Author Topic: help with Italian starters, room temp rise  (Read 3637 times)

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Offline scott r

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help with Italian starters, room temp rise
« on: May 13, 2005, 03:07:13 AM »
I tried my second batch of dough with the electrolux mixer, but this time I used caputo pizzeria flour.  I know this is a tricky flour and I am totally new to this whole starter thing, but I am baffled by a few things. 

Like my last experiment, I tried two versions of the dough.  One was a 18 hour room temp rise at roughly 77 degrees, and one was a 24 hour fridge rise dough.  I used a full size version of pizzanapoletana's recipe,  but with a splash of olive oil after a 20 min autolyse, the smallest amount of ADY I could (just a few grains), and 55 grams of salt instead of 45.  I brought up the amount of salt because I knew the temp in my apartment was a little higher than the 60-65 degrees that pizzanapoletana recommends.  I did end up mixing way longer than I should have, probably close to 35 min at the lowest speed, with a 5 min break towards the end.  I was really taking my time while adding the flour.  I am still figuring out this mixer.   When the dough was finished it was 82 degrees.

The room temp rise dough had a nice amount of spring to it, but my fridge rise dough didn't really have any.  It was flat and gummy.   I have come to expect that it will not rise while it is in the fridge, but why is there so much less lift in the oven than the room temp rise dough?  When I pulled the dough out of the fridge I let it sit for about an hour close to the oven where it had a chance to come up to room temp before cooking.  Does anyone know why my room temp rise dough has so much more spring than the fridge dough?

The other thing I can't figure out is why my dough is so sour.  Even the fridge dough, but especially the room temp rise dough has a REALLY strong sourdough flavor, and I even thought I was using the dough a little early.  I would cut back on the starter, but I need as much leavening as I can get.  I did have a small mishap when I was starting the cultures where I didn't feed them enough, and I had to "wash" them.  They did smell bad before I washed them, and hootch appeared, but it has never been on the bottom, or in the middle, so I was assuming that the culture had not been contaminated.  Maybe I am using the culture at the wrong time.   I have been keeping it out of the fridge and feeding it for a long time before using it.  I keep feeding it until it is actually flowing over the top of it's container. then I stir it down, weigh it, and use it.  Is it possible that the culture is too active when I am using it? 

These are pretty much the same problems I was having with my last batch of dough, except now with the caputo and a better oven the flavor is totally there.  Any advice to help me fix these problems would be much appreciated.


Offline scott r

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Re: help with Italian starters, room temp rise
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2005, 03:17:12 AM »
I just read pizzanapoletana's recent post about how mixing too long can make your dough too dense and gummy.  I guess that explains the fridge dough problem.  Somehow the room temp rise seems to have less of an issue with it.  I guess the big question now is how to use my starter and not let it get too sour.

Offline pyegal

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Re: help with Italian starters, room temp rise
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2005, 09:23:26 AM »
Scott,
From my experience using sourdough starter, I can tell you that the optimum time (in my experience) to use the starter is when the starter looks foamy and bubbly on the top several hours after feeding. What I do is this: take starter out of frig and let it come up to room temperature 1-3 hours (checking temperature of the starter with a thermometer); then feed starter (I use equal parts flour and water, nothing else), stir well, cover, set at room temp or if a cold day, I put it in the oven with the oven light on; watch starter for signs of activity, i.e., a good head of foam on top, usually a half inch or more. This activity usually takes at least a couple of hours for me. At this point, I stir the starter very well with a spoon, incorporating air into the mixture, and pour out the amount I need. Then I cover the starter and put it back in the frig until the next time I need it or until there is more than an inch of "hooch" on top. If the later is the case, I pour off some of the hooch and feed the starter with flour and a little more water to maintain the thin batter consistency of my culture, let it sit until active, then put in refrigerator.

I can understand why someone beginning with starters would wonder when their starter was "ripe" to use. This is what I have learned from reading a lot about sourdough and keeping my culture for the past year.

Hope this helps,
pyegal

Online Pete-zza

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Re: help with Italian starters, room temp rise
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2005, 09:32:28 AM »
My approach and experience is the same as Pyegal's. I have also found it useful to use warm water during the replenishment cycle.

Peter

Offline Randy

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Re: help with Italian starters, room temp rise
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2005, 11:48:13 AM »
I am not sure why you would want to use a starter if the sour yeasty smell is not something you are trying to achieve.  Many times in my pizza making experiments I have had to punt and try again.  With a new mixer you might want to go back put a few points on the board with a good basic NY style pizza dough where the knead cycle is around 10-12 min with an over night rise in the cooler and using KA high gluten flour.
Just a thought.

Randy

Offline David

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Re: help with Italian starters, room temp rise
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2005, 08:58:00 AM »
Scott ,I  think that if the container you are using is too big,it can create too much acidity and produce a more sour starter.I am trying to get mine going at the moment and it seems to be O.K.(Hooch on top,no bad smell etc)but i'm not getting the 1"- 2" of Foam suggested?I started it on Saturday so i'm getting a little anxious ! Any advice is appreciated!
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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: help with Italian starters, room temp rise
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2005, 09:11:08 AM »
David,

It took me well over a week for the Ischia starter to finally get activated. After each feeding, it seemed to bubble a little quicker and a little higher, until one day it blew the top off the plastic conainer I'm using for the incubator. For some reason, it produced much more hooch at the beginning of the process than at the end.

The Camaldoli after about 12 days still just produces about 3/4" of foam, but I had a major contamination fiasco and had to wash it. I think I need to start over. However, it does have an incredible aroma so I think it is worth the effort.

Bill/SFNM

Offline David

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Re: help with Italian starters, room temp rise
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2005, 09:23:50 AM »
Cheers Bill.I'm starting with the Camaldoli (12 Days !!!-Ouch!)I don't want to start the Ischia for fear of cross contamination.It's funny but as soon as i opened the foil packet of the Camaldoli i sensed the Aroma of the pizzeria i spent some time in in Italy- it was a wonderful sensation!Sadly it has now dissipated or i have become desensitized to it?I shall press on however and have to throw out some of my Wifes Soda to make more room in the fridge!
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Offline scott r

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Re: help with Italian starters, room temp rise
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2005, 11:49:41 AM »
David, get rid of that soda.  When your wife tastes tha pizza she won't mind!

I feel bad that I was giving the cultures bad press here in the past.  They are making really good pizza now.  The beginning is by far the hardest part.  Plan on it taking a long time.   I have noticed that the amazing smell is still there, but is not as strong as it used to be.  I don't know why, but the upside is that the cultures seem to be working better.


 

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