43

This is not true anymore, and modern recipes omit that part. Back then, when silverware was made either from silver or pre-stainless-steel-alloys the acid in sourdough (and other foods*) would interact with the metal and corrode/color the metal and/or spoil the food. So put your sourdough in your (stainless steel) mixing bowl and knead it in your kitchen ...


21

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 ...


20

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 ...


17

Sure, you can begin a new sour dough starter with the discard from a feeding. However, the reason for discarding isn't simply to reduce the amount. As your starter matures it also becomes much more acidic. Acidity is problematic for yeast and bacterial activity and, ultimately, the rise and flavor of your final product. So, you discard during feeding time ...


15

Absolutely you can. When you use the starter to make bread you make an arbitrary decision of which part of the starter you use and which to feed, the part you scoop out is just as viable as the part you keep. When you discard some instead of using it the same rule applies, so all you need to do is put some in a container and feed it the same way. You can ...


14

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 ...


13

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 ...


12

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 ...


12

Absent a definitive answer here, I'm going to take a stab at this based on some experience I had with difficult sourdough starters. Note that I make a lot of sourdough items but do not do any kind of multi-stage prefeeding ritual. Sourdough is a culture of multiple types of bacteria and wild yeast. Sometimes wild yeasts do not reproduce rapidly or produce ...


11

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. ...


11

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 ...


11

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 study from the Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology says: Sourdough is different from traditional bread because it takes an extra fermentation ...


10

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, ...


10

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 ...


10

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 ...


9

Yes you can create sourdough from regular yeast, but it's not necessary. Ordinary flour comes with a trace of yeast. In the San Francisco area, that yeast is famed. Just mix flour and water 50/50 to make a batter-like mixture and leave it in a jar on the counter. Put a lightly fitting lid on the jar. Add more flour and water every 12h (give or take). You ...


9

(1) One critical element that hasn't been emphasized in answers so far is that the microorganisms that establish your starter mostly come from the flour not the air. The idea that the creation of a starter involves "catching wild yeast from the air" is commonly repeated in many, many books and resources, but I'd be interested if anyone has ever seen a ...


9

Note: This answer goes in a bit more detail than necessary to answer the question. If you truly only care about the hydration, please only read "Water/flour ratio" and "Flavor of the bread". I have added the other information as well since the effects are similar to that of a change in hydration. I've frequently baked (about once to twice a week) with ...


9

At the beginning, you are throwing out a lot because you are just feeding the culture. You're just seeding the growth medium (fresh flour and water) with the young culture, so you want to be sure that the ratio of food to culture is appropriate. Once the culture is established, you don't have to throw out any, but you do have to keep feeding it. This ...


9

Short answer: YES, a sourdough culture can change when moved to a different location. But the amount and types of shifts are unpredictable, and other factors (feeding schedule and regimen, kitchen conditions like temperature, nutrients from flour, etc.) can also cause significant changes. Also, environmental conditions can include not only microorganisms ...


9

As you have already intuited in your question, what you do to adjust is going to vary based on the ingredient, and how much of that ingredient you add to the bread. I can try to address some of the specific cases you mention: Walnuts This generally should not be a problem with adjusting hydration, other ingredients, or cooking times, although if you add ...


9

Treat it like any liquid. You don't need much. Just put some in a 100 ml plastic bottle if carrying on. Alternately, if checking your bags, put your starter in a larger plastic container with a screw cap...like a Nalgene bottle, for example. You can build it back up once you get to your destination.


9

If you don't want to transport liquid (= active) sourdough because you don't want to risk it to spill out of your container, note that you can either mix some of it with more flour than usual until you get a dryish crumbly mass that can be stored in a plastic box or bag or spread a thin layer on parchment and dry it. Break up the "sheet" and store it in a ...


9

Filtering water may not remove all or even any of the chlorine in your water, it depends upon the filter. Chlorine is the bane of sourdough starter's very existence. In 2017, Nashville tested the free chlorine (the chlorine 'left' in water after it has done its job of killing nasties in the water treatment facilities and the pipes on the way to your home) ...


8

You cannot produce sourdough with just bread machine yeast; it lacks the lactobacillus bacteria in sourdough starter, which produce the lactic acid that sours the bread. However, you can use bread machine yeast and sourdough starter together to produce a dough with sourdough flavor, but which a bread machine can handle (see my answer to "bread machine ...


8

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 ...


8

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 ...


8

Sourdough starters are rarely completely ruined, unless you're growing significant amounts of mold or something. It is possible that your refrigerated "break" early in establishing your starter ended up hurting the yeast population and accidentally selected for something else (perhaps undesirable bacteria) that is now growing and creating odd odors. It's ...


8

Starters are typically maintained at 100% hydration. That means equal parts water and flour. So, in your case, mix equal parts water and flour. Measure 1 cup of that, and add it to your mix. Of course, this will mean that all of your starter is gone. Alternately, feed your starter (equal parts water and flour) with more than you need, and let it sit on ...


8

I would discard this batch, carefully clean everything and start over. If you truly mixed well in the beginning, then the fluffy bits are probably mold and the black spots are somewhat fishy as well. After only 24 hours, you won’t have a strong culture going under that top layer and the mold problem will likely continue. Remember that a sourdough means that ...


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