Author Topic: How Do I Use Ischia in Real Time to make dough?  (Read 1169 times)

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Offline drmatt357

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How Do I Use Ischia in Real Time to make dough?
« on: June 30, 2014, 08:13:00 PM »
OK, I received my packet today from sourdo.com.  They sent a 4 page instruction how to use it and I was confused before but now I'm really confused.  I get how to activate... no problem.  My question is, once it's activated, then I stick it back in the fridge, what then?  I emailed the the company and he $uggested I buy their book and "shelve the pizza forum".   >:(

So I take it out of the fridge, let's say it's within 2 weeks of it being activated.  What then?  Do I let it sit until it bubbles then use it? or do I have to let it sit, then discard half and add more flour and water, wait until it bubbles then use it?  The instructions said something about after I take what I want, then add more flour and water then back in the fridge.... What???????

Also, was wondering, say a recipe calls for 3% yeast, do I just weigh the "pancake batter" straight out of the jar?  Should I mix it up real good before I scoop some out and if I mix, should I do it right when I take it out of the fridge or after it activates?

If I use mostly AP flour for the SD recipies, is that what I should use in the starter?  I'm going to make some pies on a friend's BS and will purchase some 00, will it be OK if the starter is a different type of flour than the dough?

I'm sure I'll have more questions but that should be enough for now.

« Last Edit: June 30, 2014, 08:26:24 PM by drmatt357 »


Offline Totti

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Re: How Do I Use Ischia in Real Time to make dough?
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2014, 10:21:37 PM »
Yes, Ed was a douche to me too.

Offline jsaras

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Re: How Do I Use Ischia in Real Time to make dough?
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2014, 10:30:56 PM »
You'll get several workable methods; here's mine.

The doughs that I make only require 1-2.5% starter, so I don't need a lot of active starter.  100g total would always be more than enough.  Even 50g would be enough.

For feeding a refrigerated starter, I let the jar come to room temp first thing in the morning. It generally takes about an hour.  I discard all but 30 grams.  I then add two parts flour (60g) and two parts water (60g...or maybe a tiny bit less).  So I end up with 150 grams of starter at the end.  You can make more or less, just keep the ratios the same.

I then put the jar into my oven with the oven light on ( the lid on the jar should be very loose).  The starter reaches about 80 degrees and it's ready to use within 4-6 hours (you'll see noticeable growth).

The "float test" can be used to determine if the starter is ready for use.  Take about a teaspoon of starter and put it into a cup of water.  If it floats you're good to go.

I weigh the starter by placing the jar on the scale and just use the "negative" number on the display tell me how much I've scooped out.  The starter blob is mixed into the recipe water.  Stir it until the water turns milky.  Some people mix the salt into the water as well, some don't.  Add your flour, mix, etc.
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Offline drmatt357

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Re: How Do I Use Ischia in Real Time to make dough?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2014, 10:34:37 PM »
Now THAT I can understand. Thank you.

When done, do I just put it back in the fridge or do I have to do so something to it before storing it?
« Last Edit: June 30, 2014, 10:36:08 PM by drmatt357 »

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: How Do I Use Ischia in Real Time to make dough?
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2014, 10:50:04 PM »
I emailed the the company and he $uggested I buy their book and "shelve the pizza forum".   >:(


 :-D  If you had read his book, you would know just how funny that is.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline drmatt357

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Re: How Do I Use Ischia in Real Time to make dough?
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2014, 10:52:00 PM »
I was hoping you'd chime in Craig. Anything to add or do you do it very different and care to share.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: How Do I Use Ischia in Real Time to make dough?
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2014, 11:02:23 PM »
There are a lot of ways to skin this cat. IMO, how you do it is nowhere near as important (within reason) than is doing it the same way every time. It's not like commercial yeast that, assuming is reasonably fresh, is always at the same level of activity. The activity of your culture ebbs and flows with the feedings and time between. To have any consistency in your dough timing, you want to use your culture at the same level of activity every time.

I do it a bit different from Jonas not that there is anything wrong with what he told you.

I keep a jar in the fridge as a back-up only. It gets fed once every 4-6 months. The culture I use lives on the counter, and I feed it every three days or so. It's basically always active. I feed it 24 hours before making pizza. I feed by adding some filtered water, discarding half, and adding enough flour to make a thick batter consistency. I never measure anything when I feed.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline drmatt357

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Re: How Do I Use Ischia in Real Time to make dough?
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2014, 11:06:56 PM »
Easy enough. I want to make sure I have the order correct. You add water first, then discard half of the entire mixture then add flour to bring viscosity back to normal.  I understand you don't measure the added water but can you give me an idea of the % of the container or inches?

Do you mix well after water is added and if so, how do you mix. Shake the jar or use a spoon. I would imagine you should be gentle with the little creatures.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2014, 11:09:59 PM by drmatt357 »

Offline dylandylan

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Re: How Do I Use Ischia in Real Time to make dough?
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2014, 11:11:04 PM »
My 2c

I recently moved to using Ischia starter (also from sourdo.com).   I used to refrigerate my old home-grown starter in between making my weekly or fortnightly batches of dough.  I've found that I now prefer to not refrigerate the starter, and I now keep it out on the counter all the time.    The refrigeration was an easy routine, but the starter was ultimately less effective than keeping it at room temp.

My current routine: I feed it every two days (discard a bit, then feed about 50g water 50g flour), this keeps it happy - not starved, but not hyperactive.   48 hours before I'm going to make dough I'll do twice-daily feedings to get it primed, and then once I've mixed the dough I go back to feeding once every two days.

[edit - I also only keep a small amount of starter - about 100g on average]
« Last Edit: June 30, 2014, 11:12:50 PM by dylandylan »

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: How Do I Use Ischia in Real Time to make dough?
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2014, 11:13:10 PM »
Easy enough. I want to make sure I have the order correct. You add water first, then discard half of the entire mixture then add flour to bring viscosity back to normal.  I understand you don't measure the added water but can you give me an idea of the % of the container or inches?

Do you mix well after water is added and if so, how do you mix. Shake the jar or use a spoon. I would imagine you should be gentle with the little creatures.

Heck, I don't know. I add maybe 1/3 the deflated volume in water. Maybe 1/2? Somewhere in between probably. After I add the flour, I mix it up really good with a fork, scrape the sides of the jar (1qt wide mouth mason jar) with a spatula, and put the lid on loosely.
Pizza is not bread.


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: How Do I Use Ischia in Real Time to make dough?
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2014, 11:14:10 PM »
The total volume I keep in the jar on the counter is probably a little more than a cup.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline parallei

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Re: How Do I Use Ischia in Real Time to make dough?
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2014, 11:41:39 PM »
My routine is about the same as dylandylan's.

I keep about 150g total at room temp and feed it every two or three days.  I find that two feedings over a 24 hr period gets mine ready to go when I want to use it.  So I:

- deflate and put 75g of starter in a bowl
- add 40g cool tap water and mix to dissolve the starter
- add 40g AP flour and stir
- discard remaining starter and clean mason jar
- put newly feed stater in clean jar

This time of year (summer), I tend to add a bit more flour to stiffen it up a bit.  The additional flour seems to slow things down a bit, or at least gives the illusion of slowing it down.

I've always used tap water and the cheapest AP flour I can find.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: How Do I Use Ischia in Real Time to make dough?
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2014, 12:00:33 AM »
I've always used tap water and the cheapest AP flour I can find.

Good point. No need to use expensive flour.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Tonio

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Re: How Do I Use Ischia in Real Time to make dough?
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2014, 11:36:19 PM »
Yes, Ed was a douche to me too.

Do I need to purchase Ischia from this Ed bozo ;D? Any alternatives?


Offline Totti

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Re: How Do I Use Ischia in Real Time to make dough?
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2014, 03:40:19 AM »
Do I need to purchase Ischia from this Ed bozo ;D? Any alternatives?

Unfortunately not. My story is somewhat entertaining. My first batch of Ischia appeared dead on arrival. A few nonsensical back-and-fourths with Ed which were confusing at best led me to the forums here, where i should have come from the beginning. Anyway, tried everything to revive and in the end had to euthanise the batch.

Spoke with Ed and another lady, who said they'd ship another batch no charge, and that i'd just have to pay the $30 shipping to Australia. When I said not a problem, ship to my Florida mailbox to avoid costly shipping all of a sudden they wanted me to pay postage.

When I said (again) no problem, but can you send me 2 x the Ischia as I don't need the Camadoli (Thinking this would be sweet, as it was a replacement after all and now all of a sudden they wanted me to pay $10 for the replacement culture so I figured I'd buy two) - This is the reply I got.

What a jerk.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 03:44:26 AM by Totti »

Offline drmatt357

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Re: How Do I Use Ischia in Real Time to make dough?
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2014, 09:13:45 PM »
So I got it started. Added a T. or so of flour and water and within about an hour, it puffed up. I believe that's good.

I would like to use it now for some dough. The starter in the Ball jar being puffed up after just adding flour and water seems to have a layer effect. A thick, sticky bubbly on top and a thin, watery layer below that. Do I mix it up before removing what I need for the dough or scoop off just some of the top?

Say I'm going to use 3% in my dough. I know I add it to the water alone and mix it up. Do you put that bowl of water on the scale and spoon the "batter" in or is there a better way?

Offline parallei

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Re: How Do I Use Ischia in Real Time to make dough?
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2014, 10:13:31 PM »

A thick, sticky bubbly on top and a thin, watery layer below that. Do I mix it up before removing what I need for the dough or scoop off just some of the top?



How does it smell?  Hooch in the middle or bottom of the column can be a sign of contamination with some bacterium.  A healthy starter will just have hooch on the top, and not after a  short period of time.  If it is really light and frothy on the top, it is probably a sign of contamination.  See here:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=9261.msg80060#msg80060 and other threads concerning hooch on the bottom or middle of the column.

I'd wash it or just keep feeding 'till things look better.

Hang in there!

Offline drmatt357

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Re: How Do I Use Ischia in Real Time to make dough?
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2014, 11:25:45 PM »
Thank you. I just washed it and we'll see in the morning.

Edit- (next day)
I checked this AM and the hooch was on top.
I emailed Ed and asked him about the location of the hooch and he said it doesn't matter if it's top, middle or bottom.  As long as there is no foul odor, it's OK.  Mine had a nice sweet smell so I think I'm Golden!
« Last Edit: July 07, 2014, 02:05:08 PM by drmatt357 »

Offline parallei

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Re: How Do I Use Ischia in Real Time to make dough?
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2014, 10:44:06 AM »
I emailed Ed and asked him about the location of the hooch and he said it doesn't matter if it's top, middle or bottom.  As long as there is no foul odor, it's OK.  Mine had a nice sweet smell so I think I'm Golden!

Glad it smells good. :D

Ed's comment about it not mattering about the location of the hooch is interesting.  Perhaps the common wisdom is wrong.  I'm fairly certain that when a starter is health and stable, one will not see any column separation.   It sounds like you're on the way.

Have fun with your sourdough, and lets see some photos of the pies!

Offline drmatt357

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Re: How Do I Use Ischia in Real Time to make dough?
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2014, 12:34:03 PM »
It appears my starter has stalled out. I put flour and some water in and it's flat. Remove some, add more warm water and flour... Nothing.

Frustrating!