Author Topic: Tartine Starter  (Read 3709 times)

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Offline dzpiez

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Tartine Starter
« on: September 01, 2011, 08:52:14 PM »
I just got the Tartine Bread book and was wondering if anyone trying making the starter they use???  I'm using the 50/50 blend of bread flour and whole wheat, but it doesn't really explain why to use a mix like that.  Like I said "just wondering" since this is my first go at a starter, I usually use fresh yeast (cake).
~dave


Offline Adam T

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Re: Tartine Starter
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2011, 09:16:15 AM »
I just got the Tartine Bread book and was wondering if anyone trying making the starter they use???  I'm using the 50/50 blend of bread flour and whole wheat, but it doesn't really explain why to use a mix like that.  Like I said "just wondering" since this is my first go at a starter, I usually use fresh yeast (cake).
~dave


I just started a starter and now it's looking really healthy. I used Donna Currie's instructions http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/11/how-to-make-sourdough-starter-day-0.html

I had a lot of bubbles in my starter but I didn't notice it raising and doubling in size until I started feeding the starter it's own weight every 12 hours.

Now I have my starter I'm not sure what I should use it for (pizza or bread) and just how I should use it (when it peaks I think).

Good luck with your starter!

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Tartine Starter
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2011, 02:13:20 PM »
Using the 50/50 mix, in this case, gets the natural yeast used to the small amount of whole wheat in the Tartine loaf, and also provides more opportunity for the yeast to activate and thrive. Whole wheat is consumed faster by yeast, and more natural yeast are present in the grain.

You will have fun with that book.

John

Offline dzpiez

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Re: Tartine Starter
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2011, 03:19:22 PM »
Thanks Adam and John.  I got it started last night, see how it goes in a day or two.  One thing the book doesn't say is if you should stir it every now and then during the day???

Offline SELES

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Re: Tartine Starter
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2011, 10:17:01 PM »
Yeah the book is great still finessing the starter usage myself and have found that I like to keep two starters. One is 50/50 and the other is AP only. I like my pizzas with white flour and wasn't into the Tartine pizza.

I developed the starter using Donna's tutorial and maintain it somewhat based on Chad's method outlined in Tartine I just feed it less as I only bake every couple of weeks. One thing that surpassed me about his method is how much he discards, what happens with all that discarded leaven? I'm guessing it goes to the other baked goods. It seems like that would raise food costs considerably.

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Tartine Starter
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2011, 01:55:04 PM »
One thing that surpassed me about his method is how much he discards, what happens with all that discarded leaven? I'm guessing it goes to the other baked goods. It seems like that would raise food costs considerably.


There is no discard in a professional setting such as Tartine - the discard is what is used to make dough. Chad mentions in the book that he is feeding his starter nearly 3 times a day. I would not be surprised if he is using a mechanized starter solution, such as below, although his production scale is small compared to other commercial settings.

http://www.tmbbaking.com/starter.html

John

Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: Tartine Starter
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2011, 02:58:12 PM »
I'll take the FXL1600 please  :chef:

Offline jamester

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Re: Tartine Starter
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2011, 04:58:47 PM »
I am trying to get a handle on this myself; the couple attempts I've made haven't been very successful, but I learned a lot!

As much as I love the book, things aren't always clearly explained.  And while the pics are lovely, there are also discrepencies in the order some are shown.  I've found it very confusing, but the more I have at it the more it's making sense.  One thing for sure is that I think their dough is very wet for pizza, at least for a "starter noob" like myself to handle.  It's a whole different game with a dough that loose, I think it's something you learn to get comfortable with over time.  I plan to adjust the hydration a little next time I try...

Side note, I was fortunate to go to Tartine last month on a short trip to SF!  It was pretty cool I must say, neat to see Chad and employees in the book.  I took a lot of pics! 

If you look up a guy named "pizzahacker", he was one of the Tartine testers and has made a niche for himself making Tartine-based dough pizzas in a modified Weber grill.  In the video on his site he says he uses some commercial yeast along with the starter. hmmmm.....  Unfortunately he wasn't appearing anywhere until later in the week, so I didn't get to meet him or try his pies. :-(

Offline jamester

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Re: Tartine Starter
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2011, 05:10:29 PM »
One thing that surpassed me about his method is how much he discards, what happens with all that discarded leaven? I'm guessing it goes to the other baked goods. It seems like that would raise food costs considerably.
I was confused by this too, but "discard" just means "don't use for this batch".  He clarifies at the top of page 52:

"If you plan to bake bread every few days, continue discarding a portion of the starter and feeding it daily..."

I'm still not entirely sure why he has you make so much starter initially, only to use one tablespoon of it for the leaven.  I guess if you're doing a bunch of baches from that starter?  I'm doing a much smaller starter now...

Offline dzpiez

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Re: Tartine Starter
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2011, 05:39:05 PM »
I'm with ya jamester as far as great pictures but things aren't clearly explained in the book.  I'm getting ready to give it another try myself.


Online TXCraig1

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Re: Tartine Starter
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2011, 12:35:23 AM »
I was confused by this too, but "discard" just means "don't use for this batch".  He clarifies at the top of page 52:

"If you plan to bake bread every few days, continue discarding a portion of the starter and feeding it daily..."


I'm pretty sure "discard" means pour it down the drain. A commercial operation would not need to do they use it as fast as they can make it. We, on the other hand, don't. If you or I just kept feeding it an didn't discard any, we would quickly be feeding it very large quantities of flour to keep it going and would need to move it to ever larger containers. There is no shame in throwing away five cents worth of starter even if you do it every day. You can't be sentimental about it.

CL
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Tartine Starter
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2011, 01:13:39 AM »
There is no shame in throwing away five cents worth of starter even if you do it every day. You can't be sentimental about it.

CL
:-D, this had me cracking up!  You know when I first started learning about starters and being the frugal person that I am, I was sentimental about dumping "dough" down the drain.  ;D  When I later learned that I was actually diluting the acids in my starter by dumping and refreshing it, I had no remorse whatsoever.  I would much rather discard overly acidic starter than ruin a whole batch of dough.

Chau

Offline jamester

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Re: Tartine Starter
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2011, 06:34:02 AM »
Hmmm I guess I'm not really understanding then; if it says to discard all but the tablespoon you're going to use, then you wouldn't have any of your starter left, you'd be starting fresh with a new starter every time, no?  So yes you're throwing away half of it and replacing it with half fresh...but you're not actually discarding all but the small amount actually being used, like it says in the book?

Or else I'm just not getting it, but I think this is just a case of confusing explanation.  Feeding is throwing away half and replacing with fresh, right?  It's not growing ever larger at all, if anything it would be getting smaller and smaller as you use all those tablespoon's worth. But I'm assuming that you're actually replacing that tablespoon used, each time you feed it.

Oh and should you really throw it down the drain?  Is flour paste build-up good for your pipes?  I throw it in the trash. 

If there's something I'm not getting here please explain, I'm here to learn! :-)


Online TXCraig1

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Re: Tartine Starter
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2011, 11:55:25 AM »
I keep a "mother" culture that lives in my fridge. I feed it from time to time. Every few months, I let her sit out at room temp and get really active then feed her and back into the fridge she goes.

When I bake, I take some from the mother, add some flour and water, and let it get active. I use what I need and throw the rest away. Generally down the drain with the water running and the disposal on. I'd put it in the trash, but that would require walking three extra steps.  :-D

CL
Pizza is not bread.

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Tartine Starter
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2011, 02:44:17 PM »
Hmmm I guess I'm not really understanding then; if it says to discard all but the tablespoon you're going to use, then you wouldn't have any of your starter left, you'd be starting fresh with a new starter every time, no?  So yes you're throwing away half of it and replacing it with half fresh...but you're not actually discarding all but the small amount actually being used, like it says in the book?

The tablespoon of starter is the inoculate for the next batch. If you were baking bread, you would use all of the "discard" as the levain for your Tartine loaves. The leftover tablespoon of starter is then fed a portion of flour and water. This eventually is populated by the naturally occurring yeast and becomes the levain again (which is also your starter). If you use this levain now, minus the tablespoon which is then fed, you repeat the process all over again. Whether you use the discard for bread, or just send it down the drain, you are constantly refreshing the starter with fresh flour and water so the yeast continually thrive. If you do not discard a large portion, and you are keeping your starter at room temp, the starter can become overly acidic. This is just the Tartine way of managing a starter. There are many others.

And if you have a septic system, the discarded yeast is good for it.

John

Offline jamester

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Re: Tartine Starter
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2011, 03:21:28 PM »
The tablespoon of starter is the inoculate for the next batch. If you were baking bread, you would use all of the "discard" as the levain for your Tartine loaves. The leftover tablespoon of starter is then fed a portion of flour and water...
Thank you John, this cleared up my confusion!

I had it backwards in my head, and I do think the Tartine book could be written much more clearly (as you have) in regards to what the "discard" is and what the leftover tablespoon is for...

Seems I had it completely backwards in my head, which never really made sense to me but that's the way I was reading it; IOW, using the tablespoon as the starter and refreshing the "discard" for the next batch.  Completely backwards, no wonder it wasn't clicking!

Online RobynB

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Re: Tartine Starter
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2011, 08:31:09 PM »
Craig:  be careful with that method!  Doing the same cost me a $185 plumbing bill a few months ago  :(  The plumber told me that putting starter down the disposal is a lot like pouring concrete down a drain.  He had to cut through the hardened clog and told me not to EVER put more starter down there.  Now I'm religious about putting all starter into the trash, and I even wipe the container and spoon with a paper towel before rinsing... 

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Tartine Starter
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2011, 12:55:22 PM »
So I've been dumping excess starter down the drain for years - but ALWAYS diluted with lots of hot water. Typically, I'll run hot water into the starter container and whisk until much of the starter is in solution before dumping down the drain. Cleans off the whisk also.

 

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Tartine Starter
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2011, 04:09:41 PM »
So I've been dumping excess starter down the drain for years - but ALWAYS diluted with lots of hot water. Typically, I'll run hot water into the starter container and whisk until much of the starter is in solution before dumping down the drain. Cleans off the whisk also.

 

Larry - This is my exact operation as well.

John

Online Mmmph

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Re: Tartine Starter
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2011, 04:31:46 PM »
Larry - This is my exact operation as well.

John

Same here.
Sono venuto, ho visto, ho mangiato


 

pizzapan