Author Topic: Is there something wrong with my starter?  (Read 2440 times)

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Offline jamieg

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Re: Is there something wrong with my starter?
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2013, 01:05:23 PM »
your pizza looks great.  Have you tried washing your starter?  When I first started using my ischia, I tested a wash (thinking nothing was happening) and it certainly sped up activity.  My current starter is easy to feed and is very active after about 3-4 hrs.  I have 2 mason jars each of ischia and camaldoli.

That sounds like a good idea. I will let you know how it goes.


Offline chasenpse

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Re: Is there something wrong with my starter?
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2013, 01:54:07 PM »
Don't mean to hijack the thread, but what exactly is washing a starter??
If Tetris has taught me anything, its that errors pile up and accomplishments disappear.

Offline JD

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Re: Is there something wrong with my starter?
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2013, 02:01:08 PM »
1) Where is the Ischia?
I removed the IDY and calculated 50gr of Ischia, but it was not enough. Last night we added 100gr, so we will see what happens.

2) Balling a dough 3 hours before use may not be the best idea.
This is still an area I do not understand. The only argument I have heard for having dough balls rise over a long period of time is - tenderness. However, in my experience, I get less oven spring from dough balls that are older than 6 hours.

3) Brown sugar may be a little out of place too
Based on info from this forum - I have heard both that adding a little sugar will help coloring - and that is will hinder it.

1) 50gr is about 2% of your formula. If your fridge temperatures are correct it seems like you put together a good formula. Although 14C to 18C (57.2 F to 64.4 F) is a pretty wide temperature range and according to the Sourdough starter quantity predictive model, your fermentation time would be between 85 and 45 hours. Maybe you were under-fermented? How sure are you of your temperatures?

2) I'm assuming you are re-balling and allowing to rise at room temperature, not in the fridge right?

3) My sugar comment was really intended for true Neapolitan, but if you're doing a NY/Neo hybrid it's not really as relevant. Although I'm suspicious of mixing Ischia & sugar.

I think you are on the right track, your current pizza looks very nice. I just don't want you to give up on Ischia because of "lack of flavor", which to me is a red flag on your process. In my opinion I think you are just using an under-fermented dough (which I think you have the same hunch since you doubled the Ischia %). Once you get the right fermentation you should see an improvement in crumb & flavor.

Josh

Offline jamieg

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Re: Is there something wrong with my starter?
« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2013, 04:01:42 PM »
Thanks JD.

1) The fridge has a digital control. I am pretty sure it is accurate. Yes, the first batch was underfermented. In the 2nd batch we added 100gr starter - and after 50 hours - it has some way to go - so I will leave it for a third day.

2) When we ball the dough - the balls are kept at room temp - which obvioulsy varies alot - or if it looks like they will not sell - they are kept in the same fridge as the bulk dough. Any balls that do not sell - are always reballed 3 hours before opening the following day.

3) I dont know why you suggest mixing sugar and  Ischia is a problem

I'm not too concerned about lack of flavour or average crumb - though I find it quite surprising given all the hype - the real shock is that the dough became extremely weak on it's fourth day (2 days bulk - 2 days ball) - which has never happend with IDY.

:-)


Offline JD

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Re: Is there something wrong with my starter?
« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2013, 05:53:02 PM »
Are you using a fully active starter before making your dough, and/or are you aware of this table?: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,22649.msg229864.html#msg229864

The re-ball topic is almost irrelevant if you are not using a properly fermented dough in the first place.

Mixing sugar is not a problem, but myself and another member made an Ischia dough with sugar and for both of us (we believe) it caused an unpleasant sourness in the final pizza. I never tested the theory, so it just remains a hunch. You'll also notice it's not common to do NY style using Ischia since it inhibits browning in lower temperature ovens. 


You're surprised about the lack of flavor/crumb, but I still think it's mostly due to an improper fermentation and not because of false hype. I'm curious to hear about your 100gr starter dough.   
Josh

Offline jamieg

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Re: Is there something wrong with my starter?
« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2013, 01:00:47 PM »
Well, after several trials - we reached a point where the bulk rise with the Ischia starter ocurred in the same 48 hours as the IDY dough...

Unfortunatley, on a consistent basis the Ischia dough was weaker - and as time went on - i.e. with dough balls re-balled for the 2nd day - it was so weak we couldn't use it.



 

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