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Author Topic: just picked up a sourdough starter, maintenance and utilization for pizza?  (Read 2331 times)

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Online quietdesperation

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My friend, a very experienced baker, just gave me some of his sourdough starter. He's been baking for many, many years and no longer needs to do much measuring for care, feeding, or use of the starter. Here's what he does:

Care:  sits in a small plastic container (think small takeout soup) with a paper towel on top and rubber band around the paper towel. The container sits on his kitchen counter at room temp. When he goes on vacation, he adds 3 tablespoons of flour, some water and puts in fridge.

Feeding: throws out half every day. Feeds it with two tablespoons (by volume, uses spoon, not measure) mixture of 1/2 kabf and 1/2 ka whole wheat flour. Adds a little water and mixes with his fingers until its the texture of a wet paste

Use: Doesn't feed it for 1-3 days, dumps heaping teaspoon of starter into 100gm of flour and 100 gm of water. Says flavor becomes more intense, funkier the longer the starter is not fed.

My questions:
- should I continue his feeding and care regime?
- how in the world do I figure out how much to use for pizza dough?

thanks for the help!
"Is that a pie fit for a king
A wondrous sweet
And most particular thing?" - sweeney todd

Offline TXCraig1

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- how in the world do I figure out how much to use for pizza dough?

This assumes (an approximately) fully active starter: https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=22649.0

Remember that with SD, how you do it is a lot less important than being consistent and doing things the same way every time. This is particularly true with respect to your feeding and use procedure. Where the level of activity of baker's yeast (assuming it good) is always the same, the activity of your starter can vary a lot depending on what you feed it, how you feed it, the temperature, and when you use it relative to those variables.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Online quietdesperation

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thanks, I found the starter recipe he used online, it's from the book Tartine, I've pasted it below.  My plan, to achieve consistency, is to use the the author's instructions for feeding rather than my friends. This approach will play nicely with the forum's preferment calculator.  Looks like I refresh daily by discarding 80% and feeding equal portions of warm water and flour mix (kabf/kaww). If I get tired of that, I'll explore the refrigerator option.

best,

=================
starter recipe from Tartine:
Make the starter: Combine 1,000 grams white-bread flour with 1,000 grams whole-wheat flour. Put 100 grams of warm water (about 80 degrees) in a small jar or container and add 100 grams of the flour mix. Use your fingers to mix until thoroughly combined and the mixture is the consistency of thick batter. Cover with a towel and let sit at room temperature until mixture begins to bubble and puff, 2 to 3 days.

When starter begins to show signs of activity, begin regular feedings. Keep the starter at room temperature, and at the same time each day discard 80 percent of the starter and feed remaining starter with equal parts warm water and white-wheat flour mix (50 grams of each is fine). When starter begins to rise and fall predictably and takes on a slightly sour smell, itís ready; this should take about 1 week.(Reserve remaining flour mix for leaven.)
« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 08:44:18 PM by quietdesperation »
"Is that a pie fit for a king
A wondrous sweet
And most particular thing?" - sweeney todd

Offline tracy

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I find the ritualistic maintenance of starters to be fairly unnecessary. I used to do that more when I first established my starter, but now it just lives in the fridge and I only feed it when it gets low (equal parts the remaining starter, flour, and water, RT for ~12 hours, stir down, then back in the fridge). I then use equal parts the mature starter, flour, and water to make a preferment (24 hours at RT) that I use for dough. I'm sure I'm technically doing something wrong, but the starter bounces back every time, so clearly the daily feeding regimens aren't 100% required, so don't let that prospect turn you off baking with a starter.

Offline Dippenwood

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Yup...I also leave my starter alone in the fridge for a couple weeks at a time sometimes. I do feed it the same flour though, every time I feed it, and I wash the culture every month or so. For pizza I take a few forkfuls from my mother culture and mix with equal parts water and flour, then let rest on the counter usually overnight. Bublemania

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Online quietdesperation

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I have my friends original sourdough culture and forked off my own culture with 50 grams of starter, 50 grams of flour and 50 grams of water. I've kept it at rt, have been feeding it every day for about a week and noticed today that my forked off culture has a strong alcoholic smell upon opening (though there is no visible layer of "hooch").

Am I doing something wrong?

thanks!
« Last Edit: June 25, 2017, 03:22:50 PM by quietdesperation »
"Is that a pie fit for a king
A wondrous sweet
And most particular thing?" - sweeney todd

Offline bradtri

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I have my friends original sourdough culture and forked off my own culture with 50 grams of starter, 50 grams of flour and 50 grams of water. I've kept it at rt, have been feeding it every day for about a week and noticed today that my forked off culture has a strong alcoholic smell upon opening (though there is no visible layer of "hooch").

Am I doing something wrong?

thanks!

For me, I find that I need to feed my starter every 12 hours ... especially now that summer is here and my inside temps are much warmer.  You might try that and see if you like the "smell" better.
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Online quietdesperation

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thanks! is that just adding flour to the culture? or is it maintaining the 1-1-1 ratio of starter to water to flour?
"Is that a pie fit for a king
A wondrous sweet
And most particular thing?" - sweeney todd

Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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I'm of the school of stash 'em in the fridge...seems to work great. I keep mother starters in the fridge except when being refreshed periodically, and scoop out a few spoonfuls to feed and make my working starter. I use to use bottled water and measure..now, nope, I just use tap water, make a consistency like pancake batter and have been good to go...it seems very forgiving to me. I use my starter for both breads and oizza, but more for bread. What's nice is that you can feed a small bit of mother starter with a totally different type of flour and change the nature of the preferment. I've been make some whole wheat levains and they work great. Foe these, I do measure ingredients to get bread hydration just right since it's mopre than just a few grams being used.

Offline tracy

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@quietdesperation

You definitely want to maintain the 1:1:1 ratio.  You could do a different ratio at some point and end up with a 70 or 80% hydration starter, but then I don't think it would be as widely applicable as a 100% hydration starter.  That said, in reading these forums and other blogs, I have seen people describe their starters and preferments as ranging from essentially liquid to loose pancake batter to thick pancake batter to basically a loose dough, so clearly there is some variation out there in percent hydration.

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Online quietdesperation

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thanks tracy! now I have a layer of hootch on top of the culture, more research...
"Is that a pie fit for a king
A wondrous sweet
And most particular thing?" - sweeney todd

Online HBolte

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thanks tracy! now I have a layer of hootch on top of the culture, more research...

Just stir it in.
Hans

Offline tracy

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Yeah, stir it in or pour some of it off if you can do so without dumping out your starter. It's a byproduct of the flour fermentation. It shouldn't hurt anything, but allegedly could kill the starter if it builds up to a high enough level I guess (I've always stirred it in and my starter was made in April 2014 and it's still fine).

Online quietdesperation

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thanks, I'm going to feed twice per day until it looks good and active. but this is getting old and it seems wasteful to toss the starter. once I've got it going, it's going into the fridge.
"Is that a pie fit for a king
A wondrous sweet
And most particular thing?" - sweeney todd

Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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One nice thing you can do with discarded starter...and it's not really wasteful, it's just part of the process, though if stored in fridge, needs to be done far less often...is to save it in a separate container and use it for making pancakes and waffles..I always try to have some on hand, and unlike baking pizza or bread, you'll need a good amount for each batch. This post now makes me want/need/desire waffles,  and soon  :)

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Online quietdesperation

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thanks JPB, that's a great idea!

I'm feeding the starter twice today, will be interesting to see if it's more active.
"Is that a pie fit for a king
A wondrous sweet
And most particular thing?" - sweeney todd

Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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You bet...and there are some great waffle recipes here. One I recall is from Bill SFNM..I've used that and it's great.

Online quietdesperation

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my starter is not as active as many I've seen here and on the web. Not sure if I'm doing something wrong or if this is good to go.

« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 01:28:11 PM by quietdesperation »
"Is that a pie fit for a king
A wondrous sweet
And most particular thing?" - sweeney todd

Online HBolte

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It looks just fine.
Hans

Offline Jon in Albany

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Bill SFNM has a free extra starter cookbook on iTunes. It's a neat little book.

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=20480.0

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