Author Topic: Newbie to Natural Starters  (Read 18131 times)

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Online norma427

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Newbie to Natural Starters
« on: January 09, 2010, 01:42:49 PM »
I am interested in learning to make a natural starter using a ratio of flour and water of 50/50 and using a rye flour and learning how wild yeast would take over.  Is this something like a Sauerteig?  If it is a Sauertieg, then I would be interested in using the a portion of the Sauertieg to be used as a Anstellgut.  

Sauerteig (German) Leaven obtained by the natural and spontaneous fermentation of flour and water. After complete maturation a piece is kept aside as "Anstellgut".

Does this type of natural starter require a certain amount of time and temperature for fermenting?  I also would be interested in knowing how to maintain this type of starter.

Thanks,
Norma
« Last Edit: January 09, 2010, 01:47:30 PM by norma427 »
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Infoodel

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Re: Newbie to Natural Starters
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2010, 04:56:27 PM »
I am interested in learning to make a natural starter using a ratio of flour and water of 50/50 and using a rye flour and learning how wild yeast would take over.  Is this something like a Sauerteig?  If it is a Sauertieg, then I would be interested in using the a portion of the Sauertieg to be used as a Anstellgut.  

Sauerteig (German) Leaven obtained by the natural and spontaneous fermentation of flour and water. After complete maturation a piece is kept aside as "Anstellgut".

Does this type of natural starter require a certain amount of time and temperature for fermenting?  I also would be interested in knowing how to maintain this type of starter.

Thanks,
Norma

Hey Norma,

Are you looking ,in the long term, to maintain a rye starter (to make rye bread for example) or eventually to transition to a white/wheat starter?

Rye is an excellent way to start a natural/sourdough culture (none of your unwashed grapes or vegetable hodge-podge mularkey). You can be up and running in 5 days, assuming you're sticking with the rye and not moving to wheat.  Rye is also very forgiving (in terms of temperature/hydration etc.).  I prefer a higher hydration (133%) storage starter for my rye but there's no reason you couldn't use a stiffer starter.  Whole rye is naturally high in amylase and is chock full of the stuff you need to get a culture started.

I'd recommend using pineapple or orange juice in the very early stages to avoid the (typical) leuconostoc bacteria explosion. However, fruit juice isn't absolutely necessary since the leucs will die out eventually when acidity increases. This guide probably lays it out better than I can:
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/handbook/sourdough-starters

Once you have a healthy rye starter, you can then transition to a wheat starter if you wish. I go through this process about once a year (for no particular reason other than the hell of it! edit: well ok occasionally my culture suffers from acts of starter abuse!)
In theory it's a straightforward process but I, along with a number of people (here in the UK and the US) have been experiencing some trouble recently. Having discussed at length with both a microbiologist and former organic chemist, I've yet to isolate the exact cause of the problem. However the good news is that I did get there eventually and now have both a rye and wheat starter (both of rye provenance) happily living side by side   Let me know if you want more information on this, or if you have trouble with the process.

Cheers

Toby

« Last Edit: January 09, 2010, 05:02:33 PM by Infoodel »

Offline Essen1

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Re: Newbie to Natural Starters
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2010, 05:14:34 PM »
Norma,

Here's a website that translated how to make Sauerteig from the german website sauerteig.de.

http://www.coffeemoon.eu/sourdough-menu/2-general-sourdough/

It's a complete turtorial.

Hope that helps.

Mike

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Infoodel

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Re: Newbie to Natural Starters
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2010, 05:22:44 PM »
Norma,

Here's a website that translated how to make Sauerteig from the german website sauerteig.de.

http://www.coffeemoon.eu/sourdough-menu/2-general-sourdough/

It's a complete turtorial.

Hope that helps.



Interesting tutorial (it's german origin was apparent from the section on DIN numbers :P)  - However I am concerned when it mentions adding a little yeast and salt to the initial starter. Um...without going into a long discourse - that's just plain...wrong! Actually that whole section is a bit questionable.
Otherwise some good points to be drawn from that document.

Toby
« Last Edit: January 09, 2010, 05:28:00 PM by Infoodel »

Online norma427

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Re: Newbie to Natural Starters
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2010, 05:30:01 PM »
Toby,

I am looking to learn how to start a rye starter and then maintaining the starter.  I donít plan on moving to wheat, until I learn to properly maintain my first starter and use it for awhile. 
Do you ever use this to make any kind of pizza?
I appreciate you telling me of your experiences.  I will read the links you have provided. 
I will have to purchase some Whole Rye flour this coming week and then give it a try.  Did you initially start your rye starter with out adding any kind of juice? 

Thanks for explaining your experiences and saying you would help me though the process.   :)
When I purchase the Whole Rye Flour, I will start the process. 

I will read over the two links your provided..From what I have read so far, I think you are right about not adding yeast.

Thanks,
Norma
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Online norma427

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Re: Newbie to Natural Starters
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2010, 05:34:32 PM »
Mike,

Thank you for your information.  :)  You have helped me from my first post.  I will read over all the information.  Wow, I have a lot of reading to do, but all of this is really helpful.. when I don't know anything about starters.

Thanks,
Norma
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Offline Essen1

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Re: Newbie to Natural Starters
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2010, 05:36:39 PM »
Toby,

here's the original:

http://www.der-sauerteig.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=75

No mention of salt or yeast.
Mike

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Infoodel

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Re: Newbie to Natural Starters
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2010, 05:40:53 PM »
Toby,

I am looking to learn how to start a rye starter and then maintaining the starter.  I donít plan on moving to wheat, until I learn to properly maintain my first starter and use it for awhile. 
Do you ever use this to make any kind of pizza?
I appreciate you telling me of your experiences.  I will read the links you have provided. 
I will have to purchase some Whole Rye flour this coming week and then give it a try.  Did you initially start your rye starter with out adding any kind of juice? 

Norma

Yes you can use a rye starter to make pizza. I've not done that with my recent batch of starters (due to the transitional difficulties) but normally - yes absolutely no reason why you can't.  When making bread using a rye/wheat flour combination it's good to preferment the rye to bring out those great rye flavours and aromas. A rye starter fits the bill perfectly in that regard (think proper, old-school deli rye bread).
However if you want to make classically-styled pizzas (NY style or neapolitan for example) then wheat starter is probably a better bet in the long run. BTW you can also start from whole wheat flour (or any whole grain) if you wish...but rye is pretty much the fail safe.

With regards to juice - you don't NEED to use it. I've done it both ways. You're just much less likely to encounter leuconostoc bacteria (stinky!) in the initial stages if you use juice.

Here's an even simpler (no juice!) tutorial:
http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2007/07/13/raising-a-starter/
If you want to keep it in the rye domain, simply ignore where it mentions adding white/wheat flour to the starter.

Cheers,
Toby



« Last Edit: January 09, 2010, 05:43:28 PM by Infoodel »

Infoodel

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Re: Newbie to Natural Starters
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2010, 05:41:59 PM »
Toby,

here's the original:

http://www.der-sauerteig.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=75

No mention of salt or yeast.

Ah cool. Thanks Mike!

Cheers,
Toby


Online norma427

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Re: Newbie to Natural Starters
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2010, 05:46:52 PM »
Yes you can use a rye starter to make pizza. I've not done that with my recent batch of starters (due to the transitional difficulties) but normally - yes absolutely no reason why you can't.  When making bread using a rye/wheat flour combination it's good to preferment the rye to bring out those great rye flavours and aromas. A rye starter fits the bill perfectly in that regard (think proper, old-school deli rye bread).
However if you want to make classically-styled pizzas (NY style or neapolitan for example) then wheat starter is probably a better bet in the long run. BTW you can also start from whole wheat flour (or any whole grain) if you wish...but rye is pretty much the fail safe.

With regards to juice - you don't NEED to use it. I've done it both ways. You're just much less likely to encounter leuconostoc bacteria (stinky!) in the initial stages if you use juice.

Here's an even simpler (no juice!) tutorial:
http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2007/07/13/raising-a-starter/
If you want to keep it in the rye domain, simply ignore where it mentions adding white/wheat flour to the starter.

Cheers,
Toby






Toby,
Thanks for your reply.  I will start out with rye and after I understand more about starters, will then move on to others.

Thanks,
Norma
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Re: Newbie to Natural Starters
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2010, 09:36:02 AM »
Just wondering if I use a small portion of sweet grape wine my uncle had made in 1968, could I replace some of the water used in the natural starter?  ???
I had used this wine to make a biga the other day under Sicilian.  It worked out okay with the biga, but that was only left to ferment for about 12 hours.

Thanks,
Norma
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Infoodel

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Re: Newbie to Natural Starters
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2010, 11:14:15 AM »
Just wondering if I use a small portion of sweet grape wine my uncle had made in 1968, could I replace some of the water used in the natural starter?  ???
I had used this wine to make a biga the other day under Sicilian.  It worked out okay with the biga, but that was only left to ferment for about 12 hours.

Thanks,
Norma
Hmmm not sure. I've never tried that. Are you planning to use it instead of pineapple juice? Honestly I think fruit juice would probably be a better bet in the early stages of a starter (which is not to rule out using wine in a bread dough, for example, to give an interesting flavour/effect).

Cheers,
Toby




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Re: Newbie to Natural Starters
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2010, 11:45:51 AM »
Hmmm not sure. I've never tried that. Are you planning to use it instead of pineapple juice? Honestly I think fruit juice would probably be a better bet in the early stages of a starter (which is not to rule out using wine in a bread dough, for example, to give an interesting flavour/effect).

Cheers,
Toby






Toby,
Thanks for your input.  I was thinking of adding about 5 grams to the initial starter of 95 grams water to make the total of 100 grams.  This would be used in place of the fruit juice.  Since the sweet grape wine has been in my refrigerator for a long while and is still great tasting, I wondered if this was something I could use.  ???  The wine was made in 1968. 

Norma
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Offline BurntFingers

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Re: Newbie to Natural Starters
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2010, 06:02:58 PM »
Typically, in wine the yeast dies off as part of the process of fermentation and falls to the bottom of the fermenter as "lees."  The alcohol content of the wine finishes it off as does the naturally occurring sulfites.  I think that the sugar in the sweet wine is feeding the wild yeasts in the flour as if you were to add sugar to the mix.    If there are a few yeast cells left in the wine it would eat the sugar and make it bubbly as it ferments.  If you taste a light bubble then there may be some viable yeast.  But being from 1968 that would be unlikely.  That is from my experience making home made wine and beers over the years. 

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Re: Newbie to Natural Starters
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2010, 06:16:11 PM »
BurntFingers,

Thank you for the information.  :) I had wondered if instead of using fruit juice, if it would be okay to just use a little wine.  I sure don't know much about making a starter.  I had originally  just wanted to add water and flour, but when Toby said sometimes he used fruit juice for a starter if just made me wonder if I could add the wine.
I don't know how the sweet wine would affect the starter.
Do you have experience in making starter's?

Thanks,
Norma
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Infoodel

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Re: Newbie to Natural Starters
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2010, 06:31:20 PM »
BurntFingers,

Thank you for the information.  :) I had wondered if instead of using fruit juice, if it would be okay to just use a little wine.  I sure don't know much about making a starter.  I had originally  just wanted to add water and flour, but when Toby said sometimes he used fruit juice for a starter if just made me wonder if I could add the wine.
I don't know how the sweet wine would affect the starter.
Do you have experience in making starter's?

Thanks,
Norma


Hey Norma, sorry perhaps I didn't adequately explain the purpose of the fruit juice. Its main role is to add acidity to the initial flour/water mix. This prevents undesirable bacteria such as leuconostoc from taking hold. This is typically seen as an explosive growth about 48 hours after initial mix. This explosion in bacterial growth is often mistaken as a miraculous hot-shot starter which then gives way to disappointment because the growth spurt is short-lived as the acid-producing bacteria start to take hold and the leucs die off. Many people think their starter is dead at this point - which is absolutely not the case. Continued feeding will see increased acidity until the environment is fit for the natural yeast to proliferate. Then, and only then will you start to notice the typical yeasty odours one associates with a mature sourdough starter.

So to summarize: the fruit juice is simply a way of preventing the initial leuc growth. I suspect the fruit sugars also go some way to feeding the bacteria/yeast but that's not the main reason one adds juice.
It is definitely not a necessary addition but it is a handy one. To be fair: my most recent rye starter was a simple flour + water mix and required no juice at all. For whatever reason, the 'leuc' stage was bypassed altogether (this could be due to flour, environment...not sure) and so while things *seemed* slower in getting underway, it turned into a very healthy starter.

Hope that clarifies things. I'm not sure how acidic your wine is - but if you're unsure, or it is of value to you for other purposes (drinking for example!) - I wouldn't bother adding it your initial starter/culture.

Oh and an update on my own rye starter. A few hours ago I mixed up a dough (20% rye, 80% high gluten) which seems to be doing very well. No questionable sulphurous smells (as I was experiencing about a month ago).
So it would seem whatever was causing problems previously has cleared.

Cheers,

Toby
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 06:35:13 PM by Infoodel »

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Re: Newbie to Natural Starters
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2010, 06:43:53 PM »
Toby,

Thank you for going into detailed information.  I understand more now what the purpose of adding the fruit juice was. 

That's good to hear your rye starter is doing well. Let me know how your bread turns out. The bread sounds delicious.
I guess I still have a lot to learn about starters.  I will just add rye flour and water and see what results I get.  Do you know if it makes a difference what kind of rye flour I purchase?  I saw a kind of rye flour at the grocery store today.  It was Hodgson Mill old fashioned 100% Stone Ground, All Natural Rye Flour.  We have a country store near us and I will check what they have there.

Thanks,
Norma
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Infoodel

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Re: Newbie to Natural Starters
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2010, 06:49:46 PM »
Toby,

Thank you for going into detailed information.  I understand more now what the purpose of adding the fruit juice was. 

That's good to hear your rye starter is doing well. Let me know how your bread turns out. The bread sounds delicious.
I guess I still have a lot to learn about starters.  I will just add rye flour and water and see what results I get.  Do you know if it makes a difference what kind of rye flour I purchase?  I saw a kind of rye flour at the grocery store today.  It was Hodgson Mill old fashioned 100% Stone Ground, All Natural Rye Flour.  We have a country store near us and I will check what they have there.

Thanks,
Norma
When I was in TN, this summer just past, I used Hodgson Mill Rye. It was great. Any whole rye flour should work though. Just check to see its not really old stock (whole grain flours do go rancid). Best of luck!
Cheers,
Toby

Edit: I finished making a sicilian(ish) pie with the rye starter. Turned out OK. A little bit sourer than my usual, but that's to be expected.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 10:54:54 PM by Infoodel »

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Re: Newbie to Natural Starters
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2010, 09:04:11 PM »
This is day 3 with my starter, before the pm feeding. I tried two starters.  The one with water and Hodgson Mill 100% Stone Ground..All Natural Rye Flour and the other just for the heck of it same flour and 5 grams of wine to replace the water.  Both starters have some small bubbles. The one with flour and water smells yeasty and the one with flour, water and small amount of wine has a faint smell of wine and yeasty.  Is this the way it suppose to look?  ???
I plan on feeding with white flour when it doubles itself in 12 hours.
I had no large rise in either flour since starting..just the small bubbles that can be seen here.

Any advise if I am going about this right?  ::)

Thanks,
Norma
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Infoodel

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Re: Newbie to Natural Starters
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2010, 09:16:01 PM »
This is day 3 with my starter, before the pm feeding. I tried two starters.  The one with water and Hodgson Mill 100% Stone Ground..All Natural Rye Flour and the other just for the heck of it same flour and 5 grams of wine to replace the water.  Both starters have some small bubbles. The one with flour and water smells yeasty and the one with flour, water and small amount of wine has a faint smell of wine and yeasty.  Is this the way it suppose to look?  ???
I plan on feeding with white flour when it doubles itself in 12 hours.
I had no large rise in either flour since starting..just the small bubbles that can be seen here.

Any advise if I am going about this right?  ::)

Thanks,
Norma
Everything sounds within normal parameters so far. Keep feeding them - and please be generous with the inoculation. I'd almost be tempted to say feed less flour than starter - at least until it kicks off. eg (2:1:1 starter:flour:water)
The way I've done it in the past is not to throw anything away. Just keep adding flour and water to the starter until it really starts going. The key is not to dilute your culture if you can help it until it has really established itself.

Once it really gets going I move from a 2:1:1 feed(starter:flour:water) to 1:2:2 and then down to 1:3:3 (actually I add more water than flour so it's a 1:3:4 - but that's just my preference).
Hold off on the white flour - again until things really start going.
Fingers crossed you've avoided the leuc stage. (which should have reared its head already if it was ever going to).

Cheers,

Toby


« Last Edit: January 13, 2010, 09:21:55 PM by Infoodel »