Author Topic: camaldoli starter  (Read 3802 times)

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Offline DoouBall

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camaldoli starter
« on: May 11, 2009, 01:41:43 PM »
I am using the camaldoli starter for a Neapolitan pizza approximation, but so far the results are little bit disappointing.  I'm either getting little flavor from short fermentations using both starter and instant dry yeast, or a lot of acidity from using the starter only with longer fermentations. I don't know if this is the way sourdough starters work in general or if I am doing something wrong. I thought that if I would combine instant dry yeast with starter I would get a less acidic formula, but instead I got something that wasn't very flavorful. I really don't like the taste of sourdough as I prefer sweet breads to sour ones. Mostly I just want to have lots of flavor in my pizza dough. I would like maybe just a hint of acidity but most of the flavor from other byproducts of fermentation.

Is there a way of using the starter to achieve lots of flavor with absolute minimal acidity?  If so, could you please advise me on the feeding schedule(I keep mine in the refrigerator and feed and use once a week) and the percentage of the starter to use in my formula as well as the rising time? Should I follow the instruction of mixing commercial yeast in small amounts with the starter to reduce acidity?  Or what I be better to use a commercial yeast starter such as poolish instead? I was also trying to find Marco's method for using these Italian cultures including the percent of the starter so if someone could refer me to that link that would be great.


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: camaldoli starter
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2009, 02:19:15 PM »
Have you tried a 1-2 day room temp fermentation and proofing (65F-70F) using a frequently-fed starter with no commercial yeast? I don't use Camaldoli any more, but I never experienced acidity. Regardless, the flavor can be subtle so make sure your toppings don't mask the crust flavor. Over-baking can also drive out some of the flavors.

Bill/SFNM


Offline DoouBall

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Re: camaldoli starter
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2009, 02:37:42 PM »
I would like to try that next time.  How much percent camaldoli starter to flour should I use?  Thanks,

Alex

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: camaldoli starter
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2009, 02:42:18 PM »
How much percent camaldoli starter to flour should I use?  Thanks,

I use 5%-6% of the entire dough weight. You can use the preferment calculator to get all of your weights. 

Offline DoouBall

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Re: camaldoli starter
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2009, 01:40:06 PM »
Bill,

1)I was looking at some old posts by Marco and it seems that he recommends 3% of pre-ferment by flour weight. I'm guessing your 5 to 6% by total weight has worked better for you and I'm wondering why. it seems like a significantly greater amount, coming down to about 10% by flour weight...I would guess that an even smaller amount of 3% would generate even less acidity in the end product although it would take longer to rise.  I am used to a two day waiting period in a refrigerator in my old recipes, so I don't mind.  What do you think?

2)You've mentioned several times that you love the baguettes from the best bread ever. I'm curious if your favorite recipe is the one at the very beginning of the book called the best bread ever. Or is it the country baguettes with starter?  I just want to mention that the best bread I've made so far is the "poolish baguettes" from Bread Baker's apprentice. I shaped it into a torpedo loaf and it had a mesmerizing flavor.

Once again, a major thanks for all your answers and your inspirational looking photographs.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: camaldoli starter
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2009, 02:46:13 PM »
I'm guessing your 5 to 6% by total weight has worked better for you and I'm wondering why.

2)You've mentioned several times that you love the baguettes from the best bread ever. I'm curious if your favorite recipe is the one at the very beginning of the book called the best bread ever. Or is it the country baguettes with starter?  I just want to mention that the best bread I've made so far is the "poolish baguettes" from Bread Baker's apprentice. I shaped it into a torpedo loaf and it had a mesmerizing flavor.


Why? It's simply the amount that gives me the best results based on extensive testing, trying all sorts of amounts and combinations. You'll need to do your own testing to determine what you like best. Remember I am at 7000 feet above sea level and that certainly affects leavening as well as microbial metabolism.

Lately, I have been loving even more the baguettes I have been making from leftover Ischia dough balls that, after room temp fermentation/proofing, rest in the fridge for a few days. The more I bake these up, the better they come out. Can't say why, but works out to be very convenient. And full of flavor - not sour. 

Bill/SFNM

Offline DoouBall

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Re: camaldoli starter
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2009, 03:06:52 AM »
I made an experiment today by cooking up some pizzas in my BBQ oven with a couple of pizza stones separated by metal brackets and covered with aluminum foil.  I was amazed to find out that my pizza stones got to 800F.  I used my dough that had 5% starter by weight.  Unfortunately, the dough rose in only one day when I planned for two, so I had to retard it in the refrigerator for about 36 hours to time it for my pizza party.  Therefore I didn't have quite as much charring as I was hoping for, probably because the yeasts ate all the sugars.    The flavor was also just a little bit more sour than I wanted still, probably also because of the extended refrigeration. I also struggled to rotate the pizzas to get an even browning, will have to work on a better way to do that.  Overall though, the pizzas were nice and light and airy and very moist inside. I took some pictures of my progress.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2009, 03:10:19 AM by DoouBall »

Offline andreguidon

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Re: camaldoli starter
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2009, 06:35:22 AM »
the pizzas look very nice !

every one had problems like that (dough to sour)... you just got to get the hang of the time and temps..... but looks like you are on the right track !!!

good luck with the next bach !!
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci

Offline DoouBall

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Re: camaldoli starter
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2009, 02:29:43 PM »
Here's the results of my new pizza experiment.

This time I decided to use 3% starter as a percentage of flour with the hope of reducing acidity. I also measured the pH of the starter right when it had doubled and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was 4.5 ( at its most acidic it was 3.7-4 ). This leads me to conclude that the best time to use the starter is just when it starts activate as it rapidly grows more acidic afterwards. I also added a tiny pinch of IDY just to increase the ratio of yeast to bacteria and further decrease acidity. I fermented in bulk at 75 until doubled which was 12 hours later. I then divided into four balls, refrigerated it for 12 hours, took it out for two hours to warm up and baked. The taste was nice and not at all acidic. Next time I will be willing to try 3% starter only to maximize the flavor of the starter.  But I wonder how much longer it's going to take to ferment... 24 hours maybe?

This was the first time I went directly from the peel to the stone.  For the first pizza, I constructed the pizza on the counter and attempted to slide the peel underneath. This did not work very well and I had to use a lot of flour and repair holes in the pizza.  The bottom was completely black and burned.

For the second pizza, I constructed it on the peel( mine's made of wood) and kept shaking it to make sure that it would slide. This worked significantly better and burned much less, which leads me to conclude that this is a much easier method then slipping a peel underneath a fully constructed pizza. Any thoughts?

Results: This is a  picture of the second pie - four cheese pizza with cultivated oregano and white truffle oil drizzled at the end. The second picture is out of focus because I was holding the pizza with one hand and the camera with the other. The top could still use a little more browning, but the bottom looks nice. I am thinking of using a little bit of malt syrup to increase browning, but I have to figure out how much. Any thoughts on this?
« Last Edit: May 28, 2009, 02:33:36 PM by DoouBall »