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

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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?
7
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 ...
9
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
8k 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
910 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
265 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
5k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
183 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
1k 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 ...