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Author Topic: Sourdough starter, white or whole what flour?  (Read 979 times)

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Offline is_this_taken

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Sourdough starter, white or whole what flour?
« on: September 05, 2019, 08:54:01 AM »
Hi!
Took a long hiatus from pizza making and I'm ready to get back.

So, I've been feeding my SD starter whole wheat flour, but when I use it to make emergency 8h dough, it ends up being too much wholewheat in the mix.
I've started feeding the SD starter regular flour, but it only rises half as much or even less compared to whole wheat!

What do you suggest?


« Last Edit: September 05, 2019, 09:00:08 AM by is_this_taken »

Offline HansB

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Re: Sourdough starter, white or whole what flour?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2019, 08:56:49 AM »
Hi!
Took a long hiatus from pizza making and I'm ready to get back.

So, I've been feeding my SD starter whole wheat flour, but when I use it to make emergency 8h dough, it ends up being too much wholewheat in the mix.
I've started feeding the SD starter regular flour, but it only rises half as much or even less compared to whole wheat!

What do you suggest?

I use about 30% whole wheat to feed my starter. Rises well.
Hans

Offline is_this_taken

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Re: Sourdough starter, white or whole what flour?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2019, 09:01:26 AM »
I use about 30% whole wheat to feed my starter. Rises well.

I could try that.

But, just to confirm, if you feed it regular flour, it rises much less?

Offline HansB

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Re: Sourdough starter, white or whole what flour?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2019, 10:35:21 AM »
But, just to confirm, if you feed it regular flour, it rises much less?

Yes, it rises less than feeding with my fresh milled WW.
Hans

Offline DoouBall

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Re: Sourdough starter, white or whole what flour?
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2019, 12:04:02 PM »
Try feeding it with organic malted white wheat flour. The malt helps speed up fermentation significantly. Whole wheat has more nutrients for the yeast than white flour and malt helps to even it out somewhat.

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Offline is_this_taken

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Re: Sourdough starter, white or whole what flour?
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2019, 04:12:23 PM »
Yes, it rises less than feeding with my fresh milled WW.
Actually, does it matter how much the SD starter rises when fed when used in pizza dough?
Whatever it's been fed, it will still get white flour in the dough.

Offline Heikjo

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Re: Sourdough starter, white or whole what flour?
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2019, 04:48:47 PM »
I don't think it matters at all what flour you use. Maybe if the starter amount in the dough is very high, but even then I doubt it. Rise in the pizza is primarily determined by the flour you use in the dough and how healthy the starter is.

My white starter triples in volume and works great for pizza. I have used wholemeal starters before, but when both are healthy I can't find any difference in the final product.

If you switch a WW starter to white, give it a few weeks and see what happens. Ideally feed it not too long after it peaks and not with too much seed.
-Heine. Mostly Neapolitan sourdough pizzas in an electric Effeuno P134H.

Offline DoouBall

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Re: Sourdough starter, white or whole what flour?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2019, 08:02:12 PM »
is_this_taken, it definitely matters how much the SD starter rises - if it's not even doubling, you will probably get an anemic rise in the pizza dough as well. You need to build up the strength of the starter until it doubles or triples before you can use it in dough...unless you're just using it for flavor only and supplementing it with fresh or dry yeast in the final dough. Many here may frown on that, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, and there are lots of examples of Italian pro pizzaiolos doing the same.

How do you build up strength? Feed it with a 1:1:1 ratio of starter:water:flour and use a malted white flour. Don't use an Italian 00 flour to feed your starter. It is very low in nutrients, contains no malt in most cases, and will take forever to build your starter's strength. I learned this the hard way, and found a world of difference when I switched from feeding with 00 to malted white flour. The ideal white flour to use is an organic high protein, malted white flour, but all purpose flour will be fine too. Feed 1:1:1 every 12 hours at room temperature until it's doubling or tripling before the next feed. after that, you can keep it in the fridge and feed as needed.

You could also try HansB's advice and simply dial down the whole wheat content of your starter feeding flour to from 100% to 30% - the whole wheat and malt play similar roles here - they provide extra nutrients to feed the yeast and increase fermentation. Good luck!
« Last Edit: September 05, 2019, 08:05:16 PM by DoouBall »

Offline is_this_taken

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Re: Sourdough starter, white or whole what flour?
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2019, 05:25:17 AM »
My white starter triples in volume and works great for pizza. I have used wholemeal starters before, but when both are healthy I can't find any difference in the final product.

If you switch a WW starter to white, give it a few weeks and see what happens. Ideally feed it not too long after it peaks and not with too much seed.

Take a look at the videos I posted in the OP, how would you rate the health of the WW fed starter?

I've been feeding them 1:1:1 ratios, though only WW, I've just started regular white flour recently.

My white starter triples in volume and works great for pizza. I have used wholemeal starters before, but when both are healthy I can't find any difference in the final product.

This is what I'm interested in, does the starter have to get accustomed to white flour before using it in dough. From your experience, seems like it doesn't matter much.

Offline Heikjo

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Re: Sourdough starter, white or whole what flour?
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2019, 06:05:55 AM »
Take a look at the videos I posted in the OP, how would you rate the health of the WW fed starter?
The WW one looks fine, it more than doubles. Difficult to say if it is approaching 3x, but certainly usable.

What is your recipe by the way? How much starter? I like doing 24+ hour doughs in 15C or higher, and use 1-3% starter. With that little, it doesn't matter if it's WW or white.

I've been feeding them 1:1:1 ratios, though only WW, I've just started regular white flour recently.

This is what I'm interested in, does the starter have to get accustomed to white flour before using it in dough. From your experience, seems like it doesn't matter much.
Yes, it needs more time. You can switch a WW to white and vice versa, but they need time and feedings before they are fully active. I don't know exactly how long, but maybe a week or two with 2-3 feedings a day.

I would feed them a bit different from now so you don't take with you so much of the old starter. 1:2:2, 1:3:3, 1:4:4, something like that. That will also extend the time it takes to peak and you need less feedings. If they peak after 4 hours, ideally you want to feed them 5-6 times a day. With a different ratio, 2-3 is enough.

This starter guide is very good and explains a lot of things about using a starter. Highly recommend reading it: https://www.theperfectloaf.com/sourdough-starter-maintenance-routine/

Here's a video I made of my white starter a while ago:

« Last Edit: September 06, 2019, 06:11:41 AM by Heikjo »
-Heine. Mostly Neapolitan sourdough pizzas in an electric Effeuno P134H.

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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Sourdough starter, white or whole what flour?
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2019, 08:25:12 AM »
Take a look at the videos I posted in the OP, how would you rate the health of the WW fed starter?

I've been feeding them 1:1:1 ratios, though only WW, I've just started regular white flour recently.

This is what I'm interested in, does the starter have to get accustomed to white flour before using it in dough. From your experience, seems like it doesn't matter much.

I don't think the problem with the 2019 09 04 01 is what you're feeding it - rather, I think that starter is contaminated. At around 0:05, it all just falls then falls apart and settles into a layer of clear liquid between two layers of opaque material. A healthy starter doesn't do that. A few feedings may get it healthy again, and there is a technique called "washing" that may help you recover it.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline is_this_taken

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Re: Sourdough starter, white or whole what flour?
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2019, 08:47:28 AM »
I don't think the problem with the 2019 09 04 01 is what you're feeding it - rather, I think that starter is contaminated. At around 0:05, it all just falls then falls apart and settles into a layer of clear liquid between two layers of opaque material. A healthy starter doesn't do that. A few feedings may get it healthy again, and there is a technique called "washing" that may help you recover it.

Well it's the same starter, just a day or two later and being fed white flour.
What kind of contamination do you have in mind?
 

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Sourdough starter, white or whole what flour?
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2019, 08:55:53 AM »
Well it's the same starter, just a day or two later and being fed white flour.
What kind of contamination do you have in mind?

Some sort of bacteria. It could have been something in the flour. If your starter was very weak before feeding, it's not unusual for it to get taken over by a contaminant in the flour.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Sourdough starter, white or whole what flour?
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2019, 08:57:46 AM »
Was that starter VERY wet - like a thin batter or heavy cream? Or was it thick were it would pour very slowly, if at all?
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline Heikjo

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Re: Sourdough starter, white or whole what flour?
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2019, 10:26:32 AM »
Looked a bit wet, as if it's over 100% hydration. Do you feed it the same amount of water and flour in weight, not volume?
-Heine. Mostly Neapolitan sourdough pizzas in an electric Effeuno P134H.

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Offline is_this_taken

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Re: Sourdough starter, white or whole what flour?
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2019, 11:57:32 AM »
Looked a bit wet, as if it's over 100% hydration. Do you feed it the same amount of water and flour in weight, not volume?
I think I went for 3:3:4 for the white flour.
I'll go back to my WW starter just to be safe.

Offline Heikjo

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Re: Sourdough starter, white or whole what flour?
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2019, 02:12:44 PM »
I think I went for 3:3:4 for the white flour.
I'll go back to my WW starter just to be safe.
Is that seed:flour:water?

I wouldn't go over 100% for white. If anything, it's WW that can do a bit higher hydration since it can soak up more water. I had a rye starter that I kept at 125% or something like that since at 100% is was a bit stiff to work with.

If you want to keep feeding the white, give it equal parts water and flour.
-Heine. Mostly Neapolitan sourdough pizzas in an electric Effeuno P134H.

Offline DoouBall

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Re: Sourdough starter, white or whole what flour?
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2019, 08:56:22 PM »
Looking at the video of your white starter...it does look like it might be contaminated as Craig says. If it doesn't respond better within a couple feedings...I would chuck it and start over.

I think what you're doing by going back to the WW starter for now is a good strategy. If you want to convert it to a white starter - you can do so slowly. Going from 100% WW to 75%WW 25% White, then 50% 50%, and then keep your starter at 20-25% WW and 80% White from then on. This will reduce the amount of WW in your starter without shocking it by switching suddenly from one type of feed to another. I personally keep my starter at 70% hydration now after reading Jim Lahey's latest book, and I find it is very stable like this. It doesn't turn into liquidy goo quite as fast so it's easier to keep the jar clean. However, it's a little harder to feed like this, so it's not for everyone.

Heikjo, I really like theperfectloaf as well. I think at some point, Maurizio mentioned that if you switch your starter's flour type, it has a tendency to get "pissed off", and it takes a couple of weeks for it to get used to the new supply.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2019, 08:57:59 PM by DoouBall »

Offline Heikjo

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Re: Sourdough starter, white or whole what flour?
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2019, 02:12:08 AM »
I wouldn't label it as contaminated just yet. It behaves very similar to my first starter, which had too much water and wasn't quite up to speed. I think it can come around with more feeding and 100% hydration.
-Heine. Mostly Neapolitan sourdough pizzas in an electric Effeuno P134H.

Offline is_this_taken

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Re: Sourdough starter, white or whole what flour?
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2019, 05:08:06 AM »
I wouldn't label it as contaminated just yet. It behaves very similar to my first starter, which had too much water and wasn't quite up to speed. I think it can come around with more feeding and 100% hydration.

Before trying white flour I kept some WW fed in the fridge, so I should be good. I'll try to go slowly this time and maybe try another flour.
I keep a time lapse camera so I can track the progress.
Will post results.

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