Questions regarding baking and working with wild yeasts and starters (also known as levains or chefs).

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7
votes
4answers
5k views

Sticky and unmanagable sourdough

I've recently started a sourdough starter culture (using equal parts water and spelt flour) and have used it in a sourdough bread recipe I got from the Telegraph. I've halved the recipe in the article ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the best way to catch wild yeast for sourdough?

What is the best way to catch yeast? I just heard you can do this and I had no idea that you can do this. Do you grow and catch or just catch? This is to make sour dough bread.
5
votes
1answer
932 views

How can I reduce the amount of hooch my sourdough starter is making?

Sometimes my sourdough starter goes hooch (the brown liquid, alcohol) nuts and produces a ton. Other times it goes days and produces very little. I've never been able to isolate what causes this. ...
4
votes
1answer
591 views

How do I fix my flat sourdough loaf?

I have made sourdough bread several times using roughly the same technique that I use when I make artisan bread. I let it ferment several times folding between them. I have found that when the dough ...
1
vote
3answers
794 views

What role does a stoneware bowl play in the baking of Artisan bread?

I'm looking into baking sourdough bread; I've read that I must have a stoneware or earthenware baking bowl in order to make it come out with a nice crust. Is this strictly true? Or can I substitute ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

What are the optimal conditions in making wild yeast starter?

I recently learned that I don't need to buy packets of yeast to make bread. I can create a sour dough starter by utilizing the wild yeast floating around in the air. Take a look at this article for ...
3
votes
1answer
450 views

Sourdough teacakes/hot cross buns?

I've made sourdough before and I'm just making my sponge and I wondered if it was possible to make sourdough hot cross buns/tea cakes? Would it be to heavy too rise or would it not taste right? ...
9
votes
6answers
12k views

What makes a good vessel for storing sourdough starter?

I was going to buy the King Arthur set of starter + crock, but the crock is on backorder, so I plan to instead locally source a vessel for the starter. What should I look for? Should I find a similar ...
5
votes
1answer
217 views

are there any appliances that can automate feeding of sourdough starter?

I am a pretty busy person, and the last two times I've started a sourdough starter, I've ended up forgetting to feed it, and it went bad. I never got anything good out of it, but there were times ...
3
votes
3answers
541 views

Sourdough starter - will it set off my allergies?

I'm very allergic to mold, among other things (all airborne, no food allergies). I also adore sourdough bread. If I were to make my own sourdough starter so I could bake sourdough regularly, would it ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Sourdough starter from regular yeast?

I live near San Francisco and I am in love with the local sourdough bread. It is very expensive and I'd like to bake my own bread. I am wondering though, is it possible to make sourdough starter from ...
5
votes
4answers
634 views

How do I diagnose and adjust my bread recipe?

Our family has maintained a sourdough start for several decades. It has great flavor, but we use it mostly for pancakes. I've tried making bread with it several times, but never get good results. ...
10
votes
4answers
6k views

Sourdough in Bread Maker?

Are there any bread machines that would allow making a sourdough rye bread? If not, could a bread maker simplify the process of making a sourdough loaf?
5
votes
8answers
2k views

Can I make sourdough starter with raw potatoes?

Looking at different websites I found sourdough starters using potatoes instead of wheat or rye. They all used cooked mashed potatoes. I wonder if it is possible to just grate raw potatoes or other ...
8
votes
6answers
8k views

My sourdough starter is bubbling but not rising, suggestions?

I've been trying to grow my own sourdough starter; I went with a 'pure' method, with 50g each of hard-wheat flour from a local mill and water. I've fed it once and it seems to be bubbling nicely ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Is my sourdough starter “bad”?

I want to bake sourdough bread and have created a starter. It's three days old and bubbling a lot. However it smells like sour yoghurt and not at all yeasty. Has it gone bad?
16
votes
3answers
9k views

How long will a sourdough starter last between feedings?

I'm using a sourdough starter from the recipe in Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day and I have gone through several of the rebuilding cycles with it. It's been working fairly well for me and I ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Cookbook says to store dough in fridge overnight, why can't I just bake it already?

I've been reading "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" and all the sourdough bread recipes call for overnight storage in the fridge. Is this really necessary? Can I just leave it out at room temperature and ...
8
votes
6answers
5k views

What can I do with extra sourdough starter?

I recently made a sourdough starter from wild yeast, but the process I followed for making it resulted in a lot of starter. Instead of throwing it away I'd like to use it, and then once it gets down ...
10
votes
3answers
891 views

Storing hard crusted bread

I'm currently baking a batch of sourdough bread. My last batch turned out perfectly with a hard crust and chewy inside. My problem is how to store the bread such that the crust stays hard. If I put it ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Why did mold develop on the top of my sourdough?

I made some sourdough starter from scratch, using garden grapes, flour and water. It was wonderful for the first few batches. Today, I was going to get another bread batch going, and when I looked ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

How to tell if it is real sourdough?

I have a very simple question, but difficult for me.. How to tell if a sourdough is a real / traditional Sourdough? A lot of times I wonder if the sourdough I have in cafes or those ones I buy from ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I grow my own yeast (sourdough starter)?

I would like to always have my own culture of yeast (sourdough starter) in my fridge at home. Does anyone know how to grow yeast and keep it alive?
6
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I feed a sourdough starter?

The cookbook I'm using tells me how to make a sourdough starter, but not how to feed it after I take out what I need for the bread. What do I do with the starter once I've used some? I don't think ...