Author Topic: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?  (Read 9205 times)

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Offline tonymark

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?
« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2006, 08:51:41 PM »
she's an expert , no doubt. she tasted the starter!!!!

I tasted the Patsys starter for the first time yesterday.  Quite sour, with a good bit of flavor.

This link is gold.  I had a fantastic sourdough bread a while back at a local restaurant that makes its own bread (Bacchanalia, Atlanta).  I asked about the bread and the waiter informed me that the starter was cultivated from grapes.  I guess this is how they did it.

TM
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Offline mistergreen

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?
« Reply #26 on: September 20, 2006, 09:55:09 PM »
how did you get your hands on Patsy's starter?

i lived in NYC for 2 years. I didn't know there was 2 patsy's. I ate at the one by union square and thought it wasn't anything special but then I heard the real Patsy's is uptown.

Offline tonymark

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?
« Reply #27 on: September 20, 2006, 10:05:09 PM »
how did you get your hands on Patsy's starter?

From Jeff, of course.  http://www.think2020.com/jv/recipe.htm.  He goes by varasano on the forum.  He posted on this thread yesterday.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2006, 10:06:58 PM by tonymark »
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Offline varasano

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?
« Reply #28 on: September 20, 2006, 10:49:43 PM »
I tasted the Patsys starter for the first time yesterday. 
TM
I thought you used that starter a long time ago?

Jeff

Offline tonymark

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?
« Reply #29 on: September 20, 2006, 11:04:04 PM »
I meant I actually tasted the starter and not the dough made from the starter.
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Offline varasano

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?
« Reply #30 on: September 20, 2006, 11:08:03 PM »
Really?  Can you get sick from eating the live culture. Sometimes I find that my skin is itchy after dealing with it.

Jeff

Offline tonymark

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?
« Reply #31 on: September 20, 2006, 11:20:41 PM »
Really?  Can you get sick from eating the live culture.

Probably not, what about yogurt?  Better yet, what about gueze or lambic beer.
I had some pretty harsh gueze in Brussels several years ago.  Lindimans makes a mild lambic that is available at most package stores.

TM
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Offline varasano

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?
« Reply #32 on: September 20, 2006, 11:21:56 PM »
gotcha

Offline mistergreen

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?
« Reply #33 on: September 20, 2006, 11:33:22 PM »
hey varasano,
i saw your site on boing boing and followed it to this site.

and you might be a little allergic to the starter like some people are allergic to beer.


Offline scott r

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?
« Reply #34 on: September 21, 2006, 01:06:16 AM »
I have read that the organisms in starter are actually supposed to be good for your digestive system.   I always assumed that meant when you eat a piece of bread with it, but now that I am thinking about it wouldn't all the bacteria etc. be dead and unable to do you any good with baked bread?

Offline tonymark

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too? OT
« Reply #35 on: September 21, 2006, 08:17:41 AM »
I have read that the organisms in starter are actually supposed to be good for your digestive system.   I always assumed that meant when you eat a piece of bread with it, but now that I am thinking about it wouldn't all the bacteria etc. be dead and unable to do you any good with baked bread?

OT - kinda
We are really drifting into the realm of probiotics here.  They are available in capsule form in most health food stores and probably Whole Foods.
Cultured milk products like yogurt, real sour cream, kefir, and some cultured cheeses contain plenty of probiotics.  In the book Nourishing Traditions Sally Fallon advocated cultured milk products over plain milk.  The way it has been consumed for thousands of years.

Cutlured vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchee also contain plenty of probiotics. 

As for the culture, it probably is good for you, but after tasting it, I would rather eat yogurt or a proper sauerkraut.

As for cooking any cultured food,  most if not all of the beneficial organisms are destroyed.

TM
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Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?
« Reply #36 on: September 21, 2006, 12:08:38 PM »
There is no guarantee that a live culture doesn't contain, even in minimum quantities, harmful bacteria. after cooking it is surely ok, but I would not swear on the raw culture.

However it is a fact that the acidity of a balanced starter make an unsuitable environment for harmful bacteria (think pickles)

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Offline mistergreen

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?
« Reply #37 on: September 21, 2006, 04:32:42 PM »
pizzapolenta is right... if a dangerous bug finds an environment favorable, it'll live there... that's why pasturization is such a big thing.. it reduces flavor greatly, but perchance, it won't kill anybody.

ps. comercial yogurt doesn't have that much biodiversity in it... they inject one strain of (lactobaccilus) in a sterilize milk environment..

Offline tonymark

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?
« Reply #38 on: September 21, 2006, 07:06:38 PM »
ps. comercial yogurt doesn't have that much biodiversity in it... they inject one strain of (lactobaccilus) in a sterilize milk environment..
I would like to mention Nancy's yogurt available at my local Whole Foods.  It contains 6 cultures with 4 being different lactobaccilus cultures.

TM
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Offline mistergreen

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?
« Reply #39 on: September 22, 2006, 02:30:57 AM »
oh nice. i should hit the whole food yogarts..
i remember eating homemade yogart and the flavor is so much better than the supermarket stuff.

and i guess that's why you guys are making your own starters for bread.

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?
« Reply #40 on: September 22, 2006, 07:36:52 AM »
I would like to mention Nancy's yogurt available at my local Whole Foods.  It contains 6 cultures with 4 being different lactobaccilus cultures.

TM


These are still selected starters coltures injected in a sterilised environment

True Wild yeast starters, crisceto, sourdough cultures, have many more organisms in it with  2-4 of those being dominant.

Ciao

Offline Kinsman

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?
« Reply #41 on: September 25, 2006, 03:46:30 PM »
If the culture is strong, it would out-compete anything else (well almost anything else) that tried to get established.
That is, if anything could live in such an acidic environment.

I taste my culture all the time.  I like it.  Hell, you could drink the hooch if you wanted to, and it would taste horrible but it would be good for ya.
Chris Rausch

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Offline ernestrome

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?
« Reply #42 on: September 26, 2006, 07:20:51 AM »
I have wondered if letting hooch build up would kill off other organisms.

Offline Kidder

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?
« Reply #43 on: October 26, 2006, 02:51:43 PM »
Mine is getting to the point where it burns my nose upon first smelling it, extremely sour right now. Hard to describe how exactly it smells. Maybe like a wine vinegar? It definitely makes good bread though. I'm going to try making another sourdough boule again this weekend (if I find time) and let it rise a little more. I had serious oven spring last time. It was 10x better than Kroger's sourdough bread.

The starter smelled the worst between the second and third day of creating the starter.

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?
« Reply #44 on: October 26, 2006, 03:35:30 PM »
Mine is getting to the point where it burns my nose upon first smelling it, extremely sour right now. Hard to describe how exactly it smells. Maybe like a wine vinegar? It definitely makes good bread though. I'm going to try making another sourdough boule again this weekend (if I find time) and let it rise a little more. I had serious oven spring last time. It was 10x better than Kroger's sourdough bread.

The starter smelled the worst between the second and third day of creating the starter.

That's because the ethanol products are all built up. Be sure and grow it up 1-2 times before dumping in your bread, unless you want some really really sour dough that hardly rises. You need to wake those critters up a bit if you want the true flavor and growth of the culture to shine through.

Offline Kidder

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?
« Reply #45 on: October 26, 2006, 04:35:07 PM »
Yeah, last time I refreshed it by mixing a cup liquid starter, a cup flour, and a cup water. I then let it sit for 4 hours before mixing a cup of that 'refresher' into my dough mixture. The bread turned out great and nicely soured but I should've let it warm rise for longer than I did. I definitely got air pockets throughout but....underrisen dough + improper slashing = massive oven spring where you don't want it to occur.

I love my starter. It usually repsonds within an hour of feeding.

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?
« Reply #46 on: October 26, 2006, 11:12:55 PM »
Well don't get too attached! If for some reason that sucker dies you will be up a creek! Have a backup somewhere ...

It's hard not to love the little critters. :-[

Offline thehorse

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?
« Reply #47 on: November 06, 2006, 04:42:30 PM »
New on the forum, just started my first Italian culture from sourdo.com. My oven has a proof setting, so I added flour and water and put it in my oven set at 90F at 3pm sunday. By midnight it had some bubbles, and by 9am the next morning I could swear it smelled a little sour like a sourdough bread, with a layer of foam, but no alcohol smell yet. Is this normal/possible so quickly? I fed it at noon today(less than 24hrs) to avoid staying up until 3am for the next feeding. It smells pretty good to me. Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Mike

Offline troppoli

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Re: Can you describe the smell of a good starter too?
« Reply #48 on: December 02, 2006, 11:45:44 PM »
I just as new as you!

I did the same sort of thing, except mine started in a proofing box. After 12 hours I fed the little guys... 3/4 hours later my cat became interested in the proofing box, so I looked inside and they had overflowed the top. I mixed up the ciabatta recipe from the booklet... 12 hours later there were bubbles, but not really rising in the sense I expected... I contined the recipe anyhow and made two wonderful cricket bats instead of ciabattas. I thought my guys were ready, but I don't think they were.

I've since taken that jar from the fridge and poured some into another jar and its back to the proofing box... it seems that the initial activation is tricky.


 

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