Author Topic: Flour Source and Starter Variation  (Read 2900 times)

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Offline ernestrome

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Flour Source and Starter Variation
« on: September 06, 2006, 04:40:24 AM »
I Have briefly mentioned in another thread that i am currently preparing a new starter from 00 flour. It is my hope that since the flour is italian, it will be host to 'italian' yeast and lactobillus, and that from this i will get a different starter from my original starter, with different flavour characteristics.

I do not try to 'capture' a yeast from the air. It is my belief (from sourdough faqs) that the yeast is already in the flour and all that is needed is to give it the opportunity to multiply. Working from this supposition, i began to wonder if flours from different international locations would give rise to different flavoured starters.

I can confirm that although only a few days old my new 00 starter has markedly different smell than my original starter, for flavour and baking performance we will have to wait until the weekend.

I would be interested in knowing if anybody else has tried something similar. I think most of us have access to 00 flour. I suggest that we make starters based on this, and then if people are willing, exchange 00 starters and compare their tastes. It would also be interesting to compare them to commercially available sourdoughs.

Now, if i can just find someone in bahrain to send me some flour :)


Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Flour Source and Starter Variation
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2006, 08:34:47 AM »
Wrong assumption as the majority of Italian flour is milled by imported grain (east Europe, Russia, Australia, Australia, North America etc.)

Ciao

Offline ernestrome

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Re: Flour Source and Starter Variation
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2006, 08:38:00 AM »
Ah, well thanks marco. Hopefully it will taste good anyway. It certainly smells much more strongly than my resent starter.

« Last Edit: September 06, 2006, 08:41:33 AM by ernestrome »

Offline ernestrome

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Re: Flour Source and Starter Variation
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2006, 04:09:46 AM »
The new 00 starter does seem to taste a bit better to me, my gf couldn't taste much difference from the old, but it was only a two day ferment so not that strongly flavoured. It is much fruitier than my old starter.


Offline ernestrome

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Re: Flour Source and Starter Variation
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2006, 05:00:35 PM »
Hey people,

Where does your starter come from?

Does anybody have more than one starter going at this time?

Do you keep cultures well apart for fear of contamination?

I am considering dumping my old starter for my new one, but i think i will make two pizzas side by side and taste test before taking drastic action.

Is there any merit to having a starter fight? ie combining two cultures and seeing which wins?


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Flour Source and Starter Variation
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2006, 02:02:05 PM »
Where does your starter come from?

Does anybody have more than one starter going at this time?

Do you keep cultures well apart for fear of contamination?


I've posted before that I maintain 5 different starters - all from sourdo.com. I never work with more than one starter at a time, but they are all stored next to each other on the same shelf of the refrigerator. Only one of these starters is used for pizza. The rest are for different types of breads.

Bill/SFNM


Offline scott r

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Re: Flour Source and Starter Variation
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2006, 05:11:34 PM »
Hey people,

Where does your starter come from?

Does anybody have more than one starter going at this time?

Do you keep cultures well apart for fear of contamination?

I am considering dumping my old starter for my new one, but i think i will make two pizzas side by side and taste test before taking drastic action.

Is there any merit to having a starter fight? ie combining two cultures and seeing which wins?



If you search back to previous posts you can learn a lot about starters from our resident expert Pizzanapoletana.

According to him the chance of contamination is much much greater when the starters are at room temp, so having a few in the fridge is not a problem.  If you were to pull two out at the same time then it might become more of an issue.

Also, the notion that the yeast comes from the flour is incorrect.  It comes from the air around which the culture is being "caught".

Apparently f you combine cultures in a dough, or even a culture and commercial yeast you actually upset the balance of the microflora and end up getting less flavor.  It is better to just stick to one yeast at a time.

Marco has collected two really amazing starers that are sold through sourdo.com.  They each taste and behave differently, and they both have their strong points.  The cammadoli is a little bit more mild throughout most of the fermentation cycle, but when it goes for a long time has a very strong tang, When it goes too long the flavor is almost like citric acid (to me, sorry if this is the wrong terminology), or sweet tarts minus the sweet.  The Ischia starter is my favorite because it has more flavor throughout the fermentation cycle, and to me just tastes more elegant.  The downside is that it is not quite as active as the Cammadoli.

The bonus is that you get both of these starters for under $20, and there is nothing that I have found that can duplicate the amazing flavor that these can impart to your dough.  For me it is now hard to enjoy pizza that has not been made with a starter.  Contrary to what most people believe it is very possible to make a dough without any perceptable "sour" flavor.  It is just a matter of learning how to work with this unique ingredient.  What you get when these are used properly for pizza is a crust that just has more of a "doughy" flavor, and ends up with a better texture.

Marco, I hope I got this all right!


Offline ernestrome

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Re: Flour Source and Starter Variation
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2006, 06:22:31 AM »
Quote
Also, the notion that the yeast comes from the flour is incorrect.  It comes from the air around which the culture is being "caught".

There is a simple way to prove this, we will each make two starters from different flours simultaneously and see if they taste the same or different. Are you game?

I have heard the capture argument but i am not convinced. There is already yeast present in the flour which we activate by keeping it wet and warm.

Anyway, i would prefer not to argue the point when we can prove it so easily.


Offline scott r

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Re: Flour Source and Starter Variation
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2006, 12:50:51 PM »
that sounds like an excellent experiment!

I am so happy with my two starters that I am not sure I want to bother trying this and possibly risking any cross contamination, but I don't see any reason why you could not try this with two different flours.

I wonder, though, if this will really prove anything because there could be many different wild yeasts floating around ???

Offline ernestrome

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Re: Flour Source and Starter Variation
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2006, 08:04:13 AM »
Ok so scott is too chicken ;)

Do any other air yeast proponents want to take me up on the challenge?

To make my position clear, i accept that yeast can be airborne and that there are wild yeasts in the air, on fruit etc. But i believe it also lies dormant in the flour, and that this is the primary source when a starter is prepared.

« Last Edit: September 19, 2006, 08:18:29 AM by ernestrome »


Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Flour Source and Starter Variation
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2006, 07:43:13 AM »
There is yeast dormant in flour, but you need to use whole wheat flour to make sure that this dominates... I did all my experiment, but more then myself I trust the guys at University that have done all the controlled tests.....

Good luck with your testing...

PS to have a good Airbone contamination chance you need to be close to some "nature"...

Ciao

Offline ernestrome

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Re: Flour Source and Starter Variation
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2006, 08:07:55 AM »
Do you have a link to the university reserch marco?

Thanks

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Flour Source and Starter Variation
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2006, 08:37:31 AM »
The Studies at the University of Naples were kindly given to me (hardcopy) by the  leading professor in charge of the research. It is the base of my bibliography on the subject. Many other studies, from other universities have been published on the Journal of Applied Microbiology.

I understand your point of view, but flours have differend bacteriological/yeast charges (scientifically proved), so there is not much to take you on.

To be successful in your theory, you should use sterilized water and work in a purified air environment, like a test laboratory....