Author Topic: Sourdough starter  (Read 9399 times)

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Offline Essen1

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Sourdough starter
« on: April 07, 2010, 09:55:19 PM »
I recently went through my cookbooks, well baking books I should say, and came across a book that I have completely forgotten about.

It's called "The Neighborhood Bake Shop" by Jill van Cleave from 1997. I was ultimately looking for a ciabatta bread recipe and when flipping through the pages I found a sourdough starter recipe that was intriguing. It uses seedless raisins, sugar and bottled water to get the fermentation going before the actual feeding stage begins. The first stage takes 7 days so I started on Sunday.

And today, on Wednesday, it looks like the fermentation kicked into a higher gear. Bubbles have formed, the plastic foil sports a dome-shaped top and you can smell the aroma through the plastic.

The first couple of pics are from Sunday, the last two from today.

« Last Edit: April 08, 2010, 01:03:42 AM by Essen1 »
Mike

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Offline Ronzo

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Re: Sourdough starter
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2010, 10:54:57 PM »
cool
Fuggheddabowdit!

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Sourdough starter
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2010, 12:10:51 AM »
Very cool indeed.  When I was researching how to make SD starters, I did read that you can put a couple of raisens, grapes, plum peel, orange rind, etc as many fruits carry yeast on their skins.   I did not do that when making my SD starter, but this is very interesting.  Looking forward to seeing the results.

Offline Essen1

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Re: Sourdough starter
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2010, 01:02:58 AM »
Quote
Looking forward to seeing the results.

I will definitely let you know how it goes and progresses. First time I'm trying it this way, too. Looks good and right on time so far.

*knocking on wood*  ???
Mike

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Sourdough starter
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2010, 11:43:37 PM »
Thursday, Day 5

It's starting to smell like wine. Very active, very bubbly. Two more days to go before feeding begins.

Mike

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Sourdough starter
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2010, 02:51:56 PM »
Yesterday, after a 7 day fermentation time of the raisins, I finally got around to making a natural, wild yeast sourdough starter.

First off, the smell was amazing. The fermented raisins had a very strong smell of wine, were all bubbly and the entire bowl was alive it seemed. I lined a strainer with a damp cheesecloth, put it over a glass bowl and drained the raisins, squeezed out all the liquid and discarded them. The remaining liquid had some sediment on the bottom and was brown in color. I wish I could have taken pics but had to get some new batteries, hence no pics of the drained raisins and liquid.

I stirred in one cup of Stone Buhr BF, formed it into a loose dough, covered it with plastic wrap for 12 hrs and let it sit in a warm spot. This morning I fed it again with 1/2 cup lukewarm water and a another cup of flour. The next feeding is tonight.

So far it has the typical smell of sourdough, almost comparable to our San Francisco Sourdough bread. I'm anxious to see how a pizza dough smells and tastes like with the added starter once its fully active.

Some pics...you can see the orange color of the starter after the first feeding due to the brown liquid. After the second feeding this morning, it started to become lighter in color.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2010, 02:54:01 PM by Essen1 »
Mike

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Sourdough starter
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2010, 03:27:38 PM »
Mike very cool and fun project. I'm anxious to hear more about the results compared to your other starters. You have motivated me to think outside the box and I've started feeding my starter with beer.  So far it had changed the toughness of the starter and it smells of beer rather than a yeasty SD.

I also have several boxes of Cali raisens and have half a mind to start a new culture. Will wait for your pizza results.  8)

Offline Essen1

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Re: Sourdough starter
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2010, 05:29:53 PM »
Tranman,

I'll keep you posted.

In regards to starters, I have so far used only two and one of them only half-heartedly because it was also a natural starter but made only from flour and water. That was when I first started out. The other one was the Ischia starter and I still have that one laying dormant, but healthy, in the fridge.

I just checked the SD starter and it's bubbling away nicely. The smell's just great. Will feed it again tonight.
Mike

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http://thehobbycook.blogspot.com/

Offline Essen1

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Re: Sourdough starter
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2010, 10:18:44 PM »
Fed it again about an hour ago. Two more feedings to go. I should be done by tomorrow afternoon.

I also transferred the starter to a clean glass jar instead of the plastic one.

The first pic was taken before the last feeding and the last two after the transfer. I noticed it is slowly starting to get lighter in color and it's very active.

Mike

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http://thehobbycook.blogspot.com/

Offline Essen1

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Re: Sourdough starter
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2010, 11:48:56 AM »
Well, the starter's all done. I did the last feeding yesterday late morning and used it when it was most active. The smell is very nice and has all the characteristics of a good sourdough starter.

But it kept being very active throughout the day and well into the evening until I stirred it again and put it in the fridge. This little project went amazingly well.

Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Sourdough starter
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2010, 09:34:53 AM »
My raisen starter is super bubbly just after 4 days.  The plastic on top is domed as in your pictures and it does smell very sweet right through the plastic wrap.  I'm being impatient and not sure I can hold off feeding it for 3 more days.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 09:40:01 AM by Tranman »

Offline Essen1

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Re: Sourdough starter
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2010, 05:22:32 PM »
My raisen starter is super bubbly just after 4 days.  The plastic on top is domed as in your pictures and it does smell very sweet right through the plastic wrap.  I'm being impatient and not sure I can hold off feeding it for 3 more days.

TM,

You got to wait!

Patience is a virtue but trust me you will be rewarded if you wait. What you can do, if the top will become too large (and it will), take a thin, small needle and poke a tiny hole just around the edge of the bowl where the wrap touches the rim. It'll release some of the gases but will still maintain a fairly tight seal. Plus, you can "smell" the progress.

Mike

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Sourdough starter
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2010, 05:35:26 PM »
I'm so darn impatient but you're right Mike.  LOL, a few of the raisens have swelled up from the gas build up, they look like they are gonna pop.  My wife saw it on the counter this morning and said, "What's with the science project with the beans?".    :-D

Offline Essen1

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Re: Sourdough starter
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2010, 05:45:37 PM »
LOL!

Beans. That's funny.  ;D
Mike

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Offline GotRocks

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Re: Sourdough starter
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2010, 11:03:22 AM »
I'm so darn impatient but you're right Mike.  LOL, a few of the raisens have swelled up from the gas build up, they look like they are gonna pop.  My wife saw it on the counter this morning and said, "What's with the science project with the beans?".    :-D

At least she didn't toss it in the garbage!! I have had people throw out things just because they did not know what they were and it drives me crazy. I would absolutely lose my mind if someone tossed out a sourdough culture that I was working on,

I had a cook (A great cook) that worked for me that had some OCD issues, and he would go on these cleaning jags once in a while, of course this behavior would never happen at the end of the shift, or in the downtime, he would start tearing apart coolers and cooking equipment in the middle of a dinner rush!
 I think stress would send him into this obsessive compulsive behavior.

Well anyways, after the 3rd time that he tossed my creme-fraiche in the garbage in a month, I had endured enough and I yelled at him, so what does he do next? He decides it would be a good time to drain and strain the deep-fryers! right during our busiest time!
He got sent home that night, and I refused to let him back in my kitchen until his meds were adjusted better to keep him on a more even keel so this crap would not happen anymore.
In the past he has tossed our Beurre Blanc, and hollandaise based sauces right in the middle of service because of his disorder. Imagine trying to make either of those sauces during a rush because one of your cooks tossed them in the garbage when there was nothing wrong with them.
I love having a clean-freak on my crew, but someone that can control it a little better so they are cleaning during down times,  not in the middle of dinner service.

Why is it that some of the best cooks are absolute nutcakes, or have substance abuse issues? Or both?
A skinny cook is not to be trusted!

Offline Essen1

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Re: Sourdough starter
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2010, 07:49:01 PM »
TM,

Today is your day, right?? Feeding time.  ;D
Mike

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Sourdough starter
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2010, 09:00:30 PM »
TM,

Today is your day, right?? Feeding time.  ;D

I was just gonna post about it.  I fed it 2 hours early cuz I gotta goto work early tomorrow. The liquid smells really STRONG like moonshine (white lightening)! I'm very excited to make pizza with it. I hope it outshines my old starter.

GotRocks, you are very patient.  I would have been so pissed and probably fired him on the first offense.  During rush hour traffic?  What is he crazy? Well, I guess he is.  Good cooks are hard to come by I'm sure.   I would make sure he understands NEVER to throw anything away without asking first. 
« Last Edit: April 21, 2010, 12:04:36 AM by Tranman »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Sourdough starter
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2010, 10:45:41 PM »
Well Mikey, I just came home from dinner.  It has been about 3 hours since the first feeding and this sucka has DOUBLED in volume.   I took a whiff and nearly passed out.  This thing must be 100 proof!  >:D
If I didn't know any better, I'd say it's ready to be used now.   I'll stick to the feeding regimen though. I can see why you say it has excellent leavening power.   To me, it smells even more alcoholic than it did before feeding. 
Looking forward to trying it out. 
« Last Edit: April 20, 2010, 10:48:32 PM by Tranman »

Offline Essen1

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Re: Sourdough starter
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2010, 11:42:40 PM »
Well Mikey, I just came home from dinner.  It has been about 3 hours since the first feeding and this sucka has DOUBLED in volume.   I took a whiff and nearly passed out.  This thing must be 100 proof!  >:D
If I didn't know any better, I'd say it's ready to be used now.   I'll stick to the feeding regimen though. I can see why you say it has excellent leavening power.   To me, it smells even more alcoholic than it did before feeding. 
Looking forward to trying it out. 

TM,

Can you say "Moonshine" pizza?? Hey, that might a new business niche, come to think of it...

I can already see the business sign "Tranman's Moonshine Pies"  ;D

Yes, the smell's strong but it'll balance itself out after some feedings. The leaving power is great, though. I noticed that it also provides nice coloration to the crusts I've made so far without adding a whole lot of sugar or honey. Plus, watch the oven spring when you make your first pie.

Overall, it makes for some great pies. But what about taking some pics of your starter?

Mike

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Sourdough starter
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2010, 11:55:20 PM »
Moonshine Pies,  I like that! 

Pic 1-2 is day 4 after starting project.  Day 1-3 I got nothing and was worried of course.  Day 4, it just exploded and bubbles everywhere.  Day 4-7, it looked the same and smelled the same.

Pic 3-4 is 5 hours after 1st feeding.  It appears as though it has more than doubled in volume(120%?)   Color is still yellow but seems very very strong.   



 

pizzapan