Author Topic: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International  (Read 9913 times)

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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
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline sfspanky

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #60 on: January 18, 2011, 03:46:58 PM »
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

Well, I can assure you that I am correct.

Are you using the exact same formula for both cultures, including the same flour, etc.? Any variances will produce different results.
Brian Spangler
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #61 on: January 18, 2011, 04:10:44 PM »
Well, I can assure you that I am correct.

Are you using the exact same formula for both cultures, including the same flour, etc.? Any variances will produce different results.


For the cultures, yes, exactly the same. I'm not the only person who has noticed this. BillSFNM made a similar comment in his recent Slice interview:

"I have five strains of starter and they all can make great pies. Each has distinctive flavors and are most active in different temperature ranges."

Craig
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #62 on: January 18, 2011, 04:16:49 PM »
This topic has been hotly debated here. For example:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10188.msg92050.html#msg92050

The deal comes down to this: if you have a healthy starter culture with a population in the billions, the doubling rate of any local interloper would have to be so much greater than the doubling rate of the starter culture that it is mathematically impossible in my lifetime for the locals to come close to taking over. This assumes a well-fed, happy, healthy starter culture. The cultures from sourdo.com are in many cases hundreds of years old that are highly resistant to local contamination.   



Offline sfspanky

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #63 on: January 18, 2011, 04:56:03 PM »
This topic has been hotly debated here. For example:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10188.msg92050.html#msg92050

The deal comes down to this: if you have a healthy starter culture with a population in the billions, the doubling rate of any local interloper would have to be so much greater than the doubling rate of the starter culture that it is mathematically impossible in my lifetime for the locals to come close to taking over. This assumes a well-fed, happy, healthy starter culture. The cultures from sourdo.com are in many cases hundreds of years old that are highly resistant to local contamination.   




I certainly don't want to get into a debate on what others experience and believe. I have debated with people on this topic for almost 20 years and my experiences are what form my opinion on this topic. I don't want to get into I'm right, your wrong, etc. That being said, here is an example of my experience -

Years ago, a few colleagues and I exchanged starters that we had all created from scratch in our bakeries. I was in Oregon, they were in San Francisco and Santa Cruz, CA. We all fed each others starters for about 6 months and then the day before I flew down, we all made bread from each other's starters, along with our own starter. Same formula, same flour, etc. We discovered that each persons bread tasted exactly alike. All the bread made in my bakery with all 3 different starters tasted the same, all three from SF tasted the same, etc.
I think there are too many variances for a culture to not change. Flour used has different wild yeast strains, your local has different yeast strains in the air and the bacteria available from person to person and local to local are all different.

Just my 2 cents from experience and what fellow colleagues have also noticed. Maybe baking hundreds of loafs everyday makes more of a difference. Dunno. I have baked maybe 20 loaves of bread at home, but i've made hundreds of thousand, if not millions, in bakeries.

Brian Spangler
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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #64 on: January 18, 2011, 05:04:59 PM »
Brian,

I greatly admire you; we are very fortunate to have you contributing here.

I think the difference here is that local cultures captured from scratch are a crap-shoot. They can be very sensitive to temps, pH, and the toxicity of metabolic by-products from other organisms. The cultures I am talking about are very powerful and can thrive in a wider range of conditions. I'd be happy to do the math if anyone wants to venture a guess for the following variables:

At Time = 0, in 1 liter of starter there are:

x = number of starter organisms
y = number of local invaders

t = number of hours for starter culture to double
u = number of hours for invaders to double

z = my remaining life expectancy in hours :-)




Offline sfspanky

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #65 on: January 18, 2011, 06:54:37 PM »
Brian,

I greatly admire you; we are very fortunate to have you contributing here.


Just wait... I might end up annoying you

Seriously though, thanks for the kind words. It's a great community and I really enjoy this sight. So many people here care so much and share their knowledge and experiences. What's not to like about it?

BTW - great write up on SliceNY.com today. Congrats! Your pizzas look fantastic.
Brian Spangler
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Italian cultures from Sourdoughs International
« Reply #66 on: January 18, 2011, 09:31:47 PM »
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

I am perhaps one of the newer pizza/bread makers here with even less experience with starters.  In the past year, I have at one time, maintained and used 5 different starters myself.  A wild yeast cultured captured from flour bought locally, one made from soaked raisens, 3 different starters received from various members including the camaldoli & ischia starters.  I have started, fed and maintained several of the starters side by side and without a doubt they have produce distinctly different taste and have different leavening effects.  Although I no longer used the starter I captured locally, I did become so familiar with it's taste that  I could pick it out in a side by side comparison with pizza made with a different starter.  All were also fed with the same AP flour bought locally.  Although I don't make this a routine, I have even gone as far as stirring different starters with the same spoon and have not noticed any contamination.   This was in part an experiment to see if I could contaminate a starter and in part due to my lazy nature.  I am unscientifically under the persuasion that different starters can be maintained side by side without fear of contamination.   Just wanted to share my experience. 

Chau
« Last Edit: January 18, 2011, 09:35:24 PM by Jackie Tran »