Author Topic: Sourdough starter from scratch Vs Ischia  (Read 1378 times)

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Offline sub

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Sourdough starter from scratch Vs Ischia
« on: July 03, 2013, 06:00:47 AM »
Hi,

I was wondering, why everybody here uses Ischia sourdough, what's the difference from a homemade sourdough started with rye and pineapple juice ?

Is it the taste, is it stronger or just a hype  ?


Thanks!


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Sourdough starter from scratch Vs Ischia
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2013, 07:16:08 AM »
All starter cultures are different in terms of their flavors and leavening power and resistance to contamination. Ischia is an old, proven, potent culture which excels in all of these characteristics. When you capture your own, you will get whatever happens to be present in the ingredients and the environment around the container. The chances are low you will get anything better for pizza than Ischia. But then that's how all cultures began, so you never know.


Before I began using the cultures from sourdo.com, I had captured one of my own that was not very strong in the leavening department although the flavor was vastly superior to commercial yeast. I ended up adding a pinch of commercial yeast to each batch to get the desired texture. One of the wild starters in my stable was captured by a friend a few years ago in Tuscany and happens to be excellent in every way (but not as good as Ischia for pizza). 


It isn't hype, but I'd suggest capturing one of your own just to see how you like it. It's easy to do.

Offline norma427

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Re: Sourdough starter from scratch Vs Ischia
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2013, 09:49:24 AM »
Sub,

To add to what Bill posted, if you are interested, you can see my adventures into trying Natural Starters at  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10008.msg87117.html#msg87117  Toby (Infoodel) and other members helped me in that thread.  I found it interesting to try to make my own starters and use them, but now prefer the Ischia starter.  I would be interested if you tried to make your own starters to see what you think of them.

Norma
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Offline sub

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Re: Sourdough starter from scratch Vs Ischia
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2013, 10:41:51 AM »
Thanks Norma, I've already read your thread.

I've tryied to make my own sourdough twice, one with a dryied sourdoughto use directly for baking bread (with ADY in it)
I realy like the taste and the crumb structure but it was not a proper sourdough.

And few months back more seriously, and I was very happy: 12 hours after having started it, I had already bubbles in it, when feeded it doubled after two hours and fell after 4.
It was doing well, but after one week I feed it with regular flour instead of whole wheat and then things gone bad, it won't double in size after the feedings and it started to gone acid, I've try to wash it without succes...

Offline norma427

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Re: Sourdough starter from scratch Vs Ischia
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2013, 01:46:40 PM »
sub,

I sure don't really know, but think most homemade starters do have problems arise sometimes.  That is what you might have experienced with your homemade starter.  I also think that is why most members use proven starters. 

I don't know if you saw my thread about using milk kefir for a starter, but I found those results interesting even though I didn't continue to use the milk kefir starter. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12173.0.html 

Norma
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Offline yumarama

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Re: Sourdough starter from scratch Vs Ischia
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2013, 08:32:51 PM »
Hi Sub,

First, sorry to see your previous starter effort didn't work out well. Since we don't have the details on the process you were following at the time, it would be difficult to decipher where it got into trouble. If you ever want to give it another try, you might want to see this step-by-step photo essay that could help you along; I'd also be happy to answer any questions there if you need help.

But you are more specifically asking about Ischia vs home made so let's get to that.

The cool aspect to getting a pre-built starter like Ischia (or any other dried starter) is that all that cultivating work has already been done and the specific yeast & lacto are already settled in, they just need rehydrating to take over the soup again. Even though you are adding your own flour which has traces of it's own set of critters, the existing guys are there in large enough quantities that they can easily overtake any weaker new cultures and remain the "kings of the hill".

This is where you get into the famed "Can you really maintain a specific culture or will your local guys eventually take over?" heated debates, which is an entire other topic of it's own.

Can you get the same properties as Ischia in your own homebuilt starter? There's a possibility you can - as Bill noted already, somebody somewhere obviously did - but there's also a possibility you will not. Ischia has been noted as having the qualities people like and look for in pizza. Some of those qualities can maybe be drawn out of the yeast/lacto that you cultivate in your own starter by manipulating temperature and time, feeding cycles, flour type, etc. But it may be a lot of trouble to go to and you might not end up with the specifics that you'd have available with a well kept Ischia. It is, in other words, a handy shortcut to the desired set of qualities people look for in pizza.

Your own starter could still be great for making really tasty bread, however. If you decide to give home made starter another go, you wouldn't be the only person who keeps one starter specifically for pizza and another for bread.

Hope this helped!

Paul
« Last Edit: September 15, 2013, 08:52:39 PM by yumarama »