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

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16
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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 ...
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?
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
659 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
8
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
2answers
630 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I change the flour type of my sourdough starter?

I started my sourdough starter with rye flour. But after some months I continued feeding it with wheat flour. I feel like there is less life inside than before. Might it be due to the change in ...
7
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 ...
7
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
7
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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
153 views

How can you change the environmental factors to change the proportions of sourdough microbiological cultures?

How can you increase/decrease the proportions of lactobacili and yeast in a sourdough starter. For example, if I wanted a more acidic bread, increasing the lactobacili, or if I wanted a less acidic ...
5
votes
4answers
539 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. ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

How to keep a high hydration bread loaf from becoming flat

Yesterday, I made a sourdough loaf with a high hydration (80%) and as usual, when I turned it out of its banneton, it simply couldn't hold its shape and became very flat; only about 1 1/2 inches at ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

How to get a sourdough like effect without the hassle of a real sourdough starter?

I enjoy making bread, but the bread I make using standard yeast of course lacks that sourdough taste. But the process of making and maintaining a sourdough starter frankly requires a bit too much ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Could I use beer instead of/as well as water in my sourdough?

The sourdough recipe I use calls for 300ml of water to 500g of bread flour (along with the starter). Instead of this water, could I use beer - or a combination of beer and water? The reason I thought ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
194 views

Very old sourdough starter; how long is too long?

For quite some time, my grandmother has had a sourdough starter kept in the fridge. I observed her making muffins and whatnot on an infrequent basis, with the intervals sometimes increasingly greater ...
5
votes
1answer
166 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
86 views

Is sourdough more resistant to mold than other breads?

My partner works at a restaurant where they serve sourdough as the bread you snack on to tide you over while perusing the menu. They are closed Sundays, which means any leftover bread on Saturday ...
4
votes
2answers
622 views

Why isn't a Sourdough starter unsanitary?

Letting a bowl of flour and water go bad in a warm corner seems problematic at best. I'm willing to believe there is some process that goes on to limit pathogens, but reading around this doesn't seem ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What is sourdough bread?

I'm intrigued by all the questions about creating and 'feeding' sourdough starter. But I am unfamiliar with the bread itself. What is sourdough bread? how is it different than 'regular' bread. Is it ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Does beer in bread retard the yeast?

I want to make a bread with a stout in it for extra flavor. The stout will replace most of the liquid content of the bread and I am worried whether it will kill the yeast due to the alcohol (4% ...
4
votes
1answer
820 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
515 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
797 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. ...
3
votes
2answers
191 views

Are the bubbles in the sourdough starter caused by yeast cultures?

I'm new to sourdough starter, so I'm a little confused regarding a statement I read recently which said that the yeast is formed AFTER you see bubbles forming in the starter. Yet, it makes sense to ...
3
votes
1answer
923 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

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?
3
votes
2answers
667 views

Milk instead of water for sourdough?

I have a nice, healthy Type 110 wheat-based sourdough starter that I use to make bread and pancakes. I've recently discovered that it may be possible to feed the starter with milk instead of water. ...
3
votes
1answer
99 views

Should a sourdough starter be left open/ajar after feeding?

I keep my sourdough starter (spelt) in the fridge and leave it out after feeding it. Should the jar that the starter be kept in be left open/ajar in order to encourage more wild yeast to colonize it - ...
3
votes
2answers
241 views

Help with sourdough bread

I've been experimenting with whole wheat sourdough bread for a few weeks now. My starter uses T110 wheat flour at 100% hydration, and bubbles nicely. I make the bread using: 1.5c T150 wheat flour, ...
3
votes
2answers
91 views

Mathris broke as soon as I added it into medium hot oil

Why did my Mathris break apart (they didn't bind together) while frying? I was making Methi Mathris-Kasuri using 1 tsp methi, peppercorns, ajwain, salt, cumin seeds, 1 tsp besan I added quite a lot ...
3
votes
1answer
408 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? ...
3
votes
1answer
198 views

What do I do about mold on my sourdough starter?

I started my mother yesterday at 6:00am. with 2 tsp salt and 2 tbsp honey, 4 cups potato water, 4 cups unbleached natural wheat flour. I was told to wait two to three days. Well, 24 hours later I ...
2
votes
3answers
457 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
2k 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
2answers
281 views

Oven Spring when first stage of recipe includes a ten hour first rise

I am baking Swedish Limpa Bread. The recipe calls for mixing rye flour with a molasses/ anise seed, salt and water mixture and letting rise overnight or nine to ten hours. Does this exhaust the ...
2
votes
2answers
386 views

How does sourdough (wild yeast) starter differ from location to location?

I understand that sourdough starter (made from wild yeast) will differ from location to location, based on the different yeast bacteria. How will this change the flavor and type of the starter? What ...
2
votes
1answer
144 views

Is sourdough actually sour?

Why is sourdough called 'sourdough'? Is it because it is sour to the taste, or for a different reason?
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Rye flour in starter

I have a recipe for sourdough starter, that says I should use rye flour. But which is that? I have grinded my own flour from whole rye berries. There is a lot of bigger parts from the outer layer of ...
1
vote
2answers
198 views

Making sourdough bread in a warm and humid climate

I live in a warm and humid climate - average temp is mid 80's. I have been making sourdough and like the flavor, but the loaves are flat, very dense texture and crunchy crust. Even when I bake in a ...
1
vote
2answers
582 views

sourdough bread making-without bakers yeast

I have the book by Jessie Hawkins, The Vintage Remedies Guide to Bread, in which she describes the benefits of the ancient method of sourdough bread making. The bread described in the book needs to ...
1
vote
3answers
659 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 ...