Author Topic: newbie to sourdough  (Read 11444 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline scott r

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3061
  • Age: 43
  • Location: boston
  • I Love Pizzafreaks!
Re: newbie to sourdough
« Reply #60 on: October 23, 2006, 11:31:55 AM »
FW,

I could be wrong, but I think that most people here on the forum using the italian sourdough starters are using the camaldoli for pizza.  I prefer the Ischia myself, but I have always thought that I was in the minority.  For some reason I like the flavor of the ischia better.  The good thing about the camaldoli is that it seems to move faster so you can get away with slightly shorter proofing times.  Either way you are in very good hands as they both have excellent flavor and excellent lift.   For the past two weeks I had been experimenting with the King Arthur classic culture available on their site.  It works, but I found that it was not as good at raising the dough, and did not have as sweet a flavor of the Italian cultures.

It doesn't sound to me like your cultures are fully active yet, so I really don't think you should separate any out to put in the fridge for later.  Once you are fully active you can do that.

Be careful, as hooch in the middle means that contamination could be happening.  If it doesn't start smelling really good (not like feet) soon you will surly have to do a wash.

FYI I have never activated a culture from sourdo.com without having it get contaminated and needing a wash.


Offline DNA Dan

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 812
CAUTION ON KING ARTHUR STARTERS
« Reply #61 on: October 25, 2006, 01:00:29 PM »
FW,

   For the past two weeks I had been experimenting with the King Arthur classic culture available on their site.  It works, but I found that it was not as good at raising the dough, and did not have as sweet a flavor of the Italian cultures.


I just ordered the LA-4 French starter from the King Arthur flour website and the website claims " Dry starter creates an assertive sourdough loaf; it includes lactobacillus type San Francisco, the bacteria that gives San Francisco sourdough its characteristic bite."

Once I received the starter the package clearly states it contains s. Cerevisiae, l. pantarum, and l. Brevis. Nowhere on the package does it state that it contains L. San Francisco. I emailed them and pointed out the discrepancy. Rather than take down their false advertisement, they decided to credit my card.

I was hoping this culture was going to contain L San Francisco, but it doesn't based on what the package says. Now unless L. San Francisco is being called l. Pantarum or l. Brevis, their website is incorrect. I will just have to order some from sourdo.com as others here have had good success using them.

Buyer beware!
« Last Edit: October 25, 2006, 01:02:11 PM by DNA Dan »

Offline Kidder

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 106
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: newbie to sourdough
« Reply #62 on: October 29, 2006, 10:13:57 PM »
Here are some pics of a sourdough I made today. Again it was underrisen and I got oven spring where I didn't want it. Tastes good though, almost too crunchy crust for me. The surface of my bread never appears the way it does in professional photos though, probably too much flour.

Offline ernestrome

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 66
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: newbie to sourdough
« Reply #63 on: October 30, 2006, 06:30:29 AM »
kidder, i do not know if this is the problem, but i have noticed that in the diagram the four slashes all intersect each other, forming a square with extra lines beyond whereas with yours they do not quite meet up.


Offline DNA Dan

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 812
Re: newbie to sourdough
« Reply #64 on: October 30, 2006, 01:39:16 PM »
A few things to try:

1) Slash the top of the dough like a Checkerboard grid. This way you will direct more of the expansion upward.

2) Use less dough. It seems that the mass of dough you are using gets cooked too quickly on the outside, then the raw portion inside is erupting like lava from within this hard shell. Think of a thermal lava vent in the ocean....

3) Lower your oven temp and cook for a longer time. If the outside cooks too hot, too fast, forming a tough crust, you get more oven spring in areas you don't really want it.

4) Put a pan of water in the bottom of your oven. This will help soften the crust and keep the bread moist. Professional ovens making sourdough typically inject steam into the baking process. From the photos, your crust looks exceptionally hard and dry.

Offline Kidder

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 106
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: newbie to sourdough
« Reply #65 on: October 31, 2006, 12:44:03 PM »
I'll take those into consideration next time. I know the dough was underrisen because it wasn't even near doubled in size. The thing about a simple white sourdough bread is it's so cheap to make, so you can try over and over again without spending a lot of money on ingredients, until you get it perfected. I'll make another this weekend, taking my time to let it fully rise.

Offline Finnegans Wake

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 59
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Harrisburg, PA
  • De gustibus non est disputandum.
Re: newbie to sourdough
« Reply #66 on: October 31, 2006, 03:11:38 PM »
I've activated the Camaldoli, Ischia and French yeasts now in intervals.  The hooch layer I reported earlier has not been an issue; for whatever reason, it's been rather minor with all cultures ever since.  It may not have even been hooch, as it seemed to be in the middle and did not bear an alcoholic smell, so that may have been a mistaken diagnosis on my part. 

The Camaldoli activated rather quickly, but I was afraid I had refrigerated it too early.  I took it out the following weekend, reduced its volume, and fed it, and it was up and perky in no time.  In fact, I've had horrible luck baking bread, and just decided to use some of the liquid to try a quick loaf from the Ed Wood book.  It leavened very nicely, even though I had to leave suddenly and decided to stick the dough in the fridge so that it wouldn't over-rise.  IMO, the crumb was a bit dense, and I question the hydration level of that recipe.  Next attempt I'll use Crust and Crumb.  And similar to Kidder, I don't think I was zealous enough in slicing the dough, as my two baguettes rose astoundingly and opened large crevices on the sides.  Took the advice of the pan of water, making sure mine was hot out of the tap.  That worked very well.

The Ischia activated VERY quickly.  Not sure what accounts for the difference in activation speeds, but this one was clearly fully active within about two days.  In fact, as the jar sat on the seedling heating mat on my counter, I could hear Italian songs and what I think was some sort of carnival going on in there.  I was very happy with the Ischia.

The French culture was a bit sleepy.  I was about to say it was a bad batch when, on day 3, it started showing bubbles and then bloomed at an incredible rate.  It was slower in the earlier stages and much more active in the later.

So now I have three jars in the fridge, and any time I take them out to feed them or just give them a sniff, my wife gives me a dirty look.  You've been playing with your yeasts again, haven't you?

Yes, but to me, they smell like pure invention.

Can't wait to try making my first pizza dough using the starter.
Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge. --
Mark Twain

Offline Kinsman

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 53
  • Location: Montana
  • Pizza & ribs......
Re: newbie to sourdough
« Reply #67 on: October 31, 2006, 04:11:51 PM »
I'm gonna go way out on a thin limb here and predict that you will make the best pizza of your career with the natural leaven.

Is the starter tasting nice and sour yet?
Chris Rausch

Long Riders BBQ
Florence, Montana

Offline DNA Dan

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 812
Re: newbie to sourdough
« Reply #68 on: November 01, 2006, 06:46:27 PM »

The French culture was a bit sleepy.  I was about to say it was a bad batch when, on day 3, it started showing bubbles and then bloomed at an incredible rate.  It was slower in the earlier stages and much more active in the later.


Yea those French are quite lazy... give them a good kick in the ass and tell them to get to work or else you will make cornbread out of them! :-D

Offline Finnegans Wake

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 59
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Harrisburg, PA
  • De gustibus non est disputandum.
Re: newbie to sourdough
« Reply #69 on: November 02, 2006, 11:14:35 AM »
Yea those French are quite lazy... give them a good kick in the ass and tell them to get to work or else you will make cornbread out of them! :-D

I didn't want to stoop to stereotypes, but that jar of the French culture's been looking back at me from its shelf in the refrigerator with distinct disdain. 
Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge. --
Mark Twain