Author Topic: Questions about sourdough culture  (Read 10394 times)

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Offline dcervone

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Re: Questions about sourdough culture
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2007, 02:08:29 PM »
I have a quick question about using a sourdough culture:

When the culture is active enough to be used, what's the best way to measure it? Should I stir it all back first, and then measure out the grams I will use, or just pour from the top? Or, should I measure a small amount of starter in a separate container before it's active, feed it some flour and water until it's active enough, and then use this mix?

Offline Finnegans Wake

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Re: Questions about sourdough culture
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2007, 12:46:09 PM »
I was recently wondering if my starters needed to me "more active."  I use Peter Reinhart's receipe for dough, and he outlines making a firm starter that is then added to the other ingredients, and goes through cycles of rising and ferment. 

But my last dough, I altered two things.

First of all, I accidentally used the Camaldoli starter for bread and the French starter for the pie dough.  As it turns out, my wife and I both loved the French starter, maybe even a little more so than the Italian ones, for whatever reason.  But I think you can switch 'em up from time to time for something different, anyway.  (And my French is perhaps a bit punchier than some other French starters described elsewhere... the sour notes were definitely discernable.)

Second, I didn't just add starter to flour and create the firm starter.  Instead, I took a cup of starter, added a cup of flour and 3/4 cup water and let it bloom, and then from that used my 1 1/4 c. starter to then make the firm starter.  It was so much more active, and the resulting dough had great rise in the cornicione, better bubbling than I ever experienced.  It also showed more bottom char for some reason, although I did also experiment with blasting the stone with the broiler for a couple minutes just before putting the pie in.

Another thing with the dough was that it hand-stretched nicely, but even after sitting at room temp for ~90 minutes, I couldn't get it stretched as big as my usual pies (12-14").  These were 10" pies at best, but the dough may have been the best as well.  On the second pie I really blasted the broiler and finally got the oven to 600F, rather than the usual 550-575F.  It was interesting that 25-50F could alter the crust so dramatically.  Not only did it char better, but there was what I referred to as a real separation.

I use about 4 oz. of mozz, maybe 2-3 oz. of sauce, and a sprinkle of parm for the basic pie, all eyeballed.  The first pie was very good, but the second you could more distinctly taste the crust, and the sauce, and the cheese, all separately but all working together.  My wife liked the second pie better as well, but I don't know if she got what I was talking about with separation. 

Other notes: had some trepidation over using Polly-O mozz due to other threads, but used it here and it worked great.  Also, used 4 medium white button mushrooms sliced to 1/8" to cover both pies, with a small amount of salt and pepper on top.  Not a bad idea but really have to watch the salt, it was on the edge IMO. 

So back to the question: try blooming it, using the bloomed starter to create a firm starter (if called for), and then just pour any excess back with the mother batch.
Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge. --
Mark Twain

Offline grovemonkey

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Re: Questions about sourdough culture
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2007, 05:45:02 AM »
About 2 weeks ago I started a starter cause the pollen season was in full bloom and it was quite warm here in Tokyo.  My results after about 2 weeks look exactly like what you have produced, Varasano, in your video.  The odor is very unique and quite strong.  I'm really curious how this, "Tokyo Starter" is going to perform.