Author Topic: Can a KA sourdough starter be used in combination with IDY for a great tasting p  (Read 4165 times)

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Offline norma427

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I am wondering if the KA sourdough starter, or another active starter can be used in combination with IDY to produce a really good tasting crust for a NY style pizza.  I tried an experiment along those lines at Reply 138 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=30641.msg308932#msg308932  Peter helped me with the dough formulation at Reply 129 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=30641.msg308427#msg308427 and with his post at Reply 131 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=30641.msg308436#msg308436  The taste of that experiment was that the crust did taste different, but really was not what I liked.

The reason I am revisiting trying a starter (KA sourdough starter right now) in a NY style dough is because orangeman1 (Tom) had sent me an PM about using the KA starter in his Chicago style doughs and also his NY style doughs.  He told me the flavor of his Chicago thin crusts were better when using the KA sourdough starter in combination with IDY.  Tom also told me his NY style pizzas had a different flavor in the crust from using the KA sourdough starter and IDY.  Since then Tom and I have exchanged a lot of emails.  Now Tom is not to sure about using the KA starter and IDY because his doughs balls are hard to open and he says there is not enough oven spring when using his method.  I am not sure if it is his techniques, method, or something else is wrong that the KA sourdough, IDY combination doesn't work out really well.

Walter also had about the same results as I did with using a sourdough starter and IDY.  Walter said he dough balls were hard to open and the taste of the pizzas really were not that good.  Walter has also done other experiments with sourdough starters and IDY, and his findings so far really are not what he is looking for in the taste of the crust.

Recently the ongoing discussion has been going on at Walter thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=33482.0 

That recent discussion, what I have tried, what other members have tried, and now since I received the KA sourdough starter is why I started this thread.  Chau seemed to have great results when using an active starter and IDY but he did not cold ferment the dough.  Maybe I missed other threads that members have tried active starters and IDY for a great tasting NY style pizza.

The KA sourdough starter is very mild smelling since I have been feeding it.

I have some other ideas about making a dough with the KA starter and IDY but don't think I will be able to implement them because of other problems of not really understanding what to do.  I want to try a cold ferment in some way.

Norma
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Offline TXCraig1

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I bet you can guess my answer...  :-D

Let me give you a couple thoughts on why my answer is what it is. We can group sourdough starters (SD) into two groups 1) those that provide sufficient lift and 2) those that don't. The second REQUIRES the addition of baker's yeast, so that's simple - you have to add yeast. Needless to say, the second group is almost unheard of in the home environment largely because they generally require being fed something other than flour to survive and reproduce. And, how would you even know if it was alive if it just sat there and didn't do anything?

Since we really are only talking about SD that can lift the dough without help (of IDY), it begs the question why would you want to give it help? What are you hoping to accomplish by adding IDY?

IDY (or other forms of baker's yeast) doesn't add much in the way of flavor. Most of the flavor in a baker's yeast dough comes from the action of the enzymes in the flour, and the longer you let the dough ferment, AOTBE, the longer the enzymes have to work and the more flavor.

Adding IDY will speed up the time frame. This in and of itself means less flavor. It will also consume the food that would otherwise be consumed by the yeast and LAB in the SD, and it will produce waste products that will inhibit the growth of the LAB and SD yeast. All of this means less flavor with no benefit I can think of. What am I missing?
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Offline norma427

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I bet you can guess my answer...  :-D

Let me give you a couple thoughts on why my answer is what it is. We can group sourdough starters (SD) into two groups 1) those that provide sufficient lift and 2) those that don't. The second REQUIRES the addition of baker's yeast, so that's simple - you have to add yeast. Needless to say, the second group is almost unheard of in the home environment largely because they generally require being fed something other than flour to survive and reproduce. And, how would you even know if it was alive if it just sat there and didn't do anything?

Since we really are only talking about SD that can lift the dough without help (of IDY), it begs the question why would you want to give it help? What are you hoping to accomplish by adding IDY?

IDY (or other forms of baker's yeast) doesn't add much in the way of flavor. Most of the flavor in a baker's yeast dough comes from the action of the enzymes in the flour, and the longer you let the dough ferment, AOTBE, the longer the enzymes have to work and the more flavor.

Adding IDY will speed up the time frame. This in and of itself means less flavor. It will also consume the food that would otherwise be consumed by the yeast and LAB in the SD, and it will produce waste products that will inhibit the growth of the LAB and SD yeast. All of this means less flavor with no benefit I can think of. What am I missing?

Craig,

I thought that is what you would answer.   :-D

I really don't know, but don't think the KA sourdough starter would need any IDY added to provide more lift.  Do you think the KA sourdough starter would provide enough lift without adding IDY?  If the KA starter just sat there and did nothing after adding flour and water then I would know it had died. 

The only reasons I would want to add IDY, or ADY to the KA starter, or another active starter, is too see if a decent tasting crust could be achieved.  I had a member a long time ago PM me something like this.

I guess I wasn't specific.  Please do not add a biga to another preferment dough.  What I'm trying to tell you is use your OLD market dough.  The pictures you posted looked very good.  That dough is perfect.  All I was trying to do was to get more TASTE in the formula.

So...  Today is Monday.  Grab your Ischia.  Add 1 cup of Ischia starter, 4 cups of flour and 3 cups of water.  This should give you a wet slack dough.  If not, correct it until it resembles a soupy dough. Mix it up and let it set, covered, on the counter.  Come Thursday, make your OLD formula market dough. Not the new preferment Lehman dough.  Add some of the concoction you mixed up Monday and blend it in the OLD formula.
Remember about changing only one thing at a time?
This is really simple.  We haven't changed anything from what you were doing.  The only difference is you are adding this Ischia biga to your OLD formula.  The biga will have fermented on the counter and give you a great taste when you add it to the OLD formula.  That's all.

Try your regular dough using an overnight refrigerator retard.  The only difference is you will add a starter dough (Biga) that was counter fermented for a day or so into the the market dough.  This way, you are getting the benefits of a quasi 2 or 3 day ferment overnight.  Does this make sense?

Like the old commercial goes..." Try it, you'll like it!"

When I make a batch, the final weight is about 9+ pounds. About 60% hydration. Then I repeat it 2,3 or 4 times, depending on the event.  In one batch, I use 1 cup of starter.  I don't mess around with specific measurements mainly because it works for me.  After all, it's just water and flour and a little culture.  You have made thousands of pounds of dough and you know how it feels, looks and works for you. 

I told you about combining ADY and starter because it's really a no-brainer that lends a great taste and complexity to the crust and will work with your market dough.
I really admire how you grasp the advice people have written and go after it.

In your case you might try using a 24 hour+ counter ferment.  Just make a water, flour and starter slack dough and let it hang out for a day or two.  Then add it to your regular market formula, compensating for the salt and oil.
As long as you maintain the "science experiment" on the counter and can keep ahead of it, you can have a next day or same dough with a better taste.

This is basically what Mangieri does in the video.  He scales off some flour from the 25Kg bag adds water and starter, then uses it for the next day.


I was given all that in a PM and more back in 2010 and never really understood what to do, and also at that time I was not sure of my Ischia starter.  I still really don't understand what to do.

Any ideas!  I was afraid this might create a firestorm.  >:D

Norma
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Offline Donjo911

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Norma,
Thank you for sharing your results and additionally the PM you received.  I read all of your posts with genuine interest. One thing I have wondered while reading 'More flavor in dough' and now in this thread is if there is a known flavor you are searching for. For example, a specific pizza crust you fell in love with or a bread type or style?  It seems like you are chasing something specific. As taste/flavor can be a very personal experience and hard to relate to another - I just wondered if you have a specific flavor in mind or just on the hunt for a flavor you have not but...you'll know what it is when you find it!?!  To me every culture I've tried (only 4 in my kitchen) has a unique flavor that I taste. However, I'd be hard pressed to tell someone what flavor I taste without invoking adjectives like nutty, creamy, etc., which seem to have different and varied tastes to many people based on personal preferences. (E.g. Did I mean peanut or macadamia nut - heavy cream or whipped cream) I hope you don't mind my curiosity.
Cheers,
Don
« Last Edit: August 14, 2014, 02:10:13 PM by Donjo911 »
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Online jvp123

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Norma,
Thank you for sharing your results and additionally the PM you received.  I read all of your posts with genuine interest. One thing I have wondered while reading 'More flavor in dough' and now in this thread is if there is a known flavor you are searching for. For example, a specific pizza crust you fell in love with or a bread type or style?  It seems like you are chasing something specific. As taste/flavor can be a very personal experience and hard to relate to another - I just wondered if you have a specific flavor in mind or just on the hunt for a flavor you have not but...you'll know what it is when you find it!?!  To me every culture I've tried (only 4 in my kitchen) has a unique flavor that I taste. However, I'd be hard pressed to tell someone what flavor I taste is without invoking adjectives like nutty, creamy, etc., which seem to have different and varied tastes to many people based on personal preferences. (E.g. Did I mean peanut or macadamia nut - heavy cream or whipped cream) I hope you don't mind my curiosity.
Cheers,
Don

A agree Don.  Trying my first SD starter today and activating as we speak.  Its been about an hour since I've fed it and its risen about 1 inch.  To me my SD starter doesn't smell "sour" at all -- more like a little nutty with a hint of alcohol smell - not like a strong smelling "sour"dough loaf of bread at all.  It doesn't smell bad, just not like I expected.  Either my starter isn't right or the smell I smell now isn't the one that ends up in my finished pizza.  Who knows.  Maybe it is all subjective in terms of describing the smell/taste ... I have no idea where my pizzas are headed in terms of flavor :-D
Jeff

Offline jsaras

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This sounds like what Custom Pie in Moorpark is doing.  The biga, which I guess is old dough that has (had?) natural yeast (and cake yeast) is added to the new batch of dough with fresh cake yeast.  I was told that the biga wasn't measured in any way.  Just grab a blob and throw it in.   

I would think that at some point the cake yeast would just take over, so there really isn't a starter.  It's just a glob of blown-out dough being mixed in.   
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Offline TXCraig1

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I got nothing out of those comments. That person is all over the map.

I've never seen the KA starter, but I don't have any reason to think it wouldn't have sufficient lifting power. Does it double after feeding? If so, I would think it is fine.

I keep coming back to the same place. To me the question to ask is not "can a KA sourdough starter be used in combination with IDY for a great tasting pizza," but rather "why would it?" I can think of plenty of reason why it wouldn't. I can't think of any why it would.

I'm not suggesting you shouldn't try it, but rather when it doesn't make a better pizza than the starter alone, before spending a lot of time doing a bunch of experiments, ask yourself "why would it?"

There is however one method where you would need need to add IDY. You can use dormant culture out of the fridge as a flavoring. Since it's dormant, it's not going to do anything except add whatever flavor it has already developed. You would need IDY for the leavening. Just be careful of how much you add - lots of enzymes and acids build up over time. Too much will turn your dough to slop.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline norma427

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Norma,
Thank you for sharing your results and additionally the PM you received.  I read all of your posts with genuine interest. One thing I have wondered while reading 'More flavor in dough' and now in this thread is if there is a known flavor you are searching for. For example, a specific pizza crust you fell in love with or a bread type or style?  It seems like you are chasing something specific. As taste/flavor can be a very personal experience and hard to relate to another - I just wondered if you have a specific flavor in mind or just on the hunt for a flavor you have not but...you'll know what it is when you find it!?!  To me every culture I've tried (only 4 in my kitchen) has a unique flavor that I taste. However, I'd be hard pressed to tell someone what flavor I taste without invoking adjectives like nutty, creamy, etc., which seem to have different and varied tastes to many people based on personal preferences. (E.g. Did I mean peanut or macadamia nut - heavy cream or whipped cream) I hope you don't mind my curiosity.
Cheers,
Don


Don,

Thanks!  To answer your question I really don't know what flavor I am searching for in a NY style pizza.  I like the flavor of the crust I have right now in just using IDY and a one day cold ferment for a NY style pizza.  Whether that also includes the sauce and cheese in the mix I sure don't know.  I guess I am searching for a taste in the crust of a NY style pizza I have not experienced so far.  Maybe something like when Chau had that moment at Reply 48 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=10826.msg118542#msg118542 where he posted “tonight I have returned to my first love.”

I agree that all of our tastes are different and maybe we might be searching for different tastes in a NY style pizza crust.

Norma
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Offline mitchjg

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Although it is rare for me to make a yeast based pizza dough these days, I have not been as certain that combining the two is not helpful, etc.

I do not necessarily look at it as an SD dough requiring help from yeast.  More the other way around.  I think of it as a yeast dough, that gets help from the SD starter.  Not help in the form of more lift, but help in the form of more flavor.

I guess the analogy is a poolish based pizza dough.  Using a poolish has little, if anything, to do with more or less lift.  I think it is much more about adding flavor + other structural items that I know I do not understand.

So, rather than making a yeast dough with a yeast based poolish, it is more about making a yeast based dough with an SD based preferment.  Nothing to do with lift really.  The dough (don't get mad Craig) can be cold fermented, etc.

It has been quite a long time, but my Varasano type doughs (cold fermented with 0.25% IDY for 3 days) have a combination of SD starter (about 9%) and yeast.  If I recall correctly, I found the flavor superior to the flavor of just a yeast based dough.

So, I think of it (a combination of IDY and SD) as a potential enhancement to a yeast based dough, not a not a crutch for an SD based dough.

Hope that makes sense.

- Mitch

Offline norma427

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A agree Don.  Trying my first SD starter today and activating as we speak.  Its been about an hour since I've fed it and its risen about 1 inch.  To me my SD starter doesn't smell "sour" at all -- more like a little nutty with a hint of alcohol smell - not like a strong smelling "sour"dough loaf of bread at all.  It doesn't smell bad, just not like I expected.  Either my starter isn't right or the smell I smell now isn't the one that ends up in my finished pizza.  Who knows.  Maybe it is all subjective in terms of describing the smell/taste ... I have no idea where my pizzas are headed in terms of flavor :-D

Jeff,

Good luck and if you find the flavor you are looking for in a NY style crust let us know.

Norma
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scott123

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Discussing sourdough in a NY forum is like discussing malt in an NP forum.

There's no sourdough in NY style pizza.  If you want to take a NY style recipe and use natural leavening, by all means, have a blast, but what you're making isn't NY style, and doesn't belong in this section- this belongs in the 'other' styles section.

This site is confusing enough than to lead beginners to believe that NY style pizza can contain sourdough.

Offline norma427

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This sounds like what Custom Pie in Moorpark is doing.  The biga, which I guess is old dough that has (had?) natural yeast (and cake yeast) is added to the new batch of dough with fresh cake yeast.  I was told that the biga wasn't measured in any way.  Just grab a blob and throw it in.   

I would think that at some point the cake yeast would just take over, so there really isn't a starter.  It's just a glob of blown-out dough being mixed in.

Jonas,

Thanks for posting that it sounds somewhat like what Custom Pie in Moorpark is doing.  I would guess the biga would be old dough (with natural yeast along with cake yeast) that then would be added to the new batch of dough with fresh cake yeast.  I could maybe understand how a blown-out dough would give a better flavor to a crust.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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I got nothing out of those comments. That person is all over the map.

I've never seen the KA starter, but I don't have any reason to think it wouldn't have sufficient lifting power. Does it double after feeding? If so, I would think it is fine.

I keep coming back to the same place. To me the question to ask is not "can a KA sourdough starter be used in combination with IDY for a great tasting pizza," but rather "why would it?" I can think of plenty of reason why it wouldn't. I can't think of any why it would.

I'm not suggesting you shouldn't try it, but rather when it doesn't make a better pizza than the starter alone, before spending a lot of time doing a bunch of experiments, ask yourself "why would it?"

There is however one method where you would need need to add IDY. You can use dormant culture out of the fridge as a flavoring. Since it's dormant, it's not going to do anything except add whatever flavor it has already developed. You would need IDY for the leavening. Just be careful of how much you add - lots of enzymes and acids build up over time. Too much will turn your dough to slop.

Craig,

That is one reason I did not try the members advice because I did not understand back 4 years ago and really don't understand right now.  The KA starter does double in volume in about 2 hrs. after feeding.

I sure don't know why I bother doing experiments when I have no idea if I will get any good results or not, but think there is something that drives me to try something different. 

Thanks for this part of your post.

There is however one method where you would need to add IDY. You can use dormant culture out of the fridge as a flavoring. Since it's dormant, it's not going to do anything except add whatever flavor it has already developed. You would need IDY for the leavening. Just be careful of how much you add - lots of enzymes and acids build up over time. Too much will turn your dough to slop.

Norma
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Offline mitchjg

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I think the comment about using dormant starter for flavoring is the same as the line of thinking I attempted to express.  Not sure if I care if it is dormant or not, so long as you know the yeast is likely to drive the lift.

Offline norma427

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Although it is rare for me to make a yeast based pizza dough these days, I have not been as certain that combining the two is not helpful, etc.

I do not necessarily look at it as an SD dough requiring help from yeast.  More the other way around.  I think of it as a yeast dough, that gets help from the SD starter.  Not help in the form of more lift, but help in the form of more flavor.

I guess the analogy is a poolish based pizza dough.  Using a poolish has little, if anything, to do with more or less lift.  I think it is much more about adding flavor + other structural items that I know I do not understand.

So, rather than making a yeast dough with a yeast based poolish, it is more about making a yeast based dough with an SD based preferment.  Nothing to do with lift really.  The dough (don't get mad Craig) can be cold fermented, etc.

It has been quite a long time, but my Varasano type doughs (cold fermented with 0.25% IDY for 3 days) have a combination of SD starter (about 9%) and yeast.  If I recall correctly, I found the flavor superior to the flavor of just a yeast based dough.

So, I think of it (a combination of IDY and SD) as a potential enhancement to a yeast based dough, not a not a crutch for an SD based dough.

Hope that makes sense.

- Mitch

Mitch,

Thanks so much for your post. Do you have links to where you tried your Varasano type doughs?

Norma
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Offline TXCraig1

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So, I think of it (a combination of IDY and SD) as a potential enhancement to a yeast based dough, not a not a crutch for an SD based dough.

I wouldn't disagree that adding SD to a yeast dough might make a better product than the yeast dough. Personal preferences aside, my disagreement is that it will make a better product than an all-SD dough. If adding SD increases flavor, how does having IDY in there competing for the resources and shortening the time create better flavor that not having it in there? What is the benefit of having IDY in addition to SD? What does it add?
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Offline Donjo911

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Norma, Thanks for your kind reply.  I hope you are able to find what you are searching for. I did read the Chau moment - and have had similar epiphanies! It will be fun & interesting to follow you on your quest!

To support TXCraig1 and Mitch's points. When my homegrown starter was young it did not have the same lifting power that it developed over time. [I know this sounds wrong but it is what happened]  When I baked I made rimless pizza only not on purpose.  I started to add very small amounts of ADY to give it lift which it did. In some cases huge airy crusts. However, I did not like the way it made the crust taste or its mouthfeel. When my homegrown culture got more mature it increased it's ability to provide rise I stopped using the ADY (and IDY) altogether and was able to appreciate the differences that each starter brought to each dough.

Cheers,
Don
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Offline Donjo911

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I sure don't know why I bother doing experiments when I have no idea if I will get any good results or not, but think there is something that drives me to try something different. 


Norma, I'll go out on a fairly strong limb and say many hundreds, if not thousands, of people have read and learned a great deal from observing your experiments, methods, and ingredient selections! That includes how to avoid things but mostly what works including how and why it works - which is really key! And you share it ALL - That's just part of what makes you so fabulous!  Don't stop your experimenting, please! ;D
Cheers,
Don
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Offline norma427

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Discussing sourdough in a NY forum is like discussing malt in an NP forum.

There's no sourdough in NY style pizza.  If you want to take a NY style recipe and use natural leavening, by all means, have a blast, but what you're making isn't NY style, and doesn't belong in this section- this belongs in the 'other' styles section.

This site is confusing enough than to lead beginners to believe that NY style pizza can contain sourdough.

Scott,

I am not trying to teach new members how to make basic NY style pizzas.  When I tried the preferment Lehmann dough at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=9908.0 under the NY Style I did not see a lot of complaints.  Just because a NY style has some sourdough in it in my opinion does not make it not a NY style pizza.

Have you ever tried sourdough in a NY style pizza?

Norma
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Offline TXCraig1

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I sure don't know why I bother doing experiments when I have no idea if I will get any good results or not, but think there is something that drives me to try something different. 

I think you may have taken my comment the wrong way. I love that you are so open and willing to experiment. All I'm saying is that if you try something and it doesn't work, and you can't think of any reason why it should, it probably won't. Just something to think about.
Pizza is not bread.