Author Topic: My SD starter is totally breaking down my dough!  (Read 343 times)

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Offline dbarneschi

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My SD starter is totally breaking down my dough!
« on: June 04, 2014, 12:01:02 AM »
I've been using an Ischia starter in the TXCraig1 dough recipe for some time now with relatively good success. In the past, I'd typically take the starter right out of the fridge and add it to the recipe. Ambient temp was between 66-70 degrees. My pies usually proofed well and were fairly easy to open up. As my pizza making skills advanced, I decided to be less "haphazard" in my timing, proofing, etc. I read that feeding your starter twice before using (with 6-8 hours between feedings) was the best way to make sure it was fully active. I did this the other night and conducted an "experiment" with the TXCraig1 recipe.

After a 24 hour bulk ferment at 67 degrees, I proofed one dough ball at 67 degrees for the remaining 24 hours, another dough ball at 67 degrees for 12 hours and at 77 degrees for the last 12 hours and the third dough ball at 67 degrees for 20 hours and at 77 degrees for the last 4 hours.

The conclusion:
1. The 24/24 ball was under risen, fairly easy to handle and had decent oven spring.
2. The 24/20-4 ball was slightly under risen, moderately difficult to handle (had a few tears) and had decent oven spring.
3. The 24/12-12 ball rose perfectly but completely fell apart when I tried handling it.

How can I get the rise of dough ball 3 but the gluten structure of dough ball 1?

Things to note:
- My Ischia starter seems to be very aggressive. After a second feeding in the same day, it can triple and almost quadruple in volume.
- My dough seemed very tacky as I kneaded it and later balled it. Perhaps this was due to increased humidity in my apartment or maybe a bad batch of Caputo 00 flour???

I am hosting a pizza party this weekend so any and all advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: My SD starter is totally breaking down my dough!
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2014, 08:12:38 AM »
DB;
Two things come to mind here. One is that the starter might be getting too acid and the acid is breaking down the flour protein structure. You could probably test this with Litmus Paper. Another thing that comes to mind is protease activity. While we usually associate protease with fungals it can also be of bacterial source and since a starter is nothing more than a bucket of bacteria and yeasts living together harmoniously, there is a good possibility that some of the bacteria have changed over time (not a rare occurrence) and you are now getting a dose of bacterial protease with your starter. Protease breaks down proteins much in the same way that meat tenderizers make a tough cut of meat more tender eating. Usually the first sign of protease activity in a dough is a softer, more extensible dough, then as things progress the dough becomes tacky and ultimately sticky, it's about this time is when the protein/gluten has been damaged (hydrolyzed) to the point where it will no longer support its own weight and the dough collapses or begins falling apart (a common term for this is that the dough appears to be rotting).
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My SD starter is totally breaking down my dough!
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2014, 08:38:41 AM »
Damian,

How much Ischia starter did you use?

Peter

Offline dbarneschi

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Re: My SD starter is totally breaking down my dough!
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2014, 08:54:40 AM »
DB;
Two things come to mind here. One is that the starter might be getting too acid and the acid is breaking down the flour protein structure. You could probably test this with Litmus Paper. Another thing that comes to mind is protease activity. While we usually associate protease with fungals it can also be of bacterial source and since a starter is nothing more than a bucket of bacteria and yeasts living together harmoniously, there is a good possibility that some of the bacteria have changed over time (not a rare occurrence) and you are now getting a dose of bacterial protease with your starter. Protease breaks down proteins much in the same way that meat tenderizers make a tough cut of meat more tender eating. Usually the first sign of protease activity in a dough is a softer, more extensible dough, then as things progress the dough becomes tacky and ultimately sticky, it's about this time is when the protein/gluten has been damaged (hydrolyzed) to the point where it will no longer support its own weight and the dough collapses or begins falling apart (a common term for this is that the dough appears to be rotting).
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
Hi Tom,
The latter of what you're describing here seems to be exactly what is happening to my dough. The dough that seems to ferment properly turns super tacky and indeed "collapses." Is there any way to get my starter back to normal, or should I simply begin with a new starter? Is there any way that I can prevent this from happening in the future? I try to be very careful with cleaning my Ischia starter vessel and mixing utensils during and after every feeding.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2014, 09:24:17 AM by dbarneschi »

Offline dbarneschi

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Re: My SD starter is totally breaking down my dough!
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2014, 08:55:49 AM »
Damian,

How much Ischia starter did you use?

Peter
1.3% of total dough weight, per TXCraig1's recipe.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My SD starter is totally breaking down my dough!
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2014, 09:48:36 AM »
1.3% of total dough weight, per TXCraig1's recipe.
Damian,

I doubt that 1.3% starter would have been enough to destroy the dough you mentioned. However, there is also protease enzymes in the flour/dough that can also destroy the gluten structure and release water from its bond. Usually it takes a long period of fermentation to do that. So, in your case, the dough may have overfermented. Some time ago, I conducted an experiment to see if it was possible to completely destroy a naturally leavened dough by letting it overferment. I succeeded. The dough was completely unusable.

Peter

Offline mitchjg

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Re: My SD starter is totally breaking down my dough!
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2014, 09:59:24 AM »
1.3% of total dough weight, per TXCraig1's recipe.


I believe Craig's recipe, as follows, calls for the starter to be a % of total flour weight, not dough weight.  Using a % of total dough weight would equate to (roughly) 60% "extra" starter.

"
100% Caputo (my typical batch is ~1.3kg flour)
62.5% Water at about 40-45F (play with this over time in a range of 60-64%)
3.0% Salt (I would not go lower than 2.5% or more than maybe 3.1%)
1.3% Ischia Culture (fully active) NO FRESH YEAST, IDY, or ADY!!! Trust your culture. The hydration and flour you use in your culture donít matter much at quantities this low.  Iím probably a little stiffer than 100%, but I doubt it is significant.
"
as described here:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20477.msg202047.html#msg202047

So, if that is what Damian is really doing, then the problems could be related to inadvertently using too much starter.

- Mitch

Offline Adrian

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Re: My SD starter is totally breaking down my dough!
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2014, 10:03:22 AM »
How did you feed your starter before using it?

If you want a better oven spring, you need to boost the yeast. For me this works best:

1 part Starter; 2 parts Water; 2 parts Flour - 26įC/72F

Repeat this, until the starter peaks in under 5 hours (You can easily reach 4 hours). If the starter was neglected for quite some time, 2 feedings won't be enough. If the starter works fairly well, 1 feeding might suffice.
I think it is better to adapt the process to the behaviour of the starter than to a fixed count of feedings.

1.3% of total dough weight - this is about 2.1% in Craigs table. For an active starter this will be too much for 48 hours at 67 degrees or more. For refreshed starter you might have to take less.

Adrian

Offline dbarneschi

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Re: My SD starter is totally breaking down my dough!
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2014, 10:10:10 AM »
I believe Craig's recipe, as follows, calls for the starter to be a % of total flour weight, not dough weight.  Using a % of total dough weight would equate to (roughly) 60% "extra" starter.

"
100% Caputo (my typical batch is ~1.3kg flour)
62.5% Water at about 40-45F (play with this over time in a range of 60-64%)
3.0% Salt (I would not go lower than 2.5% or more than maybe 3.1%)
1.3% Ischia Culture (fully active) NO FRESH YEAST, IDY, or ADY!!! Trust your culture. The hydration and flour you use in your culture donít matter much at quantities this low.  Iím probably a little stiffer than 100%, but I doubt it is significant.
"
as described here:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20477.msg202047.html#msg202047

So, if that is what Damian is really doing, then the problems could be related to inadvertently using too much starter.

- Mitch

Sorry Mitch, you're correct. The starter percentage is 1.3% of the flour weight (not the dough weight). For my 250g dough balls, this translates to ~2g Ischia starter per ball.

Offline dbarneschi

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Re: My SD starter is totally breaking down my dough!
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2014, 10:13:51 AM »
How did you feed your starter before using it?

If you want a better oven spring, you need to boost the yeast. For me this works best:

1 part Starter; 2 parts Water; 2 parts Flour - 26įC/72F

Repeat this, until the starter peaks in under 5 hours (You can easily reach 4 hours). If the starter was neglected for quite some time, 2 feedings won't be enough. If the starter works fairly well, 1 feeding might suffice.
I think it is better to adapt the process to the behaviour of the starter than to a fixed count of feedings.

1.3% of total dough weight - this is about 2.1% in Craigs table. For an active starter this will be too much for 48 hours at 67 degrees or more. For refreshed starter you might have to take less.

Adrian
Thanks for the tips. As Mitch pointed out as well, I meant to say 1.3% of total flour weight. Sorry for this oversight.


Offline dbarneschi

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Re: My SD starter is totally breaking down my dough!
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2014, 10:22:08 AM »
Thanks for the tips everyone. Come to think of it, there might be an easy fix to this problem next time and that might be to not forget to add the salt to the dough! Did I really do this? It was late. I was in a rush. The dough kept tearing and barely had any structure to it in the kneading process, which certainly would not be the result of a "flawed" SD starter. Jeez, I can be a total dunderhead at times.

If I did indeed make this mistake, hopefully I won't make a similar one when I'm creating 24 dough balls for my pizza party this weekend!

I'll be sure to let you know how the dough balls turn out. Say a prayer for me! :chef:
« Last Edit: June 04, 2014, 10:32:25 AM by dbarneschi »

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: My SD starter is totally breaking down my dough!
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2014, 11:46:34 AM »
DB;
If you forgot to add the salt to the dough that could very easily explain what you were experiencing. Salt is a strengthener for the dough and it also plays a very important role in controlling fermentation activity. I have personally collapsed more than one bread dough by scaling sugar for salt. Oops!
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
If the microflora in the starter changes (the expression is that the starter has been lost) you can get a change in dough performance and/or flavor of the finished product in which it was used. In this event it is best to just start a new starter all over again. This is why it is so highly recommended that when you have a starter that you really like that you divide it into multiple containers at different locations so if one is lost you can always use one of the other to seed/start a new starter with the same microflora.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline dbarneschi

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Re: My SD starter is totally breaking down my dough!
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2014, 01:09:17 PM »
DB;
If you forgot to add the salt to the dough that could very easily explain what you were experiencing. Salt is a strengthener for the dough and it also plays a very important role in controlling fermentation activity. I have personally collapsed more than one bread dough by scaling sugar for salt. Oops!
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
If the microflora in the starter changes (the expression is that the starter has been lost) you can get a change in dough performance and/or flavor of the finished product in which it was used. In this event it is best to just start a new starter all over again. This is why it is so highly recommended that when you have a starter that you really like that you divide it into multiple containers at different locations so if one is lost you can always use one of the other to seed/start a new starter with the same microflora.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
Great advice. Thanks again Tom. I'll be sure to divide up my starter and store it away once I get something that's working.


 

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