Author Topic: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters  (Read 37156 times)

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Online texmex

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #200 on: January 24, 2016, 08:36:39 AM »
minn, I  have to agree with Bill about the cold fermentation.  I prefer to use cold rise, but my success while using sourdough in pizza dough is not consistent.  I get better results with pizza dough when I  allow all or the majority of fermentation at room  temp. 
Reesa


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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #201 on: January 24, 2016, 08:47:00 AM »
Hi,Norma

Thank you very much for the quick response. simply have no idea how good the taste of Ischia fermented crust, is it tasted sweet as well? any alcoholic flavor? can you please be a little specific describing the goodness you are referring to?

the formula I am using is 65% hydration level, 2% salt, and 10% Ischia starter, that's it. once in a while, I really got a very tasty crust, however, it has to be consumed together with good extra virgin olive oil. I wonder the crust may be tasted flat without olive oil, which seems to me true when I baked the Ischia fermented crust without olive oil.

that being said, it doesn't necessarily translate the combination of Ischia fermented crust must be as tasty when consumed with extra virgin olive oil. usually I could not get the good taste once I obtained, even with presence of the olive oil.

the different part of the process I deployed than you guy usually does is I let the dough stay in fridge to let it cold rise. my understanding is lactobacilli works well under low temperature, therefore, I have been expecting good alcoholic smell out of the dough within 2 days cold rise, which didn't happen

today, I re-activated my Ischia culture, I think it's worthwhile to re-visit the entire fermentation to see if anything I went wrong previously, and eventually I will be able to manage my starter consistently reliable.

minn,

I am not an expert on using the Ischia in doughs.  I just have dabbled around in Neapolitan pies and with NY style pies with Ishcia/IDY. 

To answer your question about what the crusts tastes like when making Neapolitan pies and using Ischia, there is a very subtle taste in the crust that is different, but the crust isn't sweet.  The taste is a lot different than when using a commerical yeast.  It is very hard to describe the flavor of a crust with Ischia.  There is no alcoholic flavor. 

Since you explained what you are using for your formulation 65% hydration seems a little high if using an 00 flour, and 2% salt seems a little low.  Bill is right that your amount of Ischia starter should be lower.  I wouldn’t recommend using olive oil especially with that amount of hydration.

You can read posts by members about not cold fermenting doughs with Ischia.  I never found the Ischia to work well under refrigeration unless it had some IDY added.  That is another animal though is combining Ischia with a commercial yeast for a NY style pizza dough.  You should just experiment with Ischia alone and see where that takes you. 

If you just re-activated your Ischia culture make sure it is rising well in a certain amount of time before using it.  How it is feed and discarded also will affect the taste of the crust.

What are you using to bake your Neapolitan pies?  Are you using a high temperature oven?

If you read through Craig's thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=20477.0 you can learn a lot about making an Ischia dough for Neapolitan pies.

Norma

Offline minn

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #202 on: January 24, 2016, 04:54:42 PM »
Hey, Bill, the Ischia master, thank you so much for shedding light. I will try again at room temperature

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #203 on: January 24, 2016, 06:45:31 PM »
my understanding is lactobacilli works well under low temperature,

This is unfortunate misinformation that has been spread on the internet by people who don't know any better. It is not correct.
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Offline minn

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #204 on: January 25, 2016, 07:07:06 AM »
Wow, I am so lucky getting all the fantastic response,

TXCraig1, I knew your big name here, I am not regular visitor though.

the cold rising thing has been hard coded in my understanding of proofing, it was from Jeff Varasano, and other famous people. I am a bit surprised it is a misinformation, which I need a bit time to convince myself, and actually, my experience didn't prove me the efficiency of cold rise the least. I will take some experiment to clarify my understanding in mind, I think. in any case, thank you so much, TXCraig1 for sharing me this knowledge.

to Norma, I bake the pie in an electronic oven with temperature between 400 C to 450 C. thank you as well for the link, I will spent time to read through

referring to the olive oil, it is not utilized in the dough, instead, it is sprayed on the topping of the crust. that's what I was referring to.

Texmex, thanks for the clear explanation too. it seems true from my side the performance of cold rise seems not consistent. I am curious why is that so, I have been wondering any deviation from a precise procedure producing an active yeast proof may play a critical role in managing the cold rise consistency, however, practically, it seems way beyond controllable if one wanted to manage this process correctly given so many variables in the equation if I am not wrong, temperature, organism in the flour, water, etc but, isn't it true these elements take their role as well when ferment in the room temperature? the only condition seems the assumption on lactobacilli works at low temperature might not be as valid. therefore, I will try several batches to see if the warm fermentation could be reliably managed by my side.

It is interesting to note Norma you used wild yeast together with commercial yeast. I tried before, but have some concern on it, partly because I believe each lactobacilli strain pairs well with certain type of yeast, when commercial yeast is mixed with Ischia for instance, I would worry about the cross contamination. since I have not been able to manage my Ischia reliably, I could not judge if my understanding is correct or not. literally, this concept seems valid to me. preferably to me, I would like to see the combination of wild yeast and commercial yeast could co-exist well in the entire fermentation, then, I will be able to reduce the risk of a flat pie in oven.

Thank you guys all again for the great help


Online norma427

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #205 on: January 25, 2016, 07:28:57 AM »

to Norma, I bake the pie in an electronic oven with temperature between 400 C to 450 C. thank you as well for the link, I will spent time to read through

referring to the olive oil, it is not utilized in the dough, instead, it is sprayed on the topping of the crust. that's what I was referring to.

It is interesting to note Norma you used wild yeast together with commercial yeast. I tried before, but have some concern on it, partly because I believe each lactobacilli strain pairs well with certain type of yeast, when commercial yeast is mixed with Ischia for instance, I would worry about the cross contamination. since I have not been able to manage my Ischia reliably, I could not judge if my understanding is correct or not. literally, this concept seems valid to me. preferably to me, I would like to see the combination of wild yeast and commercial yeast could co-exist well in the entire fermentation, then, I will be able to reduce the risk of a flat pie in oven.


minn,

Your temperature seems good for baking NP pies.  The olive oil is okay to coat your dough ball.  I do that too.

It is tricky to get decide what amounts of the Ischia and IDY to combine.  I wouldn't recommend that for Neapolitan pies though.

I did experimenting with Ischia/IDY for NY style pizzas.  One is at Reply1982 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=30641.msg410040#msg410040  Mitch helped me with that dough and other Ischia/IDY doughs.  I wanted to take that dough, or another SD/IDY to the pizza competition in NYC but I wasn't sure how it would do in another oven and how it would ferment over a long time.  The dough really didn't ferment a lot until it was left at room temperature to warm-up.  The only thing that went wrong with that last experiment was that the bottom crust wasn't crispy enough.  The taste of the crust was a lot better than when just using IDY. 

Norma

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #206 on: January 25, 2016, 09:32:35 AM »
the cold rising thing has been hard coded in my understanding of proofing, it was from Jeff Varasano, and other famous people. I am a bit surprised it is a misinformation, which I need a bit time to convince myself, and actually, my experience didn't prove me the efficiency of cold rise the least. I will take some experiment to clarify my understanding in mind, I think. in any case, thank you so much, TXCraig1 for sharing me this knowledge.

Here is some detailed information on the topic: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=41039.0
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #207 on: January 25, 2016, 09:42:08 AM »
I will take some experiment to clarify my understanding in mind,

There is no better way to gain an understanding than to try it yourself - again and again and again. I've been messing around with wild starters for 20+ years and am still learning that the devil is in the nuances of each individual culture, prep method, and your own preferences.

Offline minn

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #208 on: January 25, 2016, 07:30:15 PM »
Here is some detailed information on the topic: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=41039.0


I am totally impressed with due respect, TXCraig1 ! You guess , I ordered some wheat a couple of days ago in an attempt to germinate the wheat and mill some Diastatic Malt, since I found some French baker use this in making Baquette, so I thought probably I need to do a test for improving my pizza flavor. I was also thinking to develop a local wild yeast using the malt given my current situation I could not manage Ischia successfully, I doubted it is due to the Ischia is a foreign culture in my place and could not survive well. Your article give me more evidence I can try malt to make a better flavor regardless the type of flavor I would obtain.

That being said, I now understand the un-reliability of Ischia performance probably is a result of the fridge storage? I tried to re-activate my Ischia which has been sitting in my fridge more than a month, so far still not very active, the activation started yesterday, and I repeated the re-activation for 3 times, this is the third trial I am running. I noticed the smell changed from initial sweet aroma upto now a very faint smell which is neutral - neither sweet nor rancid but some weakly noticeable smell.

it sounds very complicated maintaining sourdough culture, no wonder Bill says he is still learning after 20+ years of experience. this leads me to a question how the Napli pizzeria keep their culture? what might be the precise procedure in order to maintain a reliable sourdough culture then? otherwise, it is a frustrating endeavor, better look into other directions, are we misled somehow by the lactobacilli stuff? sorry, for many questions ... ...




Offline minn

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #209 on: January 25, 2016, 07:42:14 PM »
Norma, I looked at the post in your below link, your pie looks fantastic, actually I did some Ischia/IDY dough last month, the crust was very puffy too, even though I worried a bit about cross contamination.  we are not the only one used this method, other bakeries in Shanghai deploy this method too, some bakeries are from Europe. I would say this is a safe approach before I really could manage the sourdough culture someday future.




minn,

Your temperature seems good for baking NP pies.  The olive oil is okay to coat your dough ball.  I do that too.

It is tricky to get decide what amounts of the Ischia and IDY to combine.  I wouldn't recommend that for Neapolitan pies though.

I did experimenting with Ischia/IDY for NY style pizzas.  One is at Reply1982 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=30641.msg410040#msg410040  Mitch helped me with that dough and other Ischia/IDY doughs.  I wanted to take that dough, or another SD/IDY to the pizza competition in NYC but I wasn't sure how it would do in another oven and how it would ferment over a long time.  The dough really didn't ferment a lot until it was left at room temperature to warm-up.  The only thing that went wrong with that last experiment was that the bottom crust wasn't crispy enough.  The taste of the crust was a lot better than when just using IDY. 

Norma

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #210 on: January 25, 2016, 08:08:14 PM »
this leads me to a question how the Napli pizzeria keep their culture? what might be the precise procedure in order to maintain a reliable sourdough culture then? otherwise, it is a frustrating endeavor, better look into other directions, are we misled somehow by the lactobacilli stuff? sorry, for many questions ... ...

If you establish and maintain a regular feeding schedule, it can be very reliable and predictable. That being said, I would be surprised if more than a tiny few pizzerias in Naples use a sourdough culture. Even fewer (as a % and maybe in absolute terms as well) in the US.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
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Offline minn

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #211 on: January 25, 2016, 09:20:34 PM »
If you establish and maintain a regular feeding schedule, it can be very reliable and predictable.

If this is the procedure, I think I can follow through. however, one point I am still a bit un-sure, based on Dr. Ed's instruction, it seems the activated culture could be stored in fridge , if it is less than 2 weeks, it can be activated in one trial, and if over 2 week time, needs to be repeated the activation process for a couple of times. I am sad to say my third trial fails again, it could not rise 2" within 2 to 4 hours. now I get the aroma back, but, very tiny rise in volume. there must be something wrong ... ...

Online TXCraig1

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #212 on: January 25, 2016, 09:44:38 PM »
If you are using the culture on a regular basis, there is no need to put it in the fridge.
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Online norma427

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #213 on: January 25, 2016, 10:00:28 PM »
Norma, I looked at the post in your below link, your pie looks fantastic, actually I did some Ischia/IDY dough last month, the crust was very puffy too, even though I worried a bit about cross contamination.  we are not the only one used this method, other bakeries in Shanghai deploy this method too, some bakeries are from Europe. I would say this is a safe approach before I really could manage the sourdough culture someday future.

minn,

If you search the forum you will see other members that make great pies using Ischia/IDY.  I was just experimenting and will have to do some more experiments.  Good to know that other bakeries in Shanghai and Europe use the same methods.  I think it is a safe approach sometimes for something like a NY style pizza, but don't think I would want to try it for a NP pizza.  One time I used used too much Ischia with IDY.  That made a very chewy pizza.  That chewy NY style pizza wasn't good.  That is why I said using Ischia/IDY is tricky.

The Ischia isn't really hard to manage.  It just take a little time to watch and feed and discard.  You will learn as you go.

Norma

Offline minn

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #214 on: January 26, 2016, 02:06:19 AM »
thanks, Norma, it is interesting to make a chewy pizza.

I think my Ischia is dead, to be precise the yeast is dead, the lactobacilli seems still alive. without the yeast, the LAB flavor smell very obvious, which is what I want. adding commercial yeast, the pie will be safely puffy and with good flavor, I will try room temperature next week probably. the weather in my city is terrible this week, dropped to below 7 C minus, historical low in 36 years. hope this is not the reason my Ischia yeast died out, kidding, I have a proof box. so, I will start my experiment next week when the weather get warmer.

More news to you guys, the Shanghai stock market dropped over 6% today, I just noticed this with shock, since the dramatic drop took place several months. I guess something went wrong in China. just an off topic to entertain with.

By the way, lots of you operate pizzeria? I visited TXCraig1's image link, such fantastic pizza, I am so jealous, hehehe. and you participate pizza competition, huhhh, I want to learn from you guys


Offline minn

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #215 on: January 26, 2016, 06:40:04 AM »
am I too pessimistic? here is the image whereby the starter rises about 2/3 of the base in 4 hours for the 4th trial, probably the wild yeast is still alive?

« Last Edit: January 27, 2016, 09:06:23 AM by Pete-zza »

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #216 on: January 26, 2016, 07:38:47 AM »
am I too pessimistic? here is the image whereby the starter rises about 2/3 of the base in 4 hours for the 4th trial, probably the wild yeast is still alive?

Too pessimistic.  Yes. As long as your starter isn't giving odor of paint thinner it should get better and more active with time.  You had it stored for a long time. It is slowly waking up.  If you read more of the topics about ischia you will find that many people want to give up but then...all of a sudden the starter really wakes up.  Does your starter float?   Before you stir it or add anything to it take a small spoonful out and see if it floats in water.  That's a sure sign it is ready.
Reesa


Offline minn

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #217 on: January 26, 2016, 08:03:51 AM »
Cool, Texmex, floating on water is a test, that's amazing, I will give a try. and good morning !


Too pessimistic.  Yes. As long as your starter isn't giving odor of paint thinner it should get better and more active with time.  You had it stored for a long time. It is slowly waking up.  If you read more of the topics about ischia you will find that many people want to give up but then...all of a sudden the starter really wakes up.  Does your starter float?   Before you stir it or add anything to it take a small spoonful out and see if it floats in water.  That's a sure sign it is ready.

Online texmex

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #218 on: January 26, 2016, 09:07:37 AM »
Good morning!   :)  Now get that ischia to float.... :P
Reesa