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dsgreco 11-19-2009 06:01 PM

Italian Sourdough Starter
I just received two different Italian sourdough starters in the mail from Sourdoughs International: sourdough bread starter, sourdough bread recipes, bread machine recipes. I am wondering if anyone has any experience with these?

pacoast 11-19-2009 06:24 PM

Re: Italian Sourdough Starter
These are great starters that Marco Parente collected in Italy. The Camaldoli has an interesting flavour, but the Ischia is the real keeper. Makes fantastic pizza with a rich, complex flavour & good dough handling properties. Ideally suited to room temperature rises, but you can ferment it in the fridge too.

A lot of people are scared off by the "sour" part of sourdough. But the Ischia is barely sour at all if you feed it regularly (weekly). The Camaodoli is a bit more pungent.


dsgreco 11-20-2009 09:28 AM

Re: Italian Sourdough Starter
thanks for the info. I am going to activate one of them this weekend and see what happens.

tfasz 12-11-2009 03:20 PM

Re: Italian Sourdough Starter
How did it go?

I've been using the Ischia for the past month or so and have really enjoyed it. The very first weekend I made bread which was great, and also a batch of pancakes which were a bit over-powering. Since then the flavor has mellowed a bunch, and I've been using it almost weekly for everything from bread and pizza to pancakes and waffles.

Haven't pulled out my instant yeast since.

dsgreco 12-14-2009 06:29 AM

Re: Italian Sourdough Starter
I activated the Camaldoli starter and it is going great. The bread making is another story. I have made a few attempts and the flavor of the bread has been great, however the crust and lift is not where i want it. I am still trying to figure out where in my oven the racks work the best as well as different techniques for creating steam. Currently I am using a cast iron skillet filled with lava rock. I place it in the oven while heating the oven, then pour water in once I start baking the bread. I am working on a dough today. I have not used any instant yeast yet in any of my previous attempts, but I may give this batch a little "spike" just to experiment.
I have not activated the Ischia yet as I wanted to make sure I got things right with the Camaldoli first. I am glad to hear you like the Ischia.

dsgreco 12-14-2009 04:38 PM

Re: Italian Sourdough Starter
5 Attachment(s)
I made Pugliese today using the recipe from the BB's Apprentice. I used a firm sourdough starter in place of the biga.

tfasz 12-14-2009 09:47 PM

Re: Italian Sourdough Starter
Nice crumb - looks great.

I've been doing the Pane Cafone recipe that came with the starter but replacing some of the flour with about 1 cup of whole wheat. I also have tried the cast iron pan for steam, but I seem to get the same result just spraying it with a spray bottle before I put it in and once or twice while it is cooking.

dsgreco 12-17-2009 07:09 PM

Re: Italian Sourdough Starter
1 Attachment(s)
made some pizza dough using a firm sourdough starter. I was really happy with this dough.

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