#11  
Old 03-08-2010, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: Interesting Dough Experiment

Sounds good thanks for the commentary.

I topped it up on my way out of the door this morning so hopefully it will be looking very happy when I get home. I did not detect any noticeable sourdough smell but the gluten development was incredible.

More later...
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  #12  
Old 03-09-2010, 01:53 AM
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Default Re: Interesting Dough Experiment

Well, 11 hours later it looks like the dough has more than doubled in size. Definitely something going on here.

Should I dump and top up with more flour now or wait till tomorrow morning i.e 24 hrs later??

BTW - is there any chance that this thing will be usable by the weekend??
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Last edited by heliman; 03-09-2010 at 02:19 AM.
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  #13  
Old 03-09-2010, 05:43 AM
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Default Re: Interesting Dough Experiment

Ok after a few more hours - this thing is still bubbling along.

Some questions:

How will this starter differ from a starter I make using pineapple juice, rye flour etc?

Is there any value in using the existing sourdough over starting a new one?

Can I use it this weekend? If so, how do I go about working it into a pizza dough? Is there a good preparation method and recipe for this??

Thanks for the input on this one...
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  #14  
Old 03-09-2010, 09:34 AM
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Default Re: Interesting Dough Experiment

Does it taste sour?

I am led to believe based on what I've just read that even commercial yeast starters may continue on indefinitely with feedings, the difference being that it will lack sour flavor because it's not lactobacillus. But, I also know that any culture will naturally colonize and be taken over with whatever is local to you, so I guess I don't really know what will happen going forward with this one.

I would definitely use it and continue to feed it, esp. if it tastes sour.

The value of a mature culture over a young one is that the organisms have had a chance to naturally select so that the strongest, most vigorous strain is what continues to grow, whereas presumably there is still a bit of natural selection going on in a young culture. If this logic is applied to the above statements, it seems like one could expect even a commercial yeast "starter" to eventually be taken over by sourdough beasties....?
FW that's worth, I started using my grown-from-scratch culture as soon as it appeared to be growing and lively and I don't see much if any difference in it now vs. then.

So if this is in fact a sourdough, I would imagine it has been in use for a while and is fairly old. HOWEVER, moving it so far from it's original circumstances means all bets are off...like I said before, it will become whatever it wants to be in your location. From what I understand, this would be true of relocating ANY sourdough culture.

I certainly isn't difficult to start another of your own. I plunked a raisin in flour/water slurry to get mine going and it worked beautifully.

As far as using it, I just substitute a blob of starter for some of the flour and water the recipe calls for and proceed. So if I use 100g. of starter, I subtract 50g. each of flour and water from what the recipe says, and omit the yeast, of course. Expect your proof times to be different, however... this is the learning curve.

Reinhardt's sourdough pizza dough recipe calls for 8oz. of starter to 32oz. of flour but IIRC his starter formula is more of a stiff dough type...easy enough to convert or sub, however.
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:44 AM
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Default Re: Interesting Dough Experiment

excerpted from the website listed below, I think this is a fairly good explanation of things:

The natural yeasts in a sourdough starter are strains of a yeast family whose scientific name is Sacchraromyces exiges. They are of the same family of yeast as commercial bakers' yeast, whose scientific name is Saccharomyces cerrivasae. The two have what might be called a distant family relationship but differ in one important way. Commercial bakers yeast cannot survive in a very acidic environment whereas natural yeast is very happy to live in such an environment. This is important because the lactobacilli in a sourdough culture produce a lot of lactic and acetic acids (which are what gives sourdough bread its flavor). The acids create an environment too acidic for commercial bakers' yeast, so only natural yeast can live with them.

What is Sourdough?
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  #16  
Old 03-09-2010, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: Interesting Dough Experiment

Great feedback - thanks! I am beginning to understand the process now at last. It is quite complex, but interesting at the same time.

I am eager to give the starter a try ASAP - is this evening too early to use it?

How long does the yeast starter need to be in contact with the main mix in order to get its full effect??

BTW My starter has a faint sour smell to it at this stage but is doubling and more within a couple of hours. Is this a good sign?
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: Interesting Dough Experiment

Yes, use it!

With a very lively starter, I would expect proof times to be in the neighborhood of what you are used to with yeast, but like yeast, this is also related to temperature and recipe. The thing about sourdoughs is they are going to take however long they are going to take, and it is only with experience that one can predict this. The state of the starter is another variable. If I bake using starter that was fed same-day, my proof time will be different than if I bake with a starter that was last fed two or three days ago.
It sounds like it's doing what it should do. An experiment worth continuing at the very least. Do give it a taste, for no other reason than it would be nice to have a reference for a couple of weeks down the road. It won't hurt you, I promise.
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  #18  
Old 03-09-2010, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: Interesting Dough Experiment

Ok thanks ... I'll give it a go this evening and leave it proofing over night and bake some pizza tomorrow.

When I get home this evening I will sample some of the brew. If you don't hear from me again you will know that there was a problem. But on the positive side, I will bequeath you my WFO and favourite peel and have it shipped over to you.
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  #19  
Old 03-12-2010, 04:31 AM
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Default Re: Interesting Dough Experiment

Sorry about the delay in updating this one.. BUT an amazing breakthrough...

I did taste the mix and it was sour. It developd well over the next few days and today I took the plunge and actually used it.

Now the interesting thing is that it is very similar to the original dough that I bought from the local pizzeria. The smell and texture are the same and I am sure with an overnight fermentation, this dough will be superb.

There is no "marshmallowing" that I experienced with the IDY method, but there is still some action on the go as I can see small bubbles forming. I am just going to divide it up (after 1 hr on the bench) and will now wait to see how it turns out in the morning.

If this works well I will only use this method in the future. I will have to generate a fair bit of the starter though when I have a large number of people around, but I am sure that I can manage the process OK....

More later....
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  #20  
Old 03-12-2010, 05:31 AM
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Default Re: Interesting Dough Experiment

Just another thing ...

The original dough had a distinctly yellow colour to it - is this possibly a sourdough characteristic?

Tonight's batch is rather white - but I am wondering if it will be yellow in the morning after fermentation...
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