Gee, 3 weeks ago I was making my 1st homemade pizza dough (mixed results ever since), now I'm tinkering around with sourdough starter!
I came across Goldrush S.D. starter (GrSDs) in a grocery store last weekend, and decided to give it a try.
As many have mentioned it was easy to start, at 24 hours the GrSDs was at the sponge stage very bubbly , with a nice sour yeasty aroma. The consistency was like pancake batter. First feeding.
12 hours later it only increased about 1/4 to 1/2 the expected doubling amount. Fed it.
12 hours later there was a thin layer of hooch on the surface, not sure what to do I mixed it back in, removed 1 cup and replaced with cup of flour and water.
12 hours, the hooch was stratified and froth of bubbles was on the surface but the GrSDs sponge didn't increase, also it had a thin more watery texture. Again fed it.
12 hours, the GrSDs was darkish grey on top with froth and alcohol oder, again no doubling. I decided I need to make some changes.
- Even though the Goldrush documentation didn't mention sterilization I decided I would boil for 5 min. all water, utensils, etc.
- No more tap water, instead went to bottle water.
- I reduced the basic GrSDs batch from 3 cups to 1 cup, also tried to remove all grayish/darkish matter.
The GrSDs rose almost 3/4 double in a little over an hour, yeah baby moving in the right direction now. However several hours later the batch fell back to its original mark. *Used some of the removed starter to make 2lbs of pizza dough.
12 hours, one last piece needed to be taken care of. I never sterilized the main GrSDs batch container (it was thoroughly cleaned prior to initiating the starter, but not sterilized. So I removed the starter and sterilized the container. Again I started with 1 cup, and fed with 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water. A nice rise almost double! *I started a mini batch using the following procedures:
-1 table spoon of GrSDs from the main batch, 2 tbsp of flour 2 tbsp of water. I will double the feed amount every 12 hours, so 2nd feeding 4 tbsp Flour/water, 3rd feeding 8 tbsp flour/water, etc. Until it double 3 or 4 times. Will then use for pizza dough, and possibly try making some sour dough bread.
12 hours, the main batch starter appears healthy, back to sponge, lots of bubbles through-out the culture and frothy surface. After I fed it, I left it out for 30 min. to see that it would start to rise (it did). I then put the main batch in the fridge for the first time.
I use the electric oven with light on to maintain temp about 85deg.
As others have said the Goldrush starter seems like it is very tolerant and easy to maintain. There has been at least two occasions the GrSDs was left on the counter when someone used the oven, and the temp was high 60s low 70s. At least once and possibly twice the temp went slightly over 100 deg. which is suppose to be sure death.
So how did my sourdough pizza dough turn out?
No yeast except the 20% starter was used. I was surprised that even in the fridge the dough rose about 1/3. I expected the dough when removed from fridge to take about 4 hours to double, it took about 3hrs.
I believe at this stage I should have punch it down and let it rise a 2nd time, but I had to cook for the family so no time, plus from reading early stages of starter rarely will rise or double two times.
The dough was fairly mushy, required a lot of flour to handle and shape, if you picked up the dough it would stretch so fast making tearing a problem. So I mostly shaped on a floured board.
There wasn't much rise about 1/2 - 3/4" on the rim of the pizza. As for flavor I didn't expect a lot of difference because the GrSDs wasn't a strong pungent sour smell yet. However there was a very pleasant flavor difference. With very little spring, the pizza was almost a thin crust. Cooked at 500 deg for 12 min. the crust was nice and crisp, with decent chew, and some smallish air pockets.
Overall I learned some new stuff, and feel I'm on track for making better pizza dough.
Any input on improving methods/procedures, etc. is very welcome.