't had it in about 8 years, so things might have changed.

To promote more lactic (creamy acid) as opposed to acidic (vinegary), two things help promote it. Higher hydration and warmer temperatures. Likewise, colder temps and lower hydrations promote acidic acids. Lots of bakeries make the dough and then proof the dough overnight in retarding units. The retarding promotes the acidic acid, which leads to the sourness that most people THINK they want. Most bakers, however, think the acidic acid masks the true flavor of the wheat.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 02:07:15 AM by sfspanky »
Brian Spangler
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scott123

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #46 on: January 17, 2011, 02:43:42 AM »
That's phenomenal.  Thank you for taking the time to type that out.

To be honest, maybe it was the time of day that I got there, but every time I went to Amy's the only options were the heavily flavored breads like the rosemary and the olive versions, so that probably played a part in my less than stellar opinion of sourdough.

Now that I think about it, I do love Jewish rye, which is always traditionally sour, so maybe I'm not as anti-sourdough as I previously thought I was.

Thanks, again, for the instructions.  I might not take the leap tomorrow, but it will be soon, and, when I do, that will be the method I'll use.

Offline sfspanky

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #47 on: January 17, 2011, 03:06:36 AM »
Now that I think about it, I do love Jewish rye, which is always traditionally sour, so maybe I'm not as anti-sourdough as I previously thought I was.

Rye is a different beast all together. Rye wants to be sour when fermented with sourdough culture! Jewish Rye is one of my favorite breads of all time.
Brian Spangler
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Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #48 on: January 17, 2011, 10:38:34 AM »
Great advice from sfspanky on the starter, here's another good source...http://www.breadtopia.com/make-your-own-sourdough-starter/
Rest In Peace - November 1, 2014

foolishpoolish

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #49 on: January 17, 2011, 11:44:10 AM »
Quote
To promote more lactic (creamy acid) as opposed to acidic (vinegary), two things help promote it. Higher hydration and warmer temperatures. Likewise, colder temps and lower hydrations promote acidic acids. Lots of bakeries make the dough and then proof the dough overnight in retarding units. The retarding promotes the acidic acid, which leads to the sourness that most people THINK they want. Most bakers, however, think the acidic acid masks the true flavor of the wheat.

At the risk of sounding like a geek, it's a little more complicated than that. Granted, the whole "high hydration/warm temp" fermentation has become a fairly widely adopted rule-of-thumb in sourdough-baking.
Carefully controlled temperature and feeding regimen can also bias the population dynamics of the culture in favor of yeast (although they will still be outnumbered by lactobacilli by at least 100:1) which is why IMHO, if you want a milder tasting sourdough, I'd recommend feeding with greater frequency and with higher inoculation (not necessarily your storage starter but whatever portion you've set aside for making dough).

Higher hydration and warmer temperature are favoured by bacteria period. Lactic acid is pretty much guaranteed as a product of any sourdough fermentation. However, there's no DIRECT correlation between hydration/temperature and ratio of lactic/acetic products. Without getting too far into it, there are
lactobacilli which ferment and produce lactic acid only and those which ferment, producing lactic acid AND acetic acid (or ethanol) (and some which switch behavior depending on conditions!). Substrate (and co-substrates: fructose in particular) is the key factor - more so than hydration or temperature. Hydration and temperature affect, among other things, enzymatic activity and thus availability of substrate. Mentioning rye for a moment, with its pentosans (and thus a source of pentoses), which can have a big impact on the heterofermentative pathway (in this case fermenting 5 carbon sugar producing acetic acid or ethanol* in addition to lactic acid).

While acetic acid in high concentration may well overpower the "true flavor of wheat", it is also a volatile acid (unlike lactic acid) and it has been proposed that in smaller concentrations can be conducive to more complex flavor/aroma in the final result (as can ethanol). Lactic acid, on the other hand, is just "sour" (acidic)...although less stringent than acetic. Personally, I dislike overly-lactic starters/doughs but that's more an issue of taste than anything.

Side Note: When a starter has been left to to ferment too long, the "nail varnish remover" odour one might detect is a result of the esterification of acetic acid with ethanol: ethyl acetate, the same substance found in some glues and nail polish removers.

All that waffle aside, there is no (easy) way of knowing for sure which lactobacilli (or other LAB) and strains of yeast you have in your cultures. Getting familiar with how the starter responds to feeding etc. is very much a hands-on affair. Finding the optimum regimen for your particular culture is, at least partly, a matter of experimentatio and, of course, taste.

*I may be wrong about the details of pentose fermentation. I vaguely recall reading there being some reason why one product (acetic or ethanol) occurred to the exclusion of the other...but I might also be imagining it....if so I apologise!
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 12:32:50 PM by foolishpoolish »


foolishpoolish

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #50 on: January 17, 2011, 12:26:45 PM »
Pure speculation: I wonder if the "creamy" nature of more lactic fermentation products may be due to the fact that like acetic acid, lactic acid is a carboxylic acid which can condense with ethanol to form the ester: ethyl lactate (whose odour is often described as "creamy" or "buttery")

Or maybe it's just a psychological association with yoghurt! Dunno! :D
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 12:29:15 PM by foolishpoolish »

foolishpoolish

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #51 on: January 17, 2011, 12:34:38 PM »
Apologies for the gazillion "modifications" and edits I had to do to my above posts to render them vaguely readable and make sense!  ::)

Offline sfspanky

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #52 on: January 17, 2011, 12:36:45 PM »
Apologies for the gazillion "modifications" and edits I had to do to my above posts to render them vaguely readable and make sense!  ::)

You should have left the anal-retentive comment.
Brian Spangler
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foolishpoolish

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #53 on: January 17, 2011, 12:38:29 PM »
You should have left the anal-retentive comment.
;D I kind of got carried away. Didn't mean to dilute the thread from the original answer you gave which was still v. informative.

foolishpoolish

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #54 on: January 17, 2011, 11:55:11 PM »
Quote
Now that I think about it, I do love Jewish rye, which is always traditionally sour, so maybe I'm not as anti-sourdough as I previously thought I was.

Scott, fwiw some Jewish ryes come from a hybrid approach*, using regular baker's yeast to provide leavening and "rye sour" for flavour rather than to raise the dough. The acid in the "rye sour" controls the rye amylase from breaking down too much of the rye starch (which is responsible for structure, in the absence of significant gluten...although most jewish ryes contain more wheat flour than rye.)

Other additions can include: "scalded rye" (for sweet ryes, and also for moisture - baker's yeasted ryes can end up a little dry otherwise) and "altus" (old rye bread crumbs for moisture).

*true 100% ryes are a different thing altogether and generally use the rye sour culture as the sole means of leavening.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2011, 12:04:39 AM by foolishpoolish »

Offline sfspanky

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #55 on: January 18, 2011, 01:01:57 AM »
Scott, fwiw some Jewish ryes come from a hybrid approach*, using regular baker's yeast to provide leavening and "rye sour" for flavour rather than to raise the dough. The acid in the "rye sour" controls the rye amylase from breaking down too much of the rye starch (which is responsible for structure, in the absence of significant gluten...although most jewish ryes contain more wheat flour than rye.)

Other additions can include: "scalded rye" (for sweet ryes, and also for moisture - baker's yeasted ryes can end up a little dry otherwise) and "altus" (old rye bread crumbs for moisture).

*true 100% ryes are a different thing altogether and generally use the rye sour culture as the sole means of leavening.


100% spot on.
Brian Spangler
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Offline Da Bears

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #56 on: January 18, 2011, 10:43:30 AM »
I've been reading the forum for several months and actually registered a while ago but vowed not to post until I was confident that I was actually asking for new information or contributing something.  This may not be that case, but I do need some quick help.

I'm activating both Sourdo Italian starters at the moment.  About 18 hrs in.  All of the directions were followed and they bubbled after only 1 hour and now have doubled.  It sounds like they're contaminated but I haven't gotten the strong, unpleasant smell that's supposed to be the key sign.

There's hooch at the bottom of both.

Do I wash these right away?  Should I use a different flour?  I emailed Ed at Sourdo, but thought I might get quicker answers this way.

Thanks for your help.

Dan

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #57 on: January 18, 2011, 11:06:40 AM »
I've been reading the forum for several months and actually registered a while ago but vowed not to post until I was confident that I was actually asking for new information or contributing something.  This may not be that case, but I do need some quick help.

I'm activating both Sourdo Italian starters at the moment.  About 18 hrs in.  All of the directions were followed and they bubbled after only 1 hour and now have doubled.  It sounds like they're contaminated but I haven't gotten the strong, unpleasant smell that's supposed to be the key sign.

There's hooch at the bottom of both.

Do I wash these right away?  Should I use a different flour?  I emailed Ed at Sourdo, but thought I might get quicker answers this way.

Thanks for your help.

Dan

Too early to tell. Keep feeding. BTW, I recommend against activating more than one starter at a time. Right now is when the cultures are at their weakest and most vulnerable to contamination. You want to avoid having one culture contaminate and dominate the other. At this point, I would just be very, very careful not to do something to introduce this possibility.

Offline Da Bears

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #58 on: January 18, 2011, 12:23:33 PM »
Too early to tell. Keep feeding. BTW, I recommend against activating more than one starter at a time. Right now is when the cultures are at their weakest and most vulnerable to contamination. You want to avoid having one culture contaminate and dominate the other. At this point, I would just be very, very careful not to do something to introduce this possibility.


Thanks Bill.  I will.  I had been following only at Sourdo's instruction booklet and didn't see the advice to start one at a time until coming here.  I've used different utensils for each and started them about 30 min apart to make sure I cleaned up one before starting the other.  They are in the same cooler in mason jars with the lids on loosely.  I'll be sure to use different funnels and utensils for each.

Dan

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #59 on: January 18, 2011, 03:15:05 PM »
One thing to keep in mind about sourdough cultures...

They all adapt to your available yeast strains and bacteria after about two weeks and no longer have many of the properties of the propagated strain that you purchase. After 2 weeks you have a sourdough culture that you could have made yourself.


My experience does not bear this out. I have had the Ischia and SF cultures active for years. I use both regularly, and they continue to produce flavors that are very different - both in the finished product and in the raw culture itself. If you are correct, they should be the same.

The math behind the yeast reproduction also suggests that local yeast will not take over an established healthy culture under normal circumstances given the huge difference in concentrations.

Craig
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