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12

The following is paraphrased from Andrew Whitley's excellent book Bread Matters Wheat leaven If you intend to use within 2 days, store the it at ambient temperature For 2-14 days, store it in the fridge. Optionally refresh it before use. For longer, refresh then freeze. Refresh again after thawing. Rye sourdough 0-3 days -- ambient temperature 3-30 ...


12

Most bakers refer to this as a starter and it is extremely easy to keep up. You will need a plastic bag or a jar to keep it in, a cup of warm water, and some flour. You can either grow some wild yeast or add a particular strain to the growth solution depending what you are trying to do with the yeast. Once you do that, just leave it someplace warm but not ...


11

You can, in theory, leave it out on the counter for longer to develop the same amount of fermentation. What you won't have is a very cold fermentation, which helps to develop the big holes in rustic breads that many people love. Temperature and fermentation are a tricky balance, and you should listen to an expert like the author. Also the overnight ...


10

If the starter is "bubbling nicely" then you may be already there. Bread rises because the CO2 produced by the yeast is trapped by the protein in the dough. If you see bubbles then your starter is already producing the necessary CO2. A starter has so much water in it that the protein doesn't trap the gas- thus you see bubbles rise to the surface. If you ...


10

There isn't really a "test", per se, to tell if a bread is a "real sourdough" or not. Without getting overly technical, the tangy "sour" is created by a lactobacillus (bacteria) culture feeding on the byproducts of the yeast used to make the dough rise. The byproducts of the bacteria produce the lactic acids which give the resulting bread its sour taste. ...


10

There are three courses of action for producing sourdough with a bread machine: Use the bread machine just for mixing dough, then rise and bake it separately. This will produce the best result, defined as the best texture and strongest sourdough flavor. In this case, you get to monitor the progress of the sourdough as it is rising, which gives you better ...


10

I don't think you're doing anything wrong, I think the dough is just more slack than you're used to. As @Jay noted, it can take some practice to work with a wet dough. But once you do, you'll be rewarded with a much more open crumb and a better final product. In my experience, I've found wetter dough and higher oven temps = better artisan bread (in ...


10

Hydration numbers aren't that meaningful by themselves -- whether an 80% hydration level can produce a high-rising free-form loaf will depend on a lot on the types of flours or grains that are used. (Usually, 80% hydration is most appropriate for flatter or roughly shaped breads: ciabatta, focaccia, pizza dough, rustic baguettes, etc.) With the specific ...


9

I think your 'troubleshooter' and the desire to know what to do to get a different result ('more chew, or a flaky crust,etc) are definitely one in the same. You'll need to understand the basic chemistry of bread (and some critical techniques as well). Baking in general is more (not all) chemistry than normal cooking. If you throw too much of something in, ...


8

make waffles! that's what we do with ours, besides bread. sourdough waffles with syrup have this great sweet/sour balance going on that is really wonderful.


8

You might want to try a desem starter. Have a look at the desem primer, which is also linked on the Wikipedia page. Starter instructions are given toward the end. Common lore says that desem starter should never get above 65F, which sounds perfect for your situation. (It's actually fine if it gets warmer than that, though.) Traditional conditions for ...


7

Besides the obvious of actually using it to make bread products, you can store some for a rainy day (ie, something goes wrong with your starter), or to give away: smear it thinly on a sheet of parchment, wax paper, or aluminum foil. (you may need to add liquid and let it hydrate if yours is too stiff to spread) let dry crumble up store in an airtight ...


7

Some answers to your questions, based on my experience with wild sourdough starter in San Francisco: 70-80F is the ideal temperature range. Below that the yeast incubates very slowly; above it, the starter will tend to ferment alcoholically. Do not leave the starter in direct sun. UV light is a powerful sterilizing agent. An organic, cold-processed (i.e. ...


7

There are two schools of thought as to where wild yeast comes from for a sourdough starter. One is that is in the air, the other that it is present in flour. Having made a few starters myself and trying different methods, I am of the opinion that the latter is more likely. I have had just as much success with starters I have simply mixed and put in a sealed ...


7

Lactic acid bacteria reproduce more rapidly in a wet culture and acetic acid bacteria produce more rapidly in a dry culture, so the hydration will change the flavor of your bread by controlling which organisms it is most favorable to. Beyond that, wet starters usually rise faster and dry starters rise slower, so people often use dryer cultures if they know ...


6

I've had mine sit for six months or more without feeding and still have life in it. Don't use such an old one for bread though. Do a thorough wash of it first. Otherwise it'll taste like poop in a gym sock.


6

A long, slow fermentation (known commonly as "retarding") of a sourdough bread is about flavor development. Yeast is most active at room temperature, so when you allow your sourdough loaf to rise overnight in the refrigerator, you're giving the bacteria that gives the sourdough its characteristic tang more of a chance to develop while slowing the yeast down. ...


6

Making sourdough pancakes (which can be almost all starter with a little extra flour and fat/egg added) is a good idea if you really like sourdough flavor. Just google sourdough pancake recipes and you'll find a ton. Some use as much as two cups of starter, so it'll go fast. I've also used sourdough starter in biscuits, banana bread. This little pamphlet ...


6

I recently read somewhere (I forget where) that if you're only storing it for a day or two, standing the loaf cut-side down on a cutting board worked fine. The crust stays crisp, and the cut edge is protected and doesn't go stale. Storing it that way much longer than a day or so probably would risk going stale. Unfortunately, we don't get to do this much ...


6

Admittedly I have only stored my starter in a glass jar, but I wouldn't want anything else. You should look for a size that is neither too large, nor too small. It should comfortably hold your sourdough starter when you are simply feeding it - I usually store 200g of starter, at 100% hydration (100g flour, 100g water) or thereabouts. However, when actually ...


6

I have to contradict @saj14saj here. I have frequently had bread made with underdeveloped gluten (my grandma uses AP flour and tends to knead very short, 2-3 minutes per hand, and use very short proofing times). The bread is soft and cakelike, but it has no trouble rising, and it is neither flat nor dense. On the other hand, I have had bread with exactly ...


6

You can easily replace the liquid in most bread recipes with beer. This can have a very pronounced effect on your final dough as there is a lot more chemical and biological fun happening in beer than there is in water. In my experience, the dough with beer will usually rise faster than a similar dough with water. Generally, the flavor difference won't be ...


6

The hint is in the name, sourdough. Per the University of Wisconsin Extension: Properly prepared starters are safe because they become acidic due to the fermentation action of lactic acid-forming bacteria present in the mixture. These bacteria and the acid environment formed inhibit the growth of other bacteria, but do allow yeast, if added, to ...


6

Generally when you have issues regarding oven spring at home, the problem is heat and steam in your oven rather than yeast activity. In commercial bakeries, sourdoughs are frequently fermented for overnight or longer, so that shouldn't be a problem. A lot of the expansion you see in the oven is from the moisture in your dough converting to steam before the ...


6

The short answer is yes, sourdough breads are generally more resistant to fungus due to the fermentation process of the sourdough starter. The reasons for this are only now becoming understood. This article summarizes this study from the Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology: Sourdough is different from traditional bread because it takes an ...


5

For crusty bread, try a paper bag. It'll help keep the bread crusty, and it won't dry out quite as fast as being left on the counter.


5

When I've made and used starters in the past I've generally fed it 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup flour every other day. The challenge with sourdough starters is that you need to be using them regularly as the volume obviously grows if you're just feeding it and not using it regularly. Of course a friend, family member, or neighbor might be thrilled for you to ...


5

Hard to tell for sure, but it sounds like a good sour to me. It has been my experience that sours do not always smell like yeast. Did you add a pinch of yeast in the first place when making the sour? If not, you would be relying on nature to have any natural yeast spores within your sour, and that does not always work out that way. Either way, if you ...


5

Sourdough is a combination of yeast (which provide rising power) and bacteria (which make the starter sour and keep other nasty things from growing in it). New starters will usually establish strong bacteria growth long before they get strong yeast growth. The bacteria growth will start within the first couple days, which will make your starter begin to ...


5

Sourdough starter will grow mold if it starts going "off". If it's healthy, it will naturally prevent mold from growing, but if you forget to feed it for too long and/or the container it is in is dirty, it can start growing fuzzy stuff. Feed your culture regularly, and transfer it into a clean container now and then, and it will be fine.



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