Author Topic: Home caught sourdough starter. Questioning it's development.  (Read 1575 times)

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Offline tedious79

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Home caught sourdough starter. Questioning it's development.
« on: April 22, 2009, 11:57:30 AM »
Hey all,

I am a little confused about the way that my starter is developing. When I first caught it, it wasn't very active but had a pretty bold sour flavor. Now, as I have been using it more, it has become much more active (and it smells amazing)but has lost much of the flavor. I have been testing it with bread baking (in my bread recipe I use about 66% starter, which is about a fifty percent hydration, to flour and add no additional water) and went from being really happy with my overnight warm rise to being a little disappointed with my now forced overnight cold rise. Additionally, I have found that the oven lift has reduced a bit.

I really want to make the transition from dry yeast to starter based pizza this weekend for a larger cook. I am hoping that a longer cold fermentation time will help with the taste issue but then I am a little concerned about it overfermenting, with an overnight cold rise it doubled. Is it possible that this is the product that I will now be working with from now on, or is it a constant evolution of taste and character? Is there anything I can do to help bring out more of the sour character without lengthening the fermentation period?

Thank you all for your help.

tedious


Offline pcampbell

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Re: Home caught sourdough starter. Questioning it's development.
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2009, 08:15:11 AM »
Hi -   Is there yeast in there?  I have never heard of a sourdough starter doubling overnight in the fridge.
Patrick

Offline tedious79

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Re: Home caught sourdough starter. Questioning it's development.
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2009, 09:53:57 AM »
The dough was doubling when I left it out overnight. The bread recipe I use also calls for a high percentage of starter, which may account for the amount of rise. I don't think that there is any commercial yeast in the starter, unless it was contaminated, but I have been pretty careful about preventing that.

Anyway, I decided I would just do the overnight room temperature rise with my starter. My formula was as follows: 65% hydration, 5% starter, 2% sea salt. I decided to hand knead the dough, which actually took less time then doing multiple batches, but was a lot more physically demanding (the giant mass of dough made me even more impressed with Chris Bianco's handiwork when dealing with a 50lb bag of flour. obviously he is superman). So this was my first time doing a hand knead with this much flour, about 17 lbs, which was pretty daunting at first but finally, after an hour of kneading and rest periods, it came together nicely and felt great. It windowpaned really well too. I let it rise for about 8 hours at which point the dough was close to doubling (Much to my surprise. I think that am going to have to cut back on the amount of starter I use.)so I put it in the fridge until I balled it six hours later. The dough was a huge success, it felt great, stretched with little effort or tension and cooked really nicely. The cornicione developed nicely with a good amount of oven rise and crispness. Everyone loved the pizza.

I attached a few pictures of some pizza I made the next day with some leftover dough. While it only rose slightly, it was significantly wetter than the day before, which made it a little more difficult to handle without bordering on excessive bench flour. Ultimately, it was still easy to stretch with little tension and it tasted great. The sourness of the dough was slightly more pronounced, and it made for a really tasty pizza. This was probably the best cook of the weekend.

The wild starter really becomes a great talking point. People were really enamored with the whole concept. Anything outside of dry yeast has become so foreign to people. It was totally fun introducing them to something new.

Offline tedious79

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Re: Home caught sourdough starter. Questioning it's development.
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2009, 09:54:36 AM »
Here is the profile

Offline tedious79

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Re: Home caught sourdough starter. Questioning it's development.
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2009, 09:55:09 AM »
upskirt

Offline tedious79

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Re: Home caught sourdough starter. Questioning it's development.
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2009, 09:55:59 AM »
apologies for the wonkiness of the pictures. Still learning how to compress and resize correctly.