Author Topic: The Italian starters are here!  (Read 22367 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Bill/SFNM

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4039
  • Location: Santa Fe, NM
Re: The Italian starters are here!
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2005, 04:58:59 PM »
I don't have the pamphlet handy, but that sounds right. Smell, smell, smell. If it gets stinkier, you'll need to wash. If it smells better and better, you're on your way to incredible dough.

Bill/SFNM


Offline PizzaDanPizzaMan

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 112
Re: The Italian starters are here!
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2005, 06:16:09 PM »
Christopher,
I just finished my first week of starter-hood. I started the Ischia culture last Sunday morning and after the first 24 hours I had the look and smell of contamination. I went thru 2 days of washing and finally everything started to come together. I now have 2, 1 quart jars in the fridge wiith very active cultures, the smell is sweet/sour. The contaminated stuff literally smelled like vomit. You will know when it is bad, plus the layer of hooch will not be on top, as you know. One thing that I experienced is that there is no hooch forming anymore. I have not left them alone in the fridge long enough I think.

Also, on a side note. For my original activation I used bottled water, once the contamination set in I was in too big of a hurry to stop and warm the bottled water so I quickly abandoned that and went right to warm tap water and all is well now. I am not saying the bottled water contributed to the contamination but at least for me, the tap water is working well.

Stay with it and follow the washing instructions once you are sure you have contamination. It will bounce back.

Dan

Offline Christopher

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 104
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: The Italian starters are here!
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2005, 06:26:04 PM »
thanks, guys :D
i was starting to get a little paranoid there, but i will grab a cup of coffee and chill the rest of the night. 8)
christopher

Offline David

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 966
  • What’s So Funny ‘Bout Pizza Love and Understanding
Re: The Italian starters are here!
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2005, 06:33:08 PM »
Here is a starter that was fed 10 hrs ago.It had doubled in size and has now fallen to about 75% of what it was at its peak.I use the "light in the oven" method ,which I have found works favourably for me.It tastes quite acidic and smells great.Hope the visual help you in some way.i don't believe it matters what type of pizza you wish to make,this is simply a natural alternative to ADY/IDY.The main drawback for the occasional Pizza maker is that using this in your dough takes some foresight and planning for correct dough management and probably is too much of a pain in the butt for most people.(or people with a job!)but IMO it is worth it.
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline Christopher

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 104
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: The Italian starters are here!
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2005, 12:10:57 PM »
hey, guys,
the starters i have are up and running! thanks for the help.
one question though: i am kind of confused about the directions on getting the starter ready for baking. i take it out of the fridge, empty it until only 1.5 Cups remains, fill almost to top with water, stir vigorously, empty it down to 1.5 Cups again then feed it 1 Cup flour, 3/4 Cup water then sit in the proofing box until it foams up? after 3 to 4 hours should it look foamy or should it have fallen a bit? what is a good sign it is ready for baking?
and if i want to make it more dough than liquid as it is now, what measurements of flout to water should i use or does it even matter.
what do you guys do?
thanks,
christopher

Offline Bill/SFNM

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4039
  • Location: Santa Fe, NM
Re: The Italian starters are here!
« Reply #25 on: November 07, 2005, 01:29:57 PM »
Christopher,

Here is what I do, which is NOT what is in the book. This works well for me based on years of feeding starters. First of all, I never have to wash my starters. I generally feed them every 1-2 weeks because I use them so often; they are always ready. Also, my starters probably have a thicker consistency since I like them to be approximately as thick as the final dough. Also, I always clean the storage container after each feeding to avoid the building up of dried crud.

So here is my general procedure:

1. Remove from refrigerator and reincorporate the hooch, if present. Add 3/4 cup flour (Caputo 00 for pizza starters) and whisk in enough bottled water (~1/2 cup) to desired consistency. Allow to sit covered at room temp until it is fully active (rises to near top of container). This takes 3-6 hours depending on room temp and the state of the starter..

2. Remove whatever is needed for the day's baking.

3. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the remaining starter into a bowl and throw out the rest (or use for waffles as I posted yesterday).

4. Thoroughly wash the original storage container with hot water and dry .

5. In the bowl with the starter, add 3/4 cup of flour and enough bottled water (~1/2 cup) and whisk thoroughly.

6. Pour 2 cups of the starter into the storage container. Cover and allow to sit at room temp for an hour or two until bubbles start to form. Then it goes into the refrigerator.

This procedure is pretty forgiving. Quantities and times don't need to be precise. I tweak fermenting and proofing times to get the desired amount of rise and flavor. I've got a pretty good handle on this when it comes to baguettes, but still very much a beginner with regard to pizza.

Hope this helps some.

Bill/SFNM
« Last Edit: November 07, 2005, 01:32:26 PM by Bill/SFNM »

Offline Christopher

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 104
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: The Italian starters are here!
« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2005, 02:20:05 PM »
thanks, bill,
a question my wife asked me was whether the top was to be screwed tightly while in the fridge or if left loose like during the activation process. i figured completely tightened to avoid exposure, but why is it only screwed lightly during activation? i thought contaminates could get in or is that a good thing during this period?
christopher

Offline Bill/SFNM

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4039
  • Location: Santa Fe, NM
Re: The Italian starters are here!
« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2005, 02:34:04 PM »
Christopher,

I use pastic Cambro containers with a snap on lid. If too much pressure builds up inside, the lid will pop off (and make a big mess.  :)

Here is a photo (sorry for poor quality) of what I use:

(http://www.lanackerman.com/images/cambro.jpg)

Bill/SFNM

Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 139
  • Location: Bay Area, USA
Re: The Italian starters are here!
« Reply #28 on: November 09, 2005, 09:07:28 AM »
Pizza made with Camaldori culture attached below.

The taste was better than IDY but it did not 'blow my mind'. I am sure I'm to blame here, I don't think it's fully full fully activated but it did rise very easily. I didn't get the 'bubbles oozing out' level of activity. I just get bubbles at the same level as I left it. But it still works and worked pretty good.

I loved the crust colour I achieved on this one though. 12% Protein bread flour, no sugar, no oil -- home oven.



Offline PizzaDanPizzaMan

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 112
Re: The Italian starters are here!
« Reply #29 on: November 09, 2005, 09:28:03 AM »
JF,
That looks outstanding. I am "cutting my teeth" on the use of the starters by making sourdough bread loaves. I don't mind so much throwing away a loaf of bread if it fails but to end up without dough on pizza night would be disastrous. Having said that, last night I successfully baked a batch of the "World Bread" from Ed Woods book and it came out very good. So this weekend I may go ahead and use the preferment (Ischia). I'll probably prepare another batch of IDY dough just in case.

Did you need to change any of your dough management techniques when using the preferment?

Thanks,
Dan


Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 139
  • Location: Bay Area, USA
Re: The Italian starters are here!
« Reply #30 on: November 09, 2005, 10:03:58 AM »
Hi Dan,
I did a overnight counter-rise instead of overnight fridge rise, but the rest is the same. After all complexities I've been hearing, I was really worried it might not rise much and give extra trouble etc. But it just worked. I used about half a cup of culture to make 1250grams of dough. Next morning it had increased by 20%. By miday, which is when I had my pizza party planned, it had doubled. The yeast's leavening power is really no less than IDY. :)

Offline Wazza McG

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 99
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Brisbane, Australia.
  • Aussie Aussie Aussie .... Oi Oi Oi !!
Re: The Italian starters are here!
« Reply #31 on: November 09, 2005, 02:47:00 PM »
Well done JF, looks great.  I am hoping to start my preferment this week I hope.  Are you happy with the way your culture is progressing? seems like that once they are up and running they only need a small amount of care.

Wazza McG 
Fair Dinkum - you want more Pizza!  Crikey ! I've run out out them prawny thingymebobs again!

Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 139
  • Location: Bay Area, USA
Re: The Italian starters are here!
« Reply #32 on: November 10, 2005, 12:21:41 AM »
Hey Wazza,
I am pretty happy with how they are progressing. I'm still working on it though, trying to get the foam to fill up the whole container. So far I've been baking with a culture that hasn't exploded much -- definitely no lid popping powerful. But it's still working pretty good so I'm kind of surprised. Let us know how you go with yours.

Offline scott r

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3075
  • Age: 43
  • Location: boston
  • I Love Pizzafreaks!
Re: The Italian starters are here!
« Reply #33 on: November 10, 2005, 12:36:19 AM »
Are you sure you have been waiting long enough after their feeding?   Realize that the dryer the culture the longer it will take to ferment and rise since more water = faster fermentation.   I use a (fairly dry) dough like consistency starter and it really can take quite some time to peak, especially in cooler weather.  Also, if you are taking it out of the fridge this will add hours to your feed to peak time.

Forgive me if you are already doing this, but next time feed, then wait until the starter grows to its maximum potential then starts to recede.  I am pretty sure this is the best time to use your starter.  This is the point at which your little friends have gobbled up all the available food in the flour and are the most hungry for more.  You might be surprised at how long this takes depending on conditions.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2005, 12:44:52 AM by scott r »

Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 139
  • Location: Bay Area, USA
Re: The Italian starters are here!
« Reply #34 on: November 10, 2005, 05:17:34 AM »
Scott,
You guessed right -- I have been using a drier consistency; I thought it would bester that way but it seems 50/50 works better.

I'm doing what you're suggesting. Last week I had a pizza party and I couldn't afford to wait. But tonight I'm going to feed them until they blow. ;)

Offline Christopher

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 104
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: The Italian starters are here!
« Reply #35 on: November 10, 2005, 09:17:51 AM »
hey guys,
i used the starter for the first time last nigh in our dough. i made a 16 inch lehmann with liquid preferment from Pete-zza's recipe in the lehmann thread, followed all instructions, 24 hour refrigerator rise and two hours on the counter. this pizza was awful! :(
 the dough did not rise at all during baking, it was gummy and raw tasting in the middle and you couldnt taste the starter.
i am afraid i messed up the starter by thinking it had activated when it actually had not. when i thought it activated it had grown triple its original size, not really foamy or bubbly, but some signs of growth, then i put it in the fridge. i thought it was done, but last nights pizza almost made me give up! :'(
the starter smells good, maybe not fully activated? this morning i dumped all but 1.5 cups, filled with water, stirred vigorously, then fed 3/4 cup flour and 1/2 cup water as per instructions and placed back in the proofing box at 90 degrees.
if it foams can it go back in the fridge or should i continue to feed on a schedule for a certain time to get peak activity?
any advice would be appreciated.
thanks,
christopher

Offline Bill/SFNM

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4039
  • Location: Santa Fe, NM
Re: The Italian starters are here!
« Reply #36 on: November 10, 2005, 09:22:13 AM »
Christopher,

I don't use the Lehmann method, but I do let the dough ferment until it is about double in volume. Did the dough rise at all during fermentation or proofing?

Bill/SFNM

Offline Christopher

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 104
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: The Italian starters are here!
« Reply #37 on: November 10, 2005, 09:27:33 AM »
hey, bill,
no, not really maybe 10%. it slumped a bit in the fridge like a pancake. at the 2 hour rise on the counter it did not rise, but felt like taffy and was very easy to stretch. i could let it hang and get inches from it. it showed no signs of wanting to tear. it was very different from i am used to, in a good way though.
the crust did not brown at all, only a few little spots, and had a gum line in the middle of the crust that was raw, the texture and chew of the sauced areas was nice, but not tasty in the least.
thanks,
christopher

Offline Bill/SFNM

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4039
  • Location: Santa Fe, NM
Re: The Italian starters are here!
« Reply #38 on: November 10, 2005, 09:43:54 AM »
I would suggest you continue to feed it. IIRC, I had to feed mine for almost 2 weeks until it was fully active. And even after that, the culture continued to gain strength each time I used it.

Bill/SFNM

Offline Christopher

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 104
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: The Italian starters are here!
« Reply #39 on: November 10, 2005, 10:04:21 AM »
thanks, bill,
i will keep feedin' that bad boy!
does your final dough, now that your culture is firing on all cylinders, taste great? how much of the starter flavor shows through?
does it just add a hint or is it explosive? when you take it out of the fridge for baking do you stir in the hooch or poor it out to get a milder flavor or does it not matter with the calmodoli which is said to be milder?
sorry for all the questions.
thanks,
christopher


 

pizzapan