Author Topic: How much starter do I us  (Read 2617 times)

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Offline Pizza Brat

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How much starter do I us
« on: May 02, 2012, 12:08:40 AM »
Newbie with a dozen pies baked with my LBE. I have a 30 day old sourdough starter that I have been nurturing and want to add it to my next match of dough. Last time I made a batch of Reinhart's Napoletana dough but might try something else. How do I go about calculating it into a recipe? What percentages do you use? Do you subtract the percentage from the amount of hydration? Do I still need to add a little ADY.

Thanks for any advice.


Offline rcbaughn

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Re: How much starter do I us
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2012, 01:04:12 AM »
The way I calculated mine was just using a basic recipe but I left out the IDY and figured in the weight of the starter as 40% of the total recipe since I wanted a pretty quick room temp rise. There is a really good time table on the percentage of starter to use in dough recipes under the Starter/Sponge section. I don't know how accurate they are in relation to your starter, but the 40% starter/four hour room temp version that I used seem to provide me with the correct dough doubling in that amount of time.

From what I understand is that if you are using a 100% hydration starter, you just take the overall weight of how much starter you are adding to the final dough, and remove half that weight as water and half that weight as flour from the original recipe. That is how I made it fit into my Mellow Mushroom dough mix at least. I ditched the IDY as well since I was using a starter, but I've seen in some recipes where people do add a touch to ensure their dough rises. Now bare in mind that mine didn't work out all that well because my dough was way too slack, but I have a feeling it is because my starter is very young and I don't know its properties that well yet.

Maybe someone that can explain it better can do a better job that I just did. Best of luck on your baking attempts. -Cory
More is better..... and too much is just right.

Offline Pizza Brat

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Re: How much starter do I us
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2012, 02:39:16 AM »
Thanks Cory for the quick reply. I wasn't aware there was a starter/sponge section so I'll be reviewing some of the posts. Not sure if I'm absorbing all your info, in particular, the 40% by weight based on the total batch. That means I need to make a lot starter, so I know I'm not getting it.

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: How much starter do I us
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2012, 06:52:35 AM »
40% by flour weight is about the upper limit of starter percentage - used for 6-8 hour doughs when the temperature is in the low 60s. It is an extreme, not a norm in my opinion. If your room temp is around 70 degrees, I might try 10% over the course of 18-24 hours and see if that works with your strain and workflow.

John

Offline rcbaughn

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Re: How much starter do I us
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2012, 12:23:25 PM »
I agree completely John, only reason I used that much starter was because I wanted to have a backup dough ready for my longer cold fermented one. It was a good thing I did, because the 2 day cold fermented dough was a slack mess of garbage, but the 5 hour dough was awesomely extensible and had a wonderful chew and flavor. I'm actually making the same pie tonight. LOL.
More is better..... and too much is just right.

Offline Pizza Brat

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Re: How much starter do I us
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2012, 09:59:29 PM »
Okay, so I've spent some time reviewing posts today but there's a lot to adsorb. Is there a preferment calculator that will figure the required warm resting time based on the percentage and room temperature plugged in.
Also, is there a glossary that explains what poolish, sponges,starter, preferment, proofing, leavening, fermenting, etc. means in pizza making.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: How much starter do I us
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2012, 10:09:20 PM »
Okay, so I've spent some time reviewing posts today but there's a lot to adsorb. Is there a preferment calculator that will figure the required warm resting time based on the percentage and room temperature plugged in.
Also, is there a glossary that explains what poolish, sponges,starter, preferment, proofing, leavening, fermenting, etc. means in pizza making.


There is a lot more to it than time and temp. For example, the particular culture, the quantity of culture, the hydration, the amount of salt, etc.

Here is the glossary: http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_glossary.html

CL
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline MikeSwifty

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Re: How much starter do I us
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2012, 08:38:38 AM »
I'd suggest looking at the thread with the rough guide to fermentation time using sourdough starter: 

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,18753.0.html

Decide when you want the dough to be ready (4hrs, 8hrs, 24hrs, etc) and choose the percent of starter recommended for that time.  Next go to the preferment calculator under Dough Tools on the main page and plug the numbers in.  You'll need to know thickness factor & pizza size or final weight of the doughball & pizza size for the recipe you've been using along with baker's percentages of ingredients and what hydration your starter is.  If you don't know or can't find any of that info I'm sure somebody can help you out if you post the recipe you're using and tell us how you're feeding your starter (ie, how much flour & how much water each time).

As stated by others, several things can affect the fermentation time.  The Rough Guide is, well, rough.  But it will give you someplace to start.

Offline Pizza Brat

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Re: How much starter do I us
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2012, 04:07:26 AM »
Thanks for the link and outlining the procedures. It appears to me that the majority here using a sourdough culture also use a warm rise.
I just made a batch of dough using Jeff Varasano's recipe and recommended cold rise. Has anyone else done a side by side comparison of cold versus warm that you could share.

Thanks for your input.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: How much starter do I us
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2012, 09:56:09 AM »
Thanks for the link and outlining the procedures. It appears to me that the majority here using a sourdough culture also use a warm rise.
I just made a batch of dough using Jeff Varasano's recipe and recommended cold rise. Has anyone else done a side by side comparison of cold versus warm that you could share.

Thanks for your input.

Scott, in my experience, cold fermentation/rise actually has a detrimental effect on a sourdough leavened dough as compared to room temperature fermentation. I believe in most cases, the best flavors are developed at ~65F. I also find such doughs bake up meaningfully better. With the possible exception of using cold temps to extend fermentation for the purpose of timing (e.g., you need to make dough today but you won't use it for 5 days, etc.), I can't think of any reason to use cold fermentation.

Craig
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.


Offline Pizza Brat

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Re: How much starter do I us
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2012, 10:36:36 AM »
Okay, we're not always very good at planning around our household, so when I blow by the planned pizza night, what's my options for saving the dough, how much and how soon will it degrade,...etc..

Offline rcbaughn

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Re: How much starter do I us
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2012, 06:00:46 PM »
I ran by this thread again and want to reiterate Craig's suggestion of cold fermentation degrading the yeast. Here recently I have been using only warm ferments with my starter and have had much better luck. I would recommend to always use warm ferments as opposed to cold ferments when using a starter unless you have an emergency and need to slow the yeast down due to time restraints.
More is better..... and too much is just right.