Author Topic: I think i just activated a 3.5 year old ischia starter  (Read 1070 times)

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Offline vrumvrum

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I think i just activated a 3.5 year old ischia starter
« on: June 20, 2011, 03:17:18 PM »
Well,  I bought the ischia starter from, placed in the fridge (sealed, as it came in the mail) , and never really had the motivation to activate this starter.  Honestly i thought iŽve waited for too long to get started, and it probably went bad  after all this time.

Last week I decided to give it a try, and finally after 3.5 years I opened the package. I look just fine. So I made myself a proof box, which was holding a steady 80~85 F.

After the 9th feeding it doubled in size, it was foamy, bubly, and smelled great. (Im terrible at determining certain smells, it just smelled good, nothing too alcoholic, acid, cheesy or things like that. ).  Then i decided to give it a little taste, and it was sour (boy, it was a strong sour flavor).  I have just NO IDEIA of how an ischia SD should taste like, so I would like some advice here.

Here are some pictures.

My question are
.... am I ready to try to bake a SD pizza?
I have been reading that 3% ischia starter related with total flour amount is a good starting point.  Is this correct ?
I have been using 1% sugar and 1% vegetable oil in my latest Neo NY style pizzas, is this OK to use with sourdough starter ?

Dough will be mixed using a BUP
Dough will proof at BULK at around 65 to 70F for 24h . them balled and will wait for another 4 to 6 hours to rise again.
Conventional oven on a Stone(lower rack) at 550F

so i thought this would ended up looking like this (used the prefermented tool).

Total Formula:
Flour (100%):    468.4 g  |  16.52 oz | 1.03 lbs
Water (61%):    285.72 g  |  10.08 oz | 0.63 lbs
Salt (2.5%):    11.71 g | 0.41 oz | 0.03 lbs | 2.44 tsp | 0.81 tbsp
Oil (1%):    4.68 g | 0.17 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.04 tsp | 0.35 tbsp
Sugar (1%):    4.68 g | 0.17 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.17 tsp | 0.39 tbsp
Total (165.5%):   775.2 g | 27.34 oz | 1.71 lbs | TF = N/A
Single Ball:   387.6 g | 13.67 oz | 0.85 lbs

Flour:    7.03 g | 0.25 oz | 0.02 lbs
Water:    7.03 g | 0.25 oz | 0.02 lbs
Total:    14.05 g | 0.5 oz | 0.03 lbs

Final Dough:
Flour:    461.37 g | 16.27 oz | 1.02 lbs
Water:    278.7 g | 9.83 oz | 0.61 lbs
Salt:    11.71 g | 0.41 oz | 0.03 lbs | 2.44 tsp | 0.81 tbsp
Preferment:    14.05 g | 0.5 oz | 0.03 lbs
Oil:    4.68 g | 0.17 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.04 tsp | 0.35 tbsp
Sugar:    4.68 g | 0.17 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.17 tsp | 0.39 tbsp
Total:    775.2 g | 27.34 oz | 1.71 lbs  | TF = N/A

any suggestions?

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: I think i just activated a 3.5 year old ischia starter
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2011, 06:16:43 PM »
This all looks OK to me as a starting point. Temperature is going to be a major factor in your ferment. It looks like you need to be in the mid to low 70F's for that formula. That being said, it might go a lot faster or slower than you think. Either be ready to bake sooner or later or have a plan how to speed things up or slow them down by increasing or lowering the temperature. Warming the oven to the 80's can speed things up, and a cooler with ice in the low 60's can slow them down. So can a short stay in the fridge, however I would not bring it all the way down to fridge temp though if I could avoid it. 

The bottom line is you will have to experiment with dough hydration, getting the starter active, % starter, temp, and time to figure out what works for you. Using natural cultures takes some effort. I can't give any advice on oil or sugar, but I don't see them causing a problem in your recipe.

Best of luck,

I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline vrumvrum

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Re: I think i just activated a 3.5 year old ischia starter
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2011, 09:24:38 PM »
thank you very much Tx.
Mid to low 70Žs F is exactly the "room Temp of my kitchen right now."  So I have high hopes.  Ill keep an eye to see how much larger the dough will get in the next 6 hours.

I have just finished mixing this formula recipe. My main concern is actually flavor, since this is a brand new starter.  Im pretty confident it will rise fairly well. (time will tell =)).

IŽll bring the results in a day or 2. (with pics).

This is actually my first ever atempt to preferment recipe, and 1st time ever around wild yeast.  I just hope its not a disaster.

Offline barryvabeach

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Re: I think i just activated a 3.5 year old ischia starter
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2011, 08:39:24 PM »
Please post your results, I am in line behind you.  I bought the same starters about a month or two ago, and decided I wanted to play around with some home grown starters before messing with the store bought variety.  I have tried a variety of percentages - and many temperatures, but have not had any consistent results yet, and had a couple of complete failures.   I am trying to get my temperatures consistent, and bought a small wine cooler - which will hold temps from the high 50 to high 60's, and I also bought a heating pad and aquarium digital thermostat so that I can maintain higher temps -  but I just did a temporary wiring job this last weekend - so I haven't had much time to try it.  This last weekend I went with about a 6% starter, which had  100% hydration and a 75% hydration ratio ( not counting the starter)  for the dough, using home milled White Winter Wheat  and with a 28 hour fermentation most of that at room temperature of 74 degrees, though for a few hours I put one in the cooler at around 60 degrees, because it had seemed to be rising too fast.  I tried  2 batches with different kneading times, and while only one seemed to over rise, by the time I went to form the pies, the dough tore to pieces as I took it out of the containers before I could even stretch it and was so useless I had to throw it out .  The third batch was a red spring wheat with a similar formula, and that was pretty bad, but at least I could form it into the shape of a pie, though I couldn't stretch it much without developing holes.  The fourth batch  used an Alton Brown recipe, substituting White Winter Wheat for the regular flour, and increasing the hydration to 75%, but retaining the commercial yeast, that stretched out beautifully without any tearing, but that spent most of the proofing time in the wine cooler.  
« Last Edit: June 28, 2011, 08:42:00 PM by barryvabeach »

Offline vrumvrum

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Re: I think i just activated a 3.5 year old ischia starter
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2011, 08:48:31 AM »
Well, so i did the pizza using only 3% of ischia in relation with Flour (recipe above).  Not much growth at room temp for the first 12 hours, then, at 18hours you could see bubbles on the botton, at 24 it had pretty much doubled in size and it looked pretty much ready to be baked. 
Unfortunatelly I had waited for around 36 hours to get started on baking this pie , so I think i waited too much and it resultaded in a dough not so easy to handle. tearing wasnt a major issue, but I had to be over cautiously when opening the dough.

As fas as flavor goes, it was excelent. Not too much sourness , in fact it was in the right amount, you could feel the difference.
Cheese I used was too salty, bought a different brand and was a Huge let down.

The looks and smell was very similar to my traditional neo neopolitan nyc styles. Cooked at around 5 to 6 minutes.
I have a picture but at home.  Im in my office right now.

The starter was placed in a fridge  on the 20th of this month, and was never fed again, it looks and smell wonderful, still.  Ill feed the starter today, after 9 days, get some for a bread sourdough recipe, and place again in the fridge.  I expect the flavor to be much more balanced now, weŽll see.

Offline barryvabeach

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Re: I think i just activated a 3.5 year old ischia starter
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2011, 07:24:20 AM »
Somewhat similar results.  Around 3 percent starter with room temperature water and a finished dough temp around 72 - 74 degrees.  I made one large dough - mixed for 4 minutes in Bosch Universal, then divided in thirds, and mixed the remaining third for another 4 minutes.  Put one third on the counter ( 74 F ) and then second 2 in a wine cooler at 55 degrees,  All were done around 2 pm,  No real activity seen that night, but by 24 hours, the counter dough had more than doubled ,  no real rise in the other two ( reg mix and long mix ) that were in the cooler, so I took them out and put them on the counter for 3 to 4 hours.  The counter one had the best aroma, but did not have enough strength to be stretched without tearing easily,  tried rolling it, but it just retracted.  The other two had plenty of strength, but no real rise.  Next week I will try counter for a few hours, then overnight fridge, trying to get just developed, but not overfermented.