Starter ball for sour dough

Hello,
 
I have a question about the starter ball method...I have some I put in the fridge approximately 5-6 weeks ago and some have gone black on the outside.  ???Can anyone tell me why they have gone mouldy?? and is it safe to use them? and will it effect the end product taste if I can use them???
 
thank you
Louise

 

6 comments

Hi Louise,

I would imagine that the ahswer is that the dough has had spores of some sort of mould in it that have managed to thrive in the cool fridge environment.

As for any other food that goes mouldy in the fridge, Iwould be thinking twice about using it.

IF (and this is a big if) the interior looks OK, perhaps you could take some of that as a seed for a new starter.  If that doesn't show signs of the 'black death' and is active in the normal way, then perhaps you could use it.

Other than that, I would say it is back to square one.

Good luck with your projects.

Farinam

I would toss it too!

Thank you for your comments....you are right. I would not eat anything that was mouldy.....I have fed the scary black evil to my worm farm.

 

IF (and this is a big if) the interior looks OK, perhaps you could take some of that as a seed for a new starter.  If that doesn't show signs of the 'black death' and is active in the normal way, then perhaps you could use it.

 

Agree with that.

A dry, stiff starter can 'hold on' for several months in a cool (1C to 3C pref) and dry environment. Under those conditions it is less likely to be overtaken by undesirable moulds. Reactivating a 2 month old starter to baking strenght would take at least 2, perhaps 3 cycles (feeds).

Also, the stiffened ball should be made of a mature, well acidified starter. That is going to be more resistant than a young, neutral starter with a smaller population of desirable bacteria and yeast (particularly by the time additional 'thickening' flour is added). To keep for several months I would stiffen up a starter that is a little past its prime.

We bury the stiffened ball of starter in flour, and look for ways of reducing humidity in the storage vessel (such as venting the lid). Wholemeal flour is always used.

Hi Graham,

Didn't you also bury some in the ground?

Farinam

Hardy Ha! Don't remind me Farinam :) That was a radical episode...but only because I chose to get dirty and bury some in the actual dirt, with no protection. Also that experiment was about trying to catch new organisms rather than save existing (healthy) beasties.

Wow. Mould flavoured bread. Not recommended.