#11  
Old 08-01-2011, 08:18 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: So. Orange County, CA. USA
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Default Re: Sourdough starter question..

Faith and Jay,
Some of my confusion about the early stages of building a starter relates how this stage is used in some breads. In some of Peter Reinhart’s breads water and flour are mixed then plastic wrapped and set aside at room temperatures for 24 hours or so. This is to develop flavors but since no commercial yeast is added to this, only what beasts are native to the flour and mixing environment participate. Since this is an anaerobic environment, no oxygen, it may be that the native yeasts never have a chance to get rolling and only the enzymes really make a difference. Anyway as with any art, bread making included, there are a huge number of variables. So many things to learn and so much of is seat of the pants and not hard and fast rules. Asking the right question relates directly to having enough knowledge to know what to ask.

The learning is loads of fun and the discoveries, the enlightenments, from both the mistakes and deliberate, if this then that, actions make life a hell of a ride.

Jay, again have fun and learn well at SFBI and if you have a moment let me know what flour you use and what your impressions are.

Thanks

Chris
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  #12  
Old 08-01-2011, 09:15 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Sourdough starter question..

Hi Chris!

Soakers take a major role in Peter's later books and he soaks flour and seeds and meals and everything. You mention anaerobic and that is an interesting observation. It starts aerobic but beasties would deplete the oxygen and push it toward anaerobic. And there are some really bad bugs in that world. My guess is that the beastie population is low enough (and mostly inactive - i.e. in spores) that it really doesn't develop much flora population during the soak and thus stays aerobic. What is definitely happening is the enzymes are breaking starch to sugars along with a few acids, alcohols, and flavenoids from the beasties. But it is my impression it is mainly enzymatic which doesn't use oxygen as I understand it.

I agree that bread is an art. Subtle changes can make big differences in the final loaf!

I will gladly share what I learn!

Be well!
Jay
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  #13  
Old 08-22-2011, 01:35 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Sourdough starter question..

Jay,
How did your SFBI class go?

Chris

PS. The SD starter is a hungry critter.. Fed once in the morning and once at night. It's doubles size in about 8 hours at 75. A Tbl spoon of starter, about 55g to 100g water and 100g flour. It starts at about 3/4 cup and grows to 2+ cups at 12 hrs or so. Dang varmint. ;-)

Last edited by SCChris; 08-22-2011 at 01:40 PM.
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  #14  
Old 08-22-2011, 06:00 PM
GianniFocaccia's Avatar
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Default Re: Sourdough starter question..

Chris,
Can't you slow them voracious critters down by putting them in the reefer? I thought you only want them at full-strength just before making bread.
John
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  #15  
Old 08-22-2011, 06:19 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Sourdough starter question..

I'm working on the bread, bit by bit.. I have 2 batches in the fridge ready to go in the oven, but can't make a window happen.. :-(

Chris
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  #16  
Old 08-23-2011, 12:51 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Sourdough starter question..

John, on the site "The Fresh Loaf" there is a thread on sourdough that presented a very broad recipe for SD bread that facilitates the use of the extra starter.

It goes like this;
1 part starter
2 parts water
3 parts flour
and 1 to 1.8% of the total, added salt.



So if you fresh twice a day and save the excess at 3 or 4 days you have enough for a loaf or 2 of bread. Or use it in your crepes or pancakes or...

Chris
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  #17  
Old 08-24-2011, 12:07 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Sourdough starter question..

Hi Chris!

I am back! Just before the SFBI class my wife and I located a used RV in SoCal that we wanted, so she flew out, we bought it, and drove it home...

The SFBI class was superb. I will upload a bit on this site, but there is an extensive report on Fresh Loaf - effectively a day by day blog with photos.

The guys at SFBI are not terribly fond of extended autolyse of flour. They seem to prefer 20 to 30 minutes over overnight. Rather interestingly, in a straight dough a 20 minute autolyse did provide a slight acidic flavor (including both acetic and lactic acids - the lactic was an interesting buttery quality!). Also gassier dough.

Our dominant flour was a commercial Con-Agra flour with 11.8 % protein that is not generally available. To be candid, while they have specific characteristics they prefer for artisanal breads, there is nothing unique about the flour we were using. Yes, it was unbleached and unbromated but it wasn't organic or anything unique. Based on comments they use a lot of different flours over time and adjusting to flour is part of the learning.

Good to be back!
Jay

Last edited by texassourdough; 08-24-2011 at 12:08 PM. Reason: clean up
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  #18  
Old 08-24-2011, 08:02 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Sourdough starter question..

Thanks Jay for the blog on The Fresh Loaf. It took searching for SFBI before I found it.. That's a lot of baking in a week, and all of the bread looks great.. It's all a bit intimdating, the class that is, over and above the investment in $ and time.. If I can ever make the time and find the $ I'll be there in a moment.

Chris
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  #19  
Old 08-25-2011, 07:01 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Sourdough starter question..

Of our sixteen participants we had two rather casual bakers who were a bit over their head - one in particular. While it is their introductory week long class, it is clearly for serious bakers and the more you know the more you will probably get out of it - at least up to a fairly advanced level. They also do two day weekend workshops for $400 that are more for casual bakers and cover more territory. Not cheap but certainly more affordable and likely to be more productive and fun for less advanced bakers.

Several of our participants in Arisanal Breads I had taken one or more weekend workshops and spoke highly of them - and planned to take more which suggests that the quality of the weekend classes is high (which I would expect based on my experience). The challenge is deciding which class.

BTW...they have a weekend WFO class set for (I think) next April. It is not on the web site but one of our participants said he was signed up for it.

Be well!
Jay
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  #20  
Old 09-05-2011, 07:00 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Sourdough starter question..

Here is the latest batch of sourdough leavened bread. Sorry no crumb shot and I still need to work on tightening up the shaping and slashing, they're a bit flater than I'm hoping to get.

Best all!

Chris
Attached Thumbnails
Sourdough starter question..-bread1.jpg   Sourdough starter question..-bread2.jpg   Sourdough starter question..-bread3.jpg  
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