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Author Topic: Is a starter necessarily a preferment?  (Read 2181 times)

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Offline vtsteve

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Re: Is a starter necessarily a preferment?
« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2015, 12:54:45 AM »
With only 1.5% culture, the whole dough is closer to a 'washed starter' (plus salt) than anything else. When I'm building a preferment for bread (20-40% of final dough flour), I inoculate it with 5-7% (preferment flour weight) of 'mother' culture.


It's the purpose not the process that defines a preferment. With only a couple %, it does not add a meaningful amount of flavor, so calling it a preferment is nonsensical. It's simply inoculating the dough.

I would agree... it's a common technique in bread baking (yes, I know... :)) that *less* starter (hence a longer fermentation of all the flour, and a greater buildup of organic acids) will result in more flavor, and a large amount of preferment (with the resulting fast rise) means less flavor contribution from fermentation of the dough flour -- the major flavor contribution is from the preferment only.

The 'jug yeast' concept applies nicely, but aside from one old post on The Fresh Loaf, I can only find bourbon references.   >:D

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/comment/107137#comment-107137
« Last Edit: August 07, 2015, 08:58:49 AM by vtsteve »
In grams we trust.

Offline Essen1

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Re: Is a starter necessarily a preferment?
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2015, 02:41:09 PM »
Mike - I didn't say "he knows nothing" about..........

That said, when folks here are talking about a biga or poolish they are talking about something different than a starter.  Biga/poolish = commercial yeast, typically as a fairly large portion of the finished dough.  Typically, "stater" = sourdough = "natural" leavening = lievito naturale, blah, blah........

In my mind, you could use a stater/sourdough/lievito naturale to produce a preferment (leaven) or a commercial yeast to do the same.

I think it is wrong to call a starter and preferment the same thing.  But hey, that's just me.  I'd like to go to Tony's joint in North Beach sometime.  I was brought up just over west near Hyde and Vallejo.  Your joint too when it opens!   

Para,

Fair enough.

Let me know when you're in town and we'll check his place out.
Mike

Offline corkd

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Re: Is a starter necessarily a preferment?
« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2015, 01:14:30 PM »
I was pondering Mike's post......

Thoughts?
To stay with your original idea-
For me, I use my starter to make my preferment/levain when I need one for bread baking.
So in my kitchen the 2 are not the same.

I have used large quantities of active starter in place of  the usual quantity of preferment/levain, which both shortens the ferment time and produces a different tasting bread.

Didier Rosada's guidelines work well for me.

Clay

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