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

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13
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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?
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Techniques for making sourdough starter in cold/altitude

I want to try my hand at making sourdough starter but live in high altitude and cold weather. I'm not sure if the altitude is an issue but I don't think my house is warm enough on its own to allow a ...
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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
174 views

Adding things to sourdough starter culture,

I am interested in this site's members' opinions on how adding two spoons of sugar and two spoons of honey would affect a sourdough culture. I am wondering if adding sugar and honey to the starter ...
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How does hydration of a sourdough affect baking features?

Looking at different recipes for sourdough starters, there's everything from a mix as dry as cookie dough to as wet as gruel. In this (danish) recipe from the acclaimed chef Claus Meyer of a pretty ...
1
vote
2answers
315 views

How can I create the equivalent of a fresh cake yeast from my sourdough culture?

I essentially want to wash away the excess water and already consumed flour after I've fed my culture. What I usually do is whisk the culture and pour off the excess down to 1 cup. I then add more ...
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?
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
346 views

Can you make sourdough starter without throwing any away?

I'm curious if you can make the sourdough starter by adding flour to it, in a sense doubling the volume each time. So many recipes I see in books and online require you to throw almost half of it in ...
5
votes
1answer
121 views

Why throw away so much sourdough starter? Tartine Book no. 3

this is the first time I've use this site to ask a question: I've been meaning to bake some sourdough bread for a long while. I've been just hung up on the recipe for the starter. A book I'm ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How does a sourdough sponge work?

I'm trying to learn more about sponges in breadmaking. Most recipes that I've found for sourdough bread don't use a sponge. What does it add? Also, what's a general rule of thumb for how to make ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Can I substitute a stainless steel pot for the traditional iron dutch oven?

I have very limited options in my kitchen, and while the dutch oven is the preferred method for getting an 'oven spring' while baking sourdough, I do not have a cast iron pot to do it. IF stainless ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What went wrong with my sourdough?

I tried making sourdough bread for the first time this week and it didn't work. I don't think it was a complete disaster but I didn't end up with anything that was eatable. I followed Paul ...
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.
2
votes
3answers
578 views

Sourdough starter developing alcohol

I have been dealing with my sourdough starter since about 1-2 months ago, when I started it from scratch with just water and flour . In the last 2 refreshments I have added some honey, just 1 ...