Author Topic: Question about the italian cultures  (Read 5993 times)

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Offline Nathan

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Question about the italian cultures
« on: May 05, 2005, 07:28:17 PM »
I got the cultures today and have a question.  In the booklet that comes with it it says to use all purpose flour.  I plan on using this mainly for pizza but I might make some bread with it too.  Should I use all purpose flour to activate and feed then use the Sir Lancelot when I make the dough?  Or should I just use the SL in the starter?   :-\
"Pizza with pineapples?  That's a cake."


Offline WOMBAT

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Re: Question about the italian cultures
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2005, 10:06:35 PM »
I AM GOING TO USE MY 00 FLOUR BUT I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT IT
SURE THAT HELPED 8)

Offline pyegal

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Re: Question about the italian cultures
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2005, 10:37:16 PM »
In using cultures, it is best to use all purpose flour when feeding the culture, then you have the option to use  other flours as called for in the particular bread or pizza recipe that you are using. This would be my (experienced) opinion.

pyegal

Offline Nathan

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Re: Question about the italian cultures
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2005, 10:59:03 PM »
Hey thanks for the replies. 

I just got done setting up a proofing box and I'm going to use King Arthur all purpose flour then.
"Pizza with pineapples?  That's a cake."

Offline scott r

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Re: Question about the italian cultures
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2005, 02:59:48 PM »
I had also wondered about what to feed my cultures, and asked a similar question a few weeks ago.  I have a feeling it doesn't really matter that much what you use.  I fed mine everything from a really low protien Bel Aria 00, an all puropse Pilsbury, to the King Arthur high gluten, and it seemed to react the same with all three.

Offline WOMBAT

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Re: Question about the italian cultures
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2005, 08:08:50 PM »
So when will these seamonkeys start to grow? :)

Offline Nathan

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Re: Question about the italian cultures
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2005, 02:53:56 AM »
Mine are already active from what I can tell.  It's been a little over 24 hours since I started it.  It says that it "may" have a couple of bubbles in it after 24 hours but mine had gone up to almost the top of the 1 quart wide mouth jar by the time I fed it around 24 hours after I activated it.   ???

After I fed it I had to split it into 2 jars because 2 hours after I fed it the first time it was almost at the top of the jar again.  (http://tinyurl.com/73moo)
« Last Edit: May 07, 2005, 02:55:39 AM by Nathan »
"Pizza with pineapples?  That's a cake."

Offline Nathan

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Re: Question about the italian cultures
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2005, 03:18:09 AM »
It says to feed them when you split the jars but I just fed them a few hours ago so I'm not sure if I should again yet or not. 

Anyway here's what mine look like right now.

"Pizza with pineapples?  That's a cake."

Offline WOMBAT

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Re: Question about the italian cultures
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2005, 12:24:28 PM »
NATHAN
I started mine about 15 hours ago and i am seeing the same things after 15 hours there is 1 1/2 water on the bottom and 4-5 inches of foam ontop of that i am going to try to get my camera to work so we can compare pics


Offline WOMBAT

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Re: Question about the italian cultures
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2005, 01:25:49 PM »
here it is after 15 hours looks like more than a little bubbles to me also  :o
« Last Edit: May 07, 2005, 01:37:50 PM by WOMBAT »


Offline varasano

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Re: Question about the italian cultures
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2005, 01:52:03 PM »
I think I see some hooch in these jars. Try feeding more frequently and making it less watery.  At it's peak it should foam with no hooch. As the yeast becomes more active it needs to be fed more frequently. If it's highly active, it may peak just 2 hours after feeding and then need to be used, fed again, or put in the fridge. When it's dormant (like after a long stay in the fridge) it may need feeding only every 24 hours. You have to get to know the culture. The variances are large and take practice.

Offline WOMBAT

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Re: Question about the italian cultures
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2005, 02:11:40 PM »
versano,
should i split into 2 jars and feed them both or just add 1 cup flour and 1 cup water to the 1 jar
also it says  feed after 24 hours i started mine 15 hours ago did i just get a verry active strain?
thanks for the info

Offline Nathan

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Re: Question about the italian cultures
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2005, 09:21:16 PM »
Well mines all done.   :'(

The quart jars didn't pan out.  When I got up today both jars had spewed starter all over my counter.  It was a big mess with starter oozing out from under the styrofoam cooler.  There was still some left in the jars but I dumped them.  I guess I'll try it again with the other one I got but next time I'm using a bowl.  I wish I would have done that with this one.   :'(
"Pizza with pineapples?  That's a cake."

Offline pyegal

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Re: Question about the italian cultures
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2005, 09:27:36 AM »
Nathan,
Sorry you are having such a mess with your starters. It looks as if the starter is certainly active, but as with most cultures, time builds a starter with more flavor, but perhaps less quantity - at least that has been my experience.

When I sent away for the Carl Griffith Sourdough culture over a year ago, I received only about a tablespoon of the dried culture. To this small amount, I was to add only a tablespoon or so of equal parts unbleached flour and water. After letting this sit for several hours, I was to add a little more flour and water, and so on, gradually building up the culture in the jar. The culture never climbed up out of the jar, but just perked merrily along each time I fed it. Now, I keep it in the frig, letting it come up to room temp when I'm ready to make bread, feed it with one cup water and one cup flour, let it sit out several hours until it is bubbly, then remove (usually) one cup to make bread, then back it goes in the frig until next time.

It can take quite a long time to fully develop the flavor of a starter, something you may observe over time as you use this starter.

Your instructions my be different, I just wanted to pass along my experience with another culture.

pyegal

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Question about the italian cultures
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2005, 05:37:44 AM »
Sorry guys

But the hooch between the foam and the rest of the compost, or the at the bottom is a sign of contamination...

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Re: Question about the italian cultures
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2005, 12:02:56 PM »
Hi Steve:

Thanks for the opportunity to comment on the problem of contamination that some of your members are experiencing.  Flour is the primary source of the contamination which when you consider the milling environment should come as no surprise.  Some are a little worse than others, but strangely the primary cause of the problem is not flour, but the speed of the initial activation process.  If this is too slow, the culture doesn't get acidified soon enough and the contaminates get a foothold.  There are two ways to cure it.  "Washing" is probably the best way but it must be done several times over 3 to 4 days.  After the first wash or two, the activity usually lessens and the desired fermentation gradually takes over.  The second way is to add about 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar to quickly acidify the culture.  This usually works but it still takes the culture 3 to 4 days of feeding before it gets back to normal.
The problem can usually be prevented at the outset by activating at a temperature of 85 to 90 F. in a proofing box.  We strongly encourage activating in a 1 quart jar because the smaller volume results in a better dilution of the contaminates at each feeding.  There is not a problem with diluting the sourdough organisms in this process.  Thanks again,
Ed

Offline MTPIZZA

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Re: Question about the italian cultures
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2005, 03:03:20 PM »
I have found that if you add more flour than liquid ...the starter seems to activate sooner, I'm not sure why but it works...mix the starter with flour until it becomes thicker than pancake batter but not thick like bread dough... I've always experienced that when the liquid such as 1 cup of water to 3/4 cup of flour will result in a very slow activating starter. As soon as I thicken things up with more flour ...POOF...the whole thing really gets going... SO...morale of the story..DON'T WATER LOG YOUR STARTER!!!..(this of course in no means takes the place of what Ed Wood is talking about when "washing a starter" because of contamination.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Question about the italian cultures
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2005, 03:18:25 PM »
For those who are interested, I made a proofing box after reading Ed Wood's book. I initially used it for sourdough-related activities but subsequently used it for normal dough rising purposes, especially in cool kitchens. I have also used it for making one-hour pizzas, such as the pizza with eggs as reported on another thread. To see a picture of the proofing box along with instructions on how to put it together, see Reply#6 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,403.0.html.

My starters are home-made but what I have found to work well is to use warm water during the replenishment process. I heat the water up in the microwave. Not hot, but warm.

Peter

Offline abatardi

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Re: Question about the italian cultures
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2005, 03:11:03 AM »
I thought mine was going good but about 6 hours into it the temp dropped for a while when i wasn't around and 12 or so hours after that the hooch was sitting near the bottom with a bad smell coming off the culture...  so I've washed it 3 times now... hopefully that will bring it back..  :-\

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Offline Nathan

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Re: Question about the italian cultures
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2005, 04:36:06 AM »
Hey gals/guys thanks a lot for all the replies. 

I used the proofing box so I'm not sure what went wrong.  (http://tinyurl.com/73moo)

I'm going to try it again but I'm not holding my breath.  I don't seem to have good luck with this sort of thing.

"Pizza with pineapples?  That's a cake."