Author Topic: Moby Culture  (Read 4154 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline tinroofrusted

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1382
  • Location: OC, CA
  • Experimenting....
Moby Culture
« on: October 20, 2013, 10:16:54 AM »
Mmmph made an offer of some freeze-dried starter to any experienced baker that wanted to try it out.  I took him up on it and on Thursday I received a vacuum packed, freeze-dried portion of his starter known as "Cape Fear Sourdough", originally called "Moby" (after the whale).  As soon as I got it I rehydrated it and got it bubbling away in no time at all.  I was surprised how quickly it came to life. 

The Cape Fear/Moby culture does seem to be a very different animal from my starter, which I have been using for probably 5-6 years now.  My starter was just flour and water left out on the counter for a few days.  It works fine if I tend it carefully but it is quite sour, which does present a problem around my house because my daughter does not like sourdough with a pronounced sourness. The Moby starter, at least so far, is not very sour. The flavor is quite neutral with just a bit of a tang.  It reminds me of fermenting wine.  Based on how it has started bubbling away when I hydrated it, I anticipate that it will do a great job of leavening my breads and pizzas. 

I had been planning to make some bread to take with me to a book group meeting this afternoon, so when I was refreshing the my new starter this morning I took the part I was going to discard (200 grams) and put it in my bread dough.  I also used IDY since I needed to get the bread risen and in the oven in a matter of just a few hours.  So the first thing I made with Moby was a hybrid type bread with both natural starter and yeast.  Between the two leaveners the bread rose and baked very nicely.  I also made a pizza out of some of the dough, which was truly delicious. I topped it with Brussels sprouts, home oil-cured Fresno peppers (hot!), fontinella and asiago cheese.  Photos attached.  By the way, one of the people in our book club is a professional baker and he was quite interested in the story of how I received the Cape Fear/Moby culture.  He really liked the bread too. 

I'm really looking forward to making some pure sourdough bread and pizza with this starter.  I will post any results that look interesting.  I also understand there are a couple of other forum members who received this culture from Mmmph so feel free to post photos and thoughts about your experience here. 

Thanks to Mmmph for including me in this experiment. 

Regards,

TinRoof


Offline mbrulato

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1371
  • Location: NJ
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2013, 10:34:51 AM »
Tin,

Thanks for sharing your experience.  The pictures are making me hungry and you have inspired me to get a sourdough starter going.  I love sourdough bread and I think I would love the taste in pizza  :drool:

Mary Ann
Mary Ann

Offline tinroofrusted

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1382
  • Location: OC, CA
  • Experimenting....
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2013, 11:05:22 AM »
Thanks Mary Ann. Glad you were inspired.

Offline texmex

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 212
  • Location: out in that West Texas Town.....
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2013, 09:15:02 AM »
I got a sample of the MOBY too. 
Will revive it sometime this week as I already have 2 loaves of sourdough and 6 balls of pizza dough to be consumed.  (My home-caught sourdough "CHUCK" is also quite sour, so looking forward to a different flavor profile)

Thanks for posting your thoughts and results tinroof.  I'll track MOBY and post results when I get to it.
Reesa

Offline chasenpse

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 377
  • Location: New York
    • Battle Hill Media
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2013, 09:59:04 AM »
Tasty looking bread! I had no idea people named their cultures, I guess I'll have to come up with one since mine is turning 1 year old soon :D

Mmmph - if you're reading this, would you mind sharing how you started your culture?
If Tetris has taught me anything, itís that errors pile up and accomplishments disappear.

Offline Mmmph

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1024
  • Location: ILM NC
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2013, 11:01:51 AM »
TinRoof, looking good there...Nice.  :P Glad it's working well for you.

chasenpse;
I the late summer of 2010, I was hiking in the woods along the banks of the Cape Fear river in NC.  Somewhere between Fayetteville and Elizabethtown NC, I came across a patch of wild Muscadine (Actually, white Scuppernong) grapes.  Beautiful and quite surprising, as birds and squirrels generally pick these clean by that time of year.  I grabbed the best looking bunch (probably 12-14 grapes) and made a beeline back to the car, as I knew what I wanted to do with them.

They sat on newspaper in the car and I took the bunch inside when I got home.  I keep cheesecloth in the kitchen, and I wrapped up all of the grapes that were whole (not damaged or overripe) in a double layer of cheesecloth.  I placed them in a plastic 2 qt pitcher and used a long wooden spoon to crush them up until I could see a good amount of juice in the bottom of the pitcher.
 
I added 200G of water and 200G of KAAP.  I stirred until it all came together and left it on the countertop, checking a couple times a day. After 3 days, I noticed some bubbles.  I let it go for one more day and pulled out the cheesecloth bag.  I added another 100g of water and 100g of flour.  The next day I took 100G out and discarded the rest.  I added 200g water and 200g flour.  I continued washing this culture every day for a month in an attempt to "purify" or isolate the active bacteria/yeast combo.

I then refrigerated it for a month.  It settled down and began to form a golden hooch on top.  The smell? Heaven.  Like Muscadine wine.  The taste?  Like sweet Muscadine wine.

I revived it and washed it a couple times, switching Caputo 00 flour.  I've let it sleep for months, always reviving it easily, over a couple of days, to be used at my convenience.

Been using it since for pizza and bread.  I called it Moby, as it was what I'd been searching for (My white whale)...an active, reliable culture that performs as well as any commercial yeast I've used.

Now, I've renamed it Cape Fear Sourdough. I offered up some dried samples last week.
Sono venuto, ho visto, ho mangiato

Offline chasenpse

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 377
  • Location: New York
    • Battle Hill Media
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2013, 11:09:56 AM »
TinRoof, looking good there...Nice.  :P Glad it's working well for you.

chasenpse;
I the late summer of 2010, I was hiking in the woods along the banks of the Cape Fear river in NC.  Somewhere between Fayetteville and Elizabethtown NC, I came across a patch of wild Muscadine (Actually, white Scuppernong) grapes.  Beautiful and quite surprising, as birds and squirrels generally pick these clean by that time of year.  I grabbed the best looking bunch (probably 12-14 grapes) and made a beeline back to the car, as I knew what I wanted to do with them.

They sat on newspaper in the car and I took the bunch inside when I got home.  I keep cheesecloth in the kitchen, and I wrapped up all of the grapes that were whole (not damaged or overripe) in a double layer of cheesecloth.  I placed them in a plastic 2 qt pitcher and used a long wooden spoon to crush them up until I could see a good amount of juice in the bottom of the pitcher.
 
I added 200G of water and 200G of KAAP.  I stirred until it all came together and left it on the countertop, checking a couple times a day. After 3 days, I noticed some bubbles.  I let it go for one more day and pulled out the cheesecloth bag.  I added another 100g of water and 100g of flour.  The next day I took 100G out and discarded the rest.  I added 200g water and 200g flour.  I continued washing this culture every day for a month in an attempt to "purify" or isolate the active bacteria/yeast combo.

I then refrigerated it for a month.  It settled down and began to form a golden hooch on top.  The smell? Heaven.  Like Muscadine wine.  The taste?  Like sweet Muscadine wine.

I revived it and washed it a couple times, switching Caputo 00 flour.  I've let it sleep for months, always reviving it easily, over a couple of days, to be used at my convenience.

Been using it since for pizza and bread.  I called it Moby, as it was what I'd been searching for (My white whale)...an active, reliable culture that performs as well as any commercial yeast I've used.

Now, I've renamed it Cape Fear Sourdough. I offered up some dried samples last week.

That's awesome, I love the back story to your culture and the fact that it's from the outdoors. I've seen a couple videos about brewers washing their yeast, is it the same process?
If Tetris has taught me anything, itís that errors pile up and accomplishments disappear.

Offline JD

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1919
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2013, 11:53:14 AM »
TinRoof, looking good there...Nice.  :P Glad it's working well for you.

chasenpse;
I the late summer of 2010, I was hiking in the woods along the banks of the Cape Fear river in NC.  Somewhere between Fayetteville and Elizabethtown NC, I came across a patch of wild Muscadine (Actually, white Scuppernong) grapes.  Beautiful and quite surprising, as birds and squirrels generally pick these clean by that time of year.  I grabbed the best looking bunch (probably 12-14 grapes) and made a beeline back to the car, as I knew what I wanted to do with them.

They sat on newspaper in the car and I took the bunch inside when I got home.  I keep cheesecloth in the kitchen, and I wrapped up all of the grapes that were whole (not damaged or overripe) in a double layer of cheesecloth.  I placed them in a plastic 2 qt pitcher and used a long wooden spoon to crush them up until I could see a good amount of juice in the bottom of the pitcher.
 
I added 200G of water and 200G of KAAP.  I stirred until it all came together and left it on the countertop, checking a couple times a day. After 3 days, I noticed some bubbles.  I let it go for one more day and pulled out the cheesecloth bag.  I added another 100g of water and 100g of flour.  The next day I took 100G out and discarded the rest.  I added 200g water and 200g flour.  I continued washing this culture every day for a month in an attempt to "purify" or isolate the active bacteria/yeast combo.

I then refrigerated it for a month.  It settled down and began to form a golden hooch on top.  The smell? Heaven.  Like Muscadine wine.  The taste?  Like sweet Muscadine wine.

I revived it and washed it a couple times, switching Caputo 00 flour.  I've let it sleep for months, always reviving it easily, over a couple of days, to be used at my convenience.

Been using it since for pizza and bread.  I called it Moby, as it was what I'd been searching for (My white whale)...an active, reliable culture that performs as well as any commercial yeast I've used.

Now, I've renamed it Cape Fear Sourdough. I offered up some dried samples last week.

Have you looked into selling your yeast commercially? Sounds like a winner. I wish I had the genetics that would allow me to eat more bread/pizza without bustin' a button. I'd be making a lot more than I am now.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 12:15:07 PM by JD »

Offline tinroofrusted

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1382
  • Location: OC, CA
  • Experimenting....
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2013, 01:01:42 PM »
Last night I baked up three pizzas made with a 32 hour dough made only with Moby culture.  The flour was Central Milling Type 00 Reinforced.  I used minimal hand kneading with a series of 4 stretches and folds at 30 minute intervals.  Bulk rise at room temp for about 4 hours then balled and into the cooler at about 50 degrees for the rest of the time.  The doughballs were just over 9 oz. each. 

I got a nice rise on the dough (should have taken a photo of the risen dough balls!) and the dough stretched very easily.  You can see how bubbly the dough is on the photo showing the pizza skin awaiting toppings.  Some of the thinner pizzas I've made lately.  The Blackstone oven was too hot when I put the pizzas in so I did burn the bottoms a bit. 

I'm very happy with the flavor of the Moby starter. There is a slight pleasant tang that seems quite a bit like IDY but better. To me, the flavor is a big improvement over my old starter. 

Thanks again for the starter, Mmmph!

Regards,

TinRoof


Offline mbrulato

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1371
  • Location: NJ
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2013, 02:01:52 PM »

Now, I've renamed it Cape Fear Sourdough. I offered up some dried samples last week.

Mmmph,

I've only made one starter from scratch and really have no experience.  Waiting for my Ischia and Camaldoli packets to come in the mail.  Do you mind me asking what your drying process is? 

Thank you,
Mary Ann

Mary Ann

Offline Mmmph

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1024
  • Location: ILM NC
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2013, 02:53:24 PM »
Great looking pies there...This culture is well behaved.

mbrulato; When the culture is at peak activity, I smear it thinly on a SILPAT liner in a half baking sheet. I put it in the oven with the light on. In 3-4 days, it's completely dry and cracking. I toss it in a mini food processor and grind it up. I then weigh out 25g-30g portions and vacuum seal it in small bags.

Before SILPAT, I used aluminum foil or plastic wrap. They'll work, but a lot of the culture sticks to these media.
Sono venuto, ho visto, ho mangiato

Offline mbrulato

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1371
  • Location: NJ
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2013, 03:05:33 PM »
Is parchment paper ok to use?  Also, I don't have a vacuum sealer.  Will this only work if vacuum sealed?
Mary Ann

Offline Mmmph

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1024
  • Location: ILM NC
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2013, 03:08:01 PM »
Dunno..I imagine it would stick way too much, as it's porous.
Sono venuto, ho visto, ho mangiato

Offline tinroofrusted

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1382
  • Location: OC, CA
  • Experimenting....
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2013, 03:09:25 PM »
Great looking pies there...This culture is well behaved.

Thanks Mmmph.  I am really enjoying it so far.  Next on my agenda is a Tartine style loaf. 

Offline texmex

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 212
  • Location: out in that West Texas Town.....
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2013, 11:35:19 AM »
 
Is parchment paper ok to use?  Also, I don't have a vacuum sealer.  Will this only work if vacuum sealed?

Mary, when I dried my own starter I just spread it on a glass platter and left it in the oven until it dried out (hot summer here-took only 2 days).  No problem getting it to release from the glass, and I just stuck mine in a ziplock and store it in the freezer.  You can use a jar, or whatever.  Mine revived no problem after 2 years in the freezer.

I just put "MOBY" into a receptacle with some water and flour this morning. :)  (excited)
Reesa

Offline tinroofrusted

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1382
  • Location: OC, CA
  • Experimenting....
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2013, 12:18:05 PM »
Here are my first Moby loaves of bread, just out of the oven. I haven't cut into them yet but they sure do smell good! I will post a picture of a cut loaf a bit later.  The recipe I used for this is the "Country Blonde" loaf from Ken Forkish's book Flour Water Salt Yeast. Pretty similar to Tartine's country loaf.  Mostly white flour with some rye and whole wheat.  78% hydration. 
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 01:00:01 PM by tinroofrusted »

Offline mbrulato

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1371
  • Location: NJ
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2013, 12:20:58 PM »

Mary, when I dried my own starter I just spread it on a glass platter and left it in the oven until it dried out (hot summer here-took only 2 days).  No problem getting it to release from the glass, and I just stuck mine in a ziplock and store it in the freezer.  You can use a jar, or whatever.  Mine revived no problem after 2 years in the freezer.

I just put "MOBY" into a receptacle with some water and flour this morning. :)  (excited)

Thanks, Tex Mex.  Keep us posted.
Mary Ann


Offline Mmmph

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1024
  • Location: ILM NC
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2013, 12:21:44 PM »
WOW...just WOW.
Sono venuto, ho visto, ho mangiato

Offline mbrulato

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1371
  • Location: NJ
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2013, 12:24:50 PM »
Beautiful loaves, Tin.  Thanks for sharing - I bet they are yummy  :drool:
Mary Ann

Offline chasenpse

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 377
  • Location: New York
    • Battle Hill Media
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2013, 01:32:45 PM »
Those look great TinRoof, nice blistering on the crust too. I'd love to see how this culture would handle a dark rye, are you up for the challenge? ;D
If Tetris has taught me anything, itís that errors pile up and accomplishments disappear.

Offline tinroofrusted

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1382
  • Location: OC, CA
  • Experimenting....
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2013, 01:50:24 PM »
Mmmph, mbrulato and chasepn: Thanks for your nice comments.  This starter is pretty fantastic I must say.  Really great lift on the loaves.  I cut the first loaf open just now and I did get a nice crumb too.  I got some of those translucent shiny bubbles that you get when the bread is just about right.  The flavor is wonderful. Very mild tang, really nice texture.  All in all I would say that the Moby culture is a winner for bread. 

Offline mbrulato

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1371
  • Location: NJ
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2013, 02:15:13 PM »
Tin,

What was your workflow like?  Other than ciabatta, I need practice in the high hydration breads dept.  I can't seem to get them to stay put in the shape of yours.  They much rather behave like "The Blob"  :-D. Maybe I need to do more stretch and folds.  Did you use a proofing basket?  When you baked, did you use a stone, steel, WFO?  How long, temps, etc.? Any advice is appreciated.

Mary Ann
Mary Ann

Offline Mmmph

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1024
  • Location: ILM NC
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2013, 02:46:24 PM »
Mmmph, mbrulato and chasepn: Thanks for your nice comments.  This starter is pretty fantastic I must say.  Really great lift on the loaves.  I cut the first loaf open just now and I did get a nice crumb too.  I got some of those translucent shiny bubbles that you get when the bread is just about right.  The flavor is wonderful. Very mild tang, really nice texture.  All in all I would say that the Moby culture is a winner for bread.

WOW...again, WOW.
I knew I got lucky with this culture.
Sono venuto, ho visto, ho mangiato

Offline tinroofrusted

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1382
  • Location: OC, CA
  • Experimenting....
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2013, 03:44:14 PM »
Tin,

What was your workflow like?  Other than ciabatta, I need practice in the high hydration breads dept.  I can't seem to get them to stay put in the shape of yours.  They much rather behave like "The Blob"  :-D. Maybe I need to do more stretch and folds.  Did you use a proofing basket?  When you baked, did you use a stone, steel, WFO?  How long, temps, etc.? Any advice is appreciated.

Mary Ann
Yes, more stretch & folds will help build the structure so it will hold its shape when they bake. I've had the same problem sometimes with "blob-like" loaves.  The loaves are baked in a pan so you don't need a baking stone with this method.  I did use proofing baskets, which I commandeered from my wife, who used to use them for serving crackers, etc.  I have some cane baskets on order so maybe then I will get some "Bakeshack" style loaves (I hope!). 

The workflow is (courtesy of Flour Water Salt Yeast but with a few tweaks from me):

Feed the Levain. 24 hours after your previous feeding, feed the levain again: take 100 grams of active levain and combine with 400 grams of white flour, 100 grams of whole wheat flour, and 400 grams of water at 85 degrees and mix by hand until just incorporated. Cover and let rest at room temp. for 7 to 9 hours.  (you could reduce the amount of this by half if you don't want to have a lot of levain left over.)

Autolyse.  After 7 to 9 hours mix 804 grams of white flour, 50 grams of rye flour and 26 grams of whole wheat flour by hand in a 12 quart tub. Add 684 grams of water at 90-95 degrees and mix by hand until just incorporated. Cover and let rest for 20-30 min.

Mix the Dough. Sprinkle 22 grams salt evenly over the top of the dough.  Add 216 grams of the levain and using wet hands, mix by hand until the levain and salt are fully integrated into the dough.  Target dough temp. is 77 degrees.

Fold.  Do 3-4 folds giving half an hour or so between folds.  Allow the dough to develop for 12-15 hours at room temp. 

Divide.  Once the Dough is nearly triple its original volume, divide into two equal portions. 

Shape.  Shape two loaves and let them rest on the counter top for ten minutes. Shape again, then place in two proofing baskets lined with linen cloths and sprinkled lightly with white flour (I like Caputo for this.)  Proof the loaves for 3-4 hours at room temp. The dough is ready when you can push a dent in it with your finger and it does not spring back.  Don't allow the loaves to over proof. 

Preheat Oven.  At least 45 min. before baking, heat the oven to 525 and put a large heavy covered casserole into the oven to preheat. (I use Le Creuset, but any large heavy covered pan will do.) 

Bake the Loaves. When the casserole is good and hot, take it out of the oven, take the cover off, plop the loaf into it, slash, cover, and return to the oven. Reduce the oven heat to 475.  Bake for 30 minutes covered, then remove the cover and bake another 10-15 minutes until the loaf is a deep brown color.  When the first loaf is done, heat the oven and casserole back to 525 before loading the second loaf for baking. Remember to turn the oven back down to 475 when you put the second loaf in. 

Thats it!  BTW, Ken Forkish's book is really a good book for people who are just getting started with natural starters; I recommend it highly.  Many great recipes for both yeast breads and naturally leavened. Great pizza recipes too! 

Regards,

TinRoof


Offline texmex

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 212
  • Location: out in that West Texas Town.....
Re: Moby Culture
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2013, 12:45:38 PM »
Wow... for sure!  :drool:

 I took a slow growth approach to feeding MOBY/FEAR (started with 10 grams of dried starter 30 grams of water and 20 grams flour)  left it all day and though it had very little activity, I fed another 25 grams of flour and water that evening. By morning there were many small bubbles and a nice sweetish odor. I stirred in another 25/25 which doubled, but was still not very bubbly by noon, so fed again and left that to ferment until I got home about 1 am and the starter had doubled nicely with tons of bubbles.  What a heady smell! I was going to feed again last night, but somehow I forgot (too many beers) and found MOBY to be a little spent this morning so I fed him right away...within 2 hours he doubled again. 

I gotta say, he responds much more quickly than my homegrown starter once activity became apparent. 

Since I use a large amount of starter in my bread and make 4 loaves per batch, I just removed the bulk of this starter from the jar, fed the jar and stuck it in the fridge.  The rest is also fed for the exact starter amount I need for my sourdough bread recipe and resting at room temp.  I'll mix the dough this afternoon, and should have loaves baking in the eve or tomorrow morning. 
Reesa