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Author Topic: How to use a sourdough or some other kind of starter  (Read 1527 times)

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Offline amtbr

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How to use a sourdough or some other kind of starter
« on: September 13, 2015, 03:57:42 PM »
I've been making pizza at home for a while using ADY, but I want to up my pizza game and I was looking into using a sourdough or some other kind of starter. I want to give my dough more flavor, right now it tastes fine, but it doesn't compare to neopolitan style  places I've eaten at.  I am not really sure where to start, I don't know how to make a starter (I have an idea) and what % of my starter to use in place of ADY.

I was thinking of grabbing the "Pizza Bible" by Giamangini, but I figure I'd ask the experts here first where I can turn to learn about this stuff.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: How to use a sourdough or some other kind of starter
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2015, 04:06:37 PM »
You can make great flavor in dough without SD, and it's unlikely that the Neapolitan pies you have tried were made with SD. It might help for you to tell us exactly what you are doing now - formula, workflow, baking - and let us see if we can make any suggestions to improve what you are doing currently.

You can use this table to convert pretty much any recipe from ADY/IDY/CY to a starter: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=22649.0 but before you do, I'd suggest checking if we can help you get more flavor out of what you are doing first.

"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline amtbr

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Re: How to use a sourdough or some other kind of starter
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2015, 04:42:49 PM »
OK, fair enough. Thank you for the help.

Here is what I am using, I got this recipe/ratio from a forum user here years ago and haven't tinkered with it at all:

Flour (100%): 401.65g
Water (64%): 257.06g
IDY (.4%): 1.61g
Oil (2%): 8.03
Sugar (2%)

This makes two balls and roughly 10-12 inch pies. I use King Arthur baking flour and for oil I use EVOO. First I put the water, sugar, and yeast into my stand mixer and mix, let it sit while I measure out rest of ingredients. Then I add the salt and mix, then dump the flour on and drizzle the oil over the flour. I use a dough hook to combine all the ingredients and once they are combined I let the dough rest for about 10 minutes, then I mix between 8-10 minutes until it looks smooth. Form into balls, put into lightly oiled containers, let rise for a minimum of 24 hours in the fridge. I take them out of the fridge 2-3 hours before cooking and re-form into balls.

To cook, I either grill or bake. But when I bake its 550 oven for 1 hour with a pizza stone and it cooks in about 8 minutes. I use a pizza peel to get it in there quickly.

Its good pizza, but I am trying to step up my game. I understand at a pretty good level the sauce, ingredients, etc...I used to be a professional chef, just not a baker.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: How to use a sourdough or some other kind of starter
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2015, 05:27:53 PM »
How much salt are you using?
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline amtbr

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Re: How to use a sourdough or some other kind of starter
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2015, 06:14:55 PM »
Whoops - 1% or 4 g of Kosher salt.

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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: How to use a sourdough or some other kind of starter
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2015, 06:43:21 PM »
That's why you have no flavor. Try a batch at 2.5% and then work your way up. I like 2.8% for Neapolitan and 2.5% for NY.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline amtbr

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Re: How to use a sourdough or some other kind of starter
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2015, 03:58:37 PM »
Hmmm OK, will give it a whirl.

I noticed in your NP dough you use a starter, why do this vs IDY? I know this is a long answer...

Thank you for the help, I appreciate it.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: How to use a sourdough or some other kind of starter
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2015, 04:29:08 PM »
Hmmm OK, will give it a whirl.

I noticed in your NP dough you use a starter, why do this vs IDY? I know this is a long answer...

Thank you for the help, I appreciate it.

It's not a long answer. I like the final product better. This is not to say that you can't make great NP with IDY. The vast majority of NP is made with baker's yeast in one form or another (ADY, IDY, or CY).
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline amtbr

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Re: How to use a sourdough or some other kind of starter
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2015, 04:35:30 PM »
While I know a quick Google search will yield results, do you have any websites with specific info for growing and sustaining a starter? I'd like to start messing around with them but have no clue where to start (hey-o).

Offline HansB

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Re: How to use a sourdough or some other kind of starter
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2015, 04:42:14 PM »
This will get you started: http://www.sourdo.com
Hans

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Offline amtbr

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Re: How to use a sourdough or some other kind of starter
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2015, 04:47:58 PM »
Awesome, thanks for the help guys.

Offline misterschu

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Re: How to use a sourdough or some other kind of starter
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2015, 10:19:29 AM »
This bread recipe has the recipe to make your own sourdough starter built in: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1016277-tartines-country-bread

There's little reason, imo, to buy a starter culture.

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