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
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 ...
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?
10
votes
3answers
743 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 ...
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
10k 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 ...
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
2answers
835 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
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 ...
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
4k 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 ...
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
155 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
565 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
7answers
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
6k 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
2answers
2k 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
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
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
290 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
172 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
2answers
128 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
757 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
921 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
53 views

How to Judge the Appropriate Feeding Schedule for Immature Sourdough Starter

I am a week into the development of sourdough starter. I initiated the starter on spring water and a flour mixture that is 1/2 whole grain rye (Hodgson Mill) and 1/2 whole grain wheat (King Arthur). ...
4
votes
1answer
547 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
2answers
69 views

How can I “cheat” on dough maturation?

I found a good balance between leavening and maturation while using my favourite flour, my oven and my sourdough starter, the only problem is that the whole process, from mixing the ingredients and ...
4
votes
1answer
833 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
206 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
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 ...
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
864 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
113 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
107 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
281 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
93 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
417 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
232 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
489 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
304 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
463 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
149 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
2answers
58 views

Substitute Sherry for Wine in Sour dough cookies?

Can I substitute Sherry for Wine in my sour dough molasses cookies? Wondering if the Sherry might have a different effect on the fermentation of my dough.