Glossary of Baking terms

Graham beat me to the suggestion, however, I've been thinking for some time that we should start a thread to complie a glossary of baking terms and definitions.

I propose as follows;

Post any terms, including bakers acronyms and definitions that may be relevant and accurate. I will then continue to compile a running list in this post with bulleted points. The term must be stated with a clear definition in this way here:
eg.

  • Sourdough  a mixture of cereal flour/meal and water that harbours dominant endemic populations of yeasts and lactobacillus in a symbiotic relationship fermenting endemic dough nutrients to aerate or leaven a dough typically used for "sourdough" bread.


Ok, I'll accept input into refinement of these terms but your arguement must be supported with fact and historical precedence. When there is consensus, I'll include it in the list. I expect the majority of the terms to be straight forward but there might be some contention with some terms and proper nouns. I'm sure we can get through it over the course of a year? six months? we'll see.

BTW I'll accept discussion about the meanings of relevant words and anything that generally fits in with the purpose of this thread, but please lets not clog this with hugs and kisses type of chit chat, there's plenty of room for that on the rest of the board.

I'll accept your correction (my typing is prone to errors) at any time but since I'm going to be compiling we need to determine who should have the casting vote if a term meaning needs a resolution for acceptance. I't may not come to that, but ....... 

Is there broad agreement on this? Aye or nay?
 

__________________________________________________________________________

I've posted a draft of the table - below - discussed in the thread. However, I've edited this table, removed "sourdough leaven content". Upon objections from the floor it was considered peripheral to a set of sourdough baking terms and definitions. As stated a poll will be conducted in the near future to gauge the support, or lack of support, for these terms. 

DRAFT


Function My adopted terms Definition
Inoculating culture Starter A small portion of mature sourdough used to inoculate or "start" a larger  batch of flour and water referred to as "sourdough or leaven". At maturity the original weight of "starter" is removed to inoculate or start the next sourdough or leaven, hence it is not included in the yield calculations.
Inoculating dough
Sourdough leaven
A portion of the total bread dough flour weight inoculated by a starter to form a mature dough of endemic flora - including but not limited to: lactobacillus, and endemic yeasts - used to aerate and produce bread dough maturity. Sourdough leaven can be a single stage fermentation or multiple stage fermentation to maturity.
Bread dough
Sourdough Leaven Bread dough       

A dough containing all the final ingredients, including but not limited to: sourdough leaven, that is used as the final dough in the bread making process. This dough is baked to form bread.


 

The process:

fermentation
Sourdough leaven fermentation the process of fermenting sourdough leaven is initiated by a polyculture in a natural symbiosis of endemic origin. Typically a mix of lactobacillus and sourdough leaven yeasts. Bakers yeast strains are not deemed typical nor included.


The product Sourdough Leaven Bread Bread of sourdough leaven; does not include any other fermentation other than the endemic polyculture of sourdough leaven from the first to the final stage until entry into the oven.





 


 

177 comments

Salamander balls? Hmmm...imagine he turned a whiter shade of pale the poor bugger!

Jack, if my poor laymen self may say I think what John means is sourdough isn't a hybrid or whatever else but that good old non-adulterated water, flour and salt, oh yeah and the starter, levain, and leave out the mother too!
[quote=Danubian]at your pleasure .......

Function My adopted terms Definition
Inoculating culture Starter A small portion of mature sourdough used to inoculate or "start" a larger  batch of flour and water referred to as "sourdough or leaven". At maturity the original weight of "starter" is removed to inoculate or start the next sourdough or leaven, hence it is not included in the yield calculations.
Inoculating dough
Sourdough/leaven
A portion of the total bread dough flour weight inoculated by a starter to form a mature dough of endemic flora - including but not limited to: lactobacillus, and endemic yeasts - used to aerate and produce bread dough maturity. Sourdough/leaven can be a single stage fermentation or multiple stage fermentation to maturity.
Bread dough
Leaven Bread dough       

A dough containing all the final ingredients, including but not limited to: sourdough/leaven, that is used as the final dough in the bread making process. This dough is baked to form bread.

Sourdough Leaven Calculation
Sourdough Leaven Content
The percentage of flour (based on the total bread dough flour weight) that is starter inoculated to be fermented. At maturity returned to the balance of the base bread dough formula. This quantity is expressed as a percentage,

eg. sourdough leaven 30% ~ 30kg

Base formula:

     Ingredients        %        Wt
  • Flour/meal     100       100.000
  • water              63        63.000
  • salt                  2          2.000
  • Total DY        165       165.000
Detailed formula:

    Sourdough Leaven 30%
     *Starter                          1.500
  • flour/meal        100       30.000
  • water                60       18.000
  • Total DY          160       48.000
    Leaven Bread Dough

  • Sourdough Leaven         48.000
  • flour/meal                    70.000
  • water +/-                     45.000
  • Salt                               2.000
  • Total DY                     165.000
* starter not included in the yield calculation needed for the next inoculation.  

The process:

fermentation
Sourdough leaven fermentation the process of fermenting sourdough leaven is initiated by a polyculture in a natural symbiosis of endemic origin. Typically a mix of lactobacillus and sourdough leaven yeasts. Bakers yeast strains are not deemed typical nor included.


The product Leaven Bread Bread of sourdough leaven; does not include any other fermentation other than the endemic polyculture of sourdough leaven from the first to the final stage then entry into the oven.







 [/quote]

Edit: for clarity

Looks good D-man,im getting out my nitting kneadles.


 

I had my [k]nitting kneadles out to weave this list, now it's your turn to test the strength of the weave!
What make that dough?

such as ascorbic acid?

[quote]from the list:
Bread of sourdough leaven; does not include any other fermentation other than the endemic polyculture of sourdough leaven for aeration and/or biochemical effects on the bread character] from the first to the final stage then entry into the oven.[/quote]

See this phrase added above in the last definition, any thoughts?

 

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy" (Hamlet by William Shakepeare, Act 1 Scene V)

I have to disagree profoundly with your defintions.

There are many more ways to inoculate a culture (starter) than by using retained leaven or dough. For example in Denmark and  Germany you can get a very satisfactory freeze dried starter ("backferment") http://www.preisroboter.de/ergebnis88442.html.

I, and many bakers, maintain a separate culture, refreshed separately from making the sponge preferment.

 

I prefer the word "sponge" to sourdough or leaven for the elaboration step.

I have referred to your calculations above. I find my format clearer, and more general. Baker's percentages are well understood and used worldwide. Why not use them throughout?

I think you misuse the word "leaven", which means to any raising agent, including bakers yeast, and not the sponge step.

It's Sourdough bread, not leaven bread, at least what I make is.

 



There may be more things in heaven and earth but alas there are less things in naturally leavened bread.


[quote=jacklang]

I, and many bakers, maintain a separate culture, refreshed separately from making the sponge preferment.

I prefer the word "sponge" to sourdough or leaven for the elaboration step.

I think you misuse the word "leaven", which means to any raising agent, including bakers yeast, and not the sponge step.

It's Sourdough bread, not leaven bread, at least what I make is.

[/quote]


Agree that "Leaven Bread" could be easily interpreted as applying to a range of breads, not just sourdough-only breads. Bread made only from natural sourdough leaven can be more precisely called "Sourdough Bread"

The term "sponge" is as equally as ambiguous as "leaven". It is a frothy bubbling substance that could have anything in it, including oysters, etc. Both sponge and leaven need the addition of a qualifying descriptor. eg. "Sourdough Leaven".

The term "sponge" could be substituted with "pre-ferment" and suffer no change in meaning. "Sponge", "Pre-ferment" and "Leaven" are more diluted terms than "sourdough".

As far as the "stages" of fermentation go, "Starter" appears to be well accepted in terms of when it occurs...ie at the very beginning. "Sourdough Leaven" is the next step up and can be qualified, as Danubian noted, by "1st Stage, 2nd Stage, etc". "Bread Dough" is moderately clear as a final dough, but perhaps needs clarification as "Final Bread Dough" or simply "Final Dough".





[quote=jacklang]

I fully support the effort to define "real" sourdough bread. However I think it important not to over complicate the definition

My definition would be something like:

Sourdough Bread's main leavening agent is the fermentation of yeasts and lactobacillus in a symbiotic relationship.

Nothing more and nothing less is needed. No need to mention cereal or grains, or endemic or added culture, aeration, hand kneading or salamander testicles.[/quote]

As I understand this thread we are working toward a single category of "sourdough" bread. In time other categories for 'mixed fermentations' should also be defined. 

Isn't this a little too broad? "main leavening agent" [your words] would not preculde bakers yeasts being used in moderate percentages. It could be argued that bakers yeast fermentation in such cases is secondary, the sourdough still being the primary..."main" fermentation, therefore permissable. When the object of this exercise is to provide a category where bakers yeast is excluded, not included!

[quote=jacklang]
Gluten free breads may not have cereals or grains in the conventional sense, but can still be sourdough.

I mentioned saffron in a previous post as it is traditional for some Easter breads and buns.[/quote]

Gluten-free bread is a category in its own right, its principle identity is its non-glutenous nature rather than its specific leavened method, whether yeasted or sourdough!

I'd be satisfied with "sourdough leaven bread"; in fact I should have seen the omission since I've used this pair in the preceeding terms and definitions.

I see "sponge" - an English baking term - as having an historical connection with barm yeasts, but none with sourdough until relatively recently, about the same time the language confusion started.


"Sponge"is unsuitable because of its diverese applications both grammatic and applied....we are trying to be specific. Its ok to describe a sourdough leaven as a sponge, but it would have to be "sourdough sponge"...which does not seem to have have  historical precedent...its a word used in barm bread making, and process rather than content. "Sourdough leaven" makes more actual descriptive sense.


 

Enhancers,right on.thats why im for limiting ingredients to flour /water/salt, because it cut and dried eliminates ANYTHING else for this class of bread.


 


[quote]from the list:
Bread of sourdough leaven; does not include any other fermentation other than the endemic polyculture of sourdough leaven. Aeration and/or biochemical effects on sourdough leaven bread character is affected by this polyculture as the only ehancer; other enhancers are deemed to be adulterants] from the first to the final stage then entry into the oven.[/quote]

It's more specific.

The leaven culture may not be, and indeed is unlikely to be endemic. By introducing a starter it is by definition not endemic.

It may or may not be a poly culture, meaning many different strains of  similar organisms potentially competing, but a specific symbiosis. The culture could be just one yeast, C.milleri and one lactobacillum L.Sanfrancisenis and still be sourdough.

Aeration, (meaning the inclusion of air) is vital for proper dough development and the mixing process introduces air, but I dont think this is what you mean. Aeration is an inappropriate term for dough rising, where carbon dioxide is the main gas, not air, nor for baking where steam plays an important role.

Enhancers, such as malt, enzymes, ascorbic acid, olive oil are not pollutants, but are used daily and widely in the production of sourdough, as are flavourings, carraway in rye, for example.   Many add pineapple juice or yogurt to create an acid environment when culturing a starter from scratch. Is that, or the resulting culture a pollutant?

 

 

Of course using pineapple juice and yoghurt to initiate  this class of sourdough are pollutants, and an indication of lack of skill and rank amateurism....because they are absolutely unnecessary. Sourdough has been made forever from flour/water/salt, and in trying to define the quintessential sourdough,eccentric practices can be seen as just that...eccentric,and curious,but hardly the well understood historic and contemporary practice.

There is plenty of evidence that the best culture is indeed endemic. The Flemish desem practice virtually proves this, and although agents may be airborne as well (or of salivary origin), in my experience,the best culture is that which nature puts on the wheat bloom for the very purpose of digesting the grain.

Just because a practice is widespread does not give it authority,merely convenience, and bakers are well known for such potentially unwholesome practices.Flavourings and fats do not affect the fermentation in the same way as enhancers such as ascorbic acid,these are two different issues.

There is widespread agreement (beyond practice) that a sourdough culture is a polyculture...whats the relevance of disputing this?. "could" and "may" are indications of chance, hardly reasons for not laying down a template.

"Aeration" and not "carbonation" is the widely accepted terminology for refering to the alveolation evident in a risen bread dough....and the Oxford dictionary states "charge with carbon dioxide" as a meaning of aeration.


 

Great post, John. I couldn't agree more.

There's really no need to quibble over the term "aeration", Jack, its perfectly acceptable as technical trade language.

As far as "diastatic malt" being in the same class as ascorbic, I reiterate my opinion, it's not! Enzyme rich malt flour is in fact cereal. But I'd be just as happy if it was to be excluded in this class if a good arguement could be mounted. But ascorbic is foreign to this product in every sense, it really bears no discussion.  

[quote=jacklang]

The leaven culture may not be, and indeed is unlikely to be endemic. By introducing a starter it is by definition not endemic.

It may or may not be a poly culture, meaning many different strains of  similar organisms potentially competing, but a specific symbiosis. The culture could be just one yeast, C.milleri and one lactobacillum L.Sanfrancisenis and still be sourdough.[/quote]


[quote=JohnD]

There is plenty of evidence that the best culture is indeed endemic. The Flemish desem practice virtually proves this, and although agents may be airborne as well (or of salivary origin), in my experience,the best culture is that which nature puts on the wheat bloom for the very purpose of digesting the grain.[/quote]


Influence of Geographical Origin and Flour Type on Diversity of Lactic Acid Bacteria in Traditional Belgian Sourdoughs[down-pointing small open triangle]
Ilse Scheirlinck,1* Roel Van der Meulen,3 Ann Van Schoor,1 Marc Vancanneyt,2 Luc De Vuyst,3 Peter Vandamme,1 and Geert Huys1
[quote]

"A culture-based approach was used to investigate the diversity of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) in Belgian traditional sourdoughs and to assess the influence of flour type, bakery environment, geographical origin, and technological characteristics on the taxonomic composition of these LAB communities. For this purpose, a total of 714 LAB from 21 sourdoughs sampled at 11 artisan bakeries throughout Belgium were subjected to a polyphasic identification approach. The microbial composition of the traditional sourdoughs was characterized by bacteriological culture in combination with genotypic identification methods,...........

"Based on the production technology, sourdough fermentations can be divided into three types (2, 38): type I, or traditional, sourdoughs are characterized by continuous propagation of the dough at ambient temperatures (20 to 30°C); type II, or industrial, sourdoughs are incubated at high temperatures (>30°C), with longer fermentation times and a higher water content; and type III sourdoughs are dried preparations of industrial doughs. Traditional Belgian sourdoughs belong to type I sourdoughs.

Taxonomic distribution and prevalence of sourdough LAB species.

Seven hundred and fourteen LAB were randomly isolated from 21 Belgian traditional sourdoughs. By polyphasic identification, 82% of the isolates were assigned to seven species: Lactobacillus paralimentarius (21%), Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis (17%), Lactobacillus plantarum (11%), Lactobacillus pontis (10%), Lactobacillus fermentum (9%), Lactobacillus hammesii (8%), and Weissella cibaria (6%). The heterofermentative species L. paralimentarius, L. sanfranciscensis, L. plantarum, and L. pontis occurred in 10, 9, 9, and 9 sourdoughs, respectively, and are therefore considered the dominant cultured microbiota in Belgian sourdoughs. However, all four species were never found together in any of the sourdoughs analyzed, and only in samples D01WW01T01 and D06WW01T01 was an association of three of the species observed. Furthermore, the occurrence of the sourdough species L. sanfranciscensis and L. paralimentarius seemed to be negatively correlated (Spearman correlation value, ρ = −0.656; P = 0.000625). L. fermentum, L. hammesii, and W. cibaria occurred in three, five, and two sourdoughs, respectively.

[/quote]
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2075033

It appears L. sanfranciscensis is endemic in sourdough polyculture indeed, so the objection is a moot point!





Nice one D-man,

so whats the result of the study re flour type and geographic location?

Its interesting that a scientific study like this ratifies the sensory study...everybody who makes sourdough uses flour water and salt....but one of the really fascinating things is that these breads can vary quite a lot,and technique is not the only answer...the   "terroir" or growing environment of both grain and cultures and the variations in grains accounts for a lot of it.Ed Wood found quite a few different cultures as he travelled ,mainly he talks about dominant yeast pairs and the varying rates at which different s/d yeast combos activate.He has a Russian starter which he reckons activates twice as fast as other sourdoughs.It makes sense that an inherently natural product such as genuine sourdough bread  would reflect the dynamism of nature....and thats quite a bit more interesting than yeast bread can be.

or.....drooling San Franciscans have been taking bakery jobs in Belgium.


 

[quote=JohnD]

Nice one D-man,

so whats the result of the study re flour type and geographic location?

Its interesting that a scientific study like this ratifies the sensory study...everybody who makes sourdough uses flour water and salt....but one of the really fascinating things is that these breads can vary quite a lot,and technique is not the only answer...the   "terroir" or growing environment of both grain and cultures and the variations in grains accounts for a lot of it.Ed Wood found quite a few different cultures as he travelled ,mainly he talks about dominant yeast pairs and the varying rates at which different s/d yeast combos activate.He has a Russian starter which he reckons activates twice as fast as other sourdoughs.It makes sense that an inherently natural product such as genuine sourdough bread  would reflect the dynamism of nature....and thats quite a bit more interesting than yeast bread can be.

or.....drooling San Franciscans have been taking bakery jobs in Belgium.

[/quote]

The main findings suggest the following;

Large differences in species compposition were found excepting different samples from the same bakery which exhibited similar population qualities and quantities. The species found were consistent with wheat sourdoughs from other geographical locations in Europe.
[quote][i]Consistent with the results of other European sourdough biodiversity studies, heterofermentative species appear to dominate the microbiota of Belgian type I sourdoughs (6, 9, 14, 36), although complex associations of homo- and heterofermentative strains were found in 12 of the 21 sourdoughs. All Belgian sourdough samples were dominated by one or more of the heterofermentative species L. paralimentarius, L. sanfranciscensis, L. plantarum, and L. pontis. The relative dominance of L. sanfranciscensis in type I sourdoughs has been ascribed to environmental conditions during sourdough fermentation (6, 8, 27, 37). In contrast to these studies, in which the frequent association of L. sanfranciscensis and L. plantarum is reported, we detected both species in only 2 of the 21 Belgian sourdoughs. Likewise, Corsetti et al. (6) suggested an association of L. sanfranciscensis and L. alimentarius in Italian wheat sourdoughs, but no members of the latter species were found in the present study. However, the closely related L. paralimentarius (3) is common to traditional Greek wheat sourdoughs (9) and was isolated from 10 Belgian sourdoughs produced at six different bakeries. In addition, our results suggest that the copresence of L. sanfranciscensis and L. paralimentarius in Belgian sourdough samples is negatively correlated. Interestingly, the negative effect of L. paralimentarius on L. sanfranciscensis growth has been previously reported (25). Another characteristic of Belgian sourdoughs is the presence of the obligate heterofermentative species L. pontis, which is frequently isolated from European sourdoughs (37, 38) and was found in 9 of the 21 Belgian sourdoughs sampled. However, L. pontis has been isolated from pig intestines as well, indicating that L. pontis is not associated only with sourdough (18)[/i][/quote]
However, they state that although "...type of flour, process technology, and other factors strongly influence the composition of sourdough microbiota.." they found bakery environment rather than flour type was more influential in composition. There were a couple of exceptions which they think could be the result of "arbitrary colony selection".

This is probably the conclusion in a nutshell [quote][i]These results may indicate that the “in-house microbiota” of the bakery setting largely determines the microbial diversity in sourdoughs.[/i][/quote]


That conclusion sounds correct.

It also illustrates that if you import a culture, afer a few refreshments it becomes your local culture whatever it started with.

 

I do think your definition is wrong.  Many people make good sourdough using different culture methods, and ingredients, where the main rising elements is the sourdough culture

Even Prof Cavel praised mixed doughs.

 

[quote=jacklang]

That conclusion sounds correct.

It also illustrates that if you import a culture, afer a few refreshments it becomes your local culture whatever it started with.

I do think your definition is wrong.  Many people make good sourdough using different culture methods, and ingredients, where the main rising elements is the sourdough culture

Even Prof Cavel praised mixed doughs.
[/quote]


Jack,

I don't question whether "mixed doughs" deserve "praise", that's not the issue. What I'm trying to do is assist this board to produce one (1) classification of "sourdough leaven bread" as a benchmark, and focus on it sharply. To describe its make-up, and its attributes if you like. Not produce a broad category that allows everything claiming to be sourdough in the front door. Surely we agree that would be pointless.

As I mentioned earlier, other classifications of other breads will be following, and at that time I'll be focusing sharply on those.  At that time I trust, and would be delighted, to have you say plenty about them also.

However, at this point, and on this current point of classification, you "...think my definition is wrong." That's fine, but I hope you don't think I'm being presumptuous if I say that so far, your objections have missed the mark!

I entirely support your objective.

As I said before I think the definition

Sourdough is where the main leavening is the fermentation of yeasts and lactobacillus in a symbiotic relationship.

is sufficient.  Can we agreee this as a base definition, and then argue as to any other words or phrases you think required?

IMHO adding anything else just adds confusion. The culture is not usuallly endemic - you don't wait for each batch of dough to spontaneously ferment, but add a starter.  There may not be (but likely are) more than one yeast.

Adding enhancers such as ascorbic acid (which mostly affects the gluten cross linking rather than the fermentation process) does not stop the bread being sourdough, provided the main leavening is as above. If I add currants, sugar, spices and fat to make  hot cross buns to pick a seasonable example,  they are  sourdough hot cross buns.  Crumpets, made with sourdough insted of yeast but where some bicarbonate is added, are  sourdough crumpets...hmm with snow outside I must make some for tea. (formula here http://sourdough.com.au/?q=forum/topic/1234)

I prefer the term "leavening" or "rising" to "aeration" or "carbonation" - the last two make me think of fizzy drinks.

I'm more interesed in a consistent naming scheme for the various stages of breadmaking,

[quote=jacklang]

I entirely support your objective.

As I said before I think the definition

Sourdough is where the main leavening is the fermentation of yeasts and lactobacillus in a symbiotic relationship.

is sufficient.  Can we agreee this as a base definition, ... [/quote]

I can't agree to this because it leaves the door open for "mixed doughs" and/or the use of bakers yeast, which is precisely what I think this type of bread classification is to exclude. The heart of the matter is to discriminate between them, not combine them.

[quote=jacklang].......and then argue as to any other words or phrases you think required?

IMHO adding anything else just adds confusion. The culture is not usuallly endemic - you don't wait for each batch of dough to spontaneously ferment, but add a starter.  There may not be (but likely are) more than one yeast.[/quote]

Confusion? I think the opposite; it adds clarity! Recall the exercise is to be specific, but lets sidestep the unnecessary quibbling. I reiterate there will be other classifications to follow.

The definition of "starter" in the above table:

[i][b]"A small portion of mature sourdough used to inoculate or "start" a larger  batch of flour and water referred to as "sourdough or leaven".......[/b][/i]

The definition of "sourdough leaven" in the table above:


[i] [b]"A portion of the total bread dough flour weight inoculated by a starter to form a mature dough of endemic flora - including but not limited to: lactobacillus, and endemic yeasts .........[/b][/i]

It seems to be consistent, perhaps to refine or improve the definition of starter it should include the words "......of endemic flora" also. Of course endemic flora will include more than one yeast species and several lactobacilli species.

Perhaps a compromise could be that this classification may require a further descriptor such as "[artisan] sourdough leaven bread" as distinct from "[insert appropriate descriptor] sourdough leaven bread". The endemic flora are present in the starter, sourdough, and bread dough as the only fermentation by virtue of the fact that the baker has deliberately excluded adding bakers yeast, yeasted sponges, or even commercial starters.

[quote=jacklang]

Adding enhancers such as ascorbic acid (which mostly affects the gluten cross linking rather than the fermentation process) does not stop the bread being sourdough, provided the main leavening is as above. [/quote]

As you say ascorbic is used to increase the quantity of sulphur bridges between gluten strands, but it's not needed, nor is it consistent with a "natural" or "unadulterated" image that sourdough leaven bread commands. A line must be drawn somewhere to give distinction, this is where it's appropriate to draw that line. Your objection that it "affects......rather than the fermentation process" is naive; everything added, especially acid salts affect fermentation. Its affect on lactobacillus fermentation in bread dough has not been the concern of detailed research but its presence means it's no longer the same, it's something different!

[quote=jacklang]If I add currants, sugar, spices and fat to make  hot cross buns to pick a seasonable example,  they are sourdough hot cross buns.  Crumpets, made with sourdough insted of yeast but where some bicarbonate is added, are sourdough crumpets...hmm with snow outside I must make some for tea. (formula here http://sourdough.com.au/?q=forum/topic/1234)

I prefer the term "leavening" or "rising" to "aeration" or "carbonation" - the last two make me think of fizzy drinks.

I'm more interesed in a consistent naming scheme for the various stages of breadmaking,[/quote]

There's no arguement that if sourdough is added to those prodcuts that sourdough is present, but that doesn't make them quintessentially "sourdough leaven bread" it makes them "crumpets ... [with] sourdough" ............ "Hot X buns .... [with] sourdough" they are known as "crumpets...."  "hot X buns ....." it's not the aeration method that's central to their identity but the defining features those names evoke that we've come to know and expect.

This attempt is to define the quintessential sourdough bread, only!

In Australia the term "aeration" is quiet acceptable trade language, (I should know) but it's less important, therefore not worth quibbling over.

of being a sourdough nazi. I have nothing against bakers yeast; I use it all the time in my [yeasted] products!

Maybe this was already said, but can't the sourdough this thread is attempting to define be called tradtional sourdough, thereby excluding by defintion dough/gluten conditioners but not excluding things that enrich the dough like butter, oil, raisins etc.  These enrichments would have been part of traditional naturally leavened breads at different times of the years; like panetone, etc.  By adding the term traditional in front, one excludes the modern add on like asorbic acid, etc that one finds in "artisanal" bread bases.

I think we have to agree to disagree. They are not crumpets with sourdough,  to most people they are sourdough crumpets, and similarly not Hot cross buns with sourdough but sourdough hot cross buns. I am trying to get generally accepted terms.

I used "main" in the definition since in normal practice most dough will have a small amount of "endemic" bakers yeast (s. cerevisiae) just from the flour or from cross contamination in the bakery. I think it unrealistic to exclude it. It is reasonable to specify it plays little part in the leavening, so that mixed doughs are excluded. Do we have to define levels? Does the presence of say one tenth, or one hundreth or one thousandths of the level of other yeasts disqualify the dough as sourdough? Or should that be one hundred thousandths, the level used in other contexts for safe levels of pathogens in food. Few bakeries are that sterile.

Sourdough describes the final dough, thats why it has dough in the word. Its a type of dough. Not a sponge or a preferment. By implication it also describes the leavening method.  Your use of the the term in "A small portion of mature sourdough used to inoculate.." is not entirely correct, as it would imply use of the final dough. A I understand it, its the preferement not the final dough that you use, and a seperately maintained culture that I and others use. Not a dough, and hence not a sourdough.

Again, the flora is not endemic but introduced by the innoculation.  It may once have been endemic in some dough perhaps thousands of miles away and many years ago, but not now, and not in the dough the baker is about to introduce it to. It could theoretically be made up from pure laboratory strains.

Artisan means made by a skilled manual worker. It is not a definition of fermentation, You might (but I hope not) restrict "Artisan bread" to bread hand kneaded and made without machinery, but that way madness lies  Where do you stop? hand ground flour, hand cultivated wheat etc. Use a different prefix, such as "Danubian Sourdough Leavan Bread" and you can define that term however you like

I'm unclear why you believe ascorbic acid to be unnatural - its present in virtually all fruit and vegetables, or even why you believe it to be an adulterant.


The problem with your posting is that you havent read all the preceeding discussion and assimilated it, you just fire off your own rhetoric every time, and your own eccentric decisions about what a word means...if "sourdough" only means the "dough" well you are about the only person who thinks that...i guess the SF`s should just call their bread "sourbread" then?

Ive clearly pointed out in the discussions on vit C that the form being used IS NOT NATURAL....IT IS AN ANALOG, as are all vitC pills....it is not the same vit C found in parsley etc...and i have outlined natural forms of it and ways to use them.

Further ,to argue that vit C ONLY affects the gluten structure in a dough,is more than naive,it is really ignorant...vit C is a primary nutrient and antioxidant, a co-factor in numerous biological reactions and involved in the biosynthesis of amino acids,as it is in structural tissue (cell wall integrity etc).And dont forget Vit C`s role in actually preventing bacterial replication.

The end point of the way you are carrying this discussion is that anybody can call anything they like..."sourdough"...which is the present situation,and is really unhelpful...what part of this dont you understand?...this is an attempt to define the classic/traditional/unaugmented sourdough for the purpose of having a benchmark.....all of your vitc and pus added doughs can then be seen in distinction to the benchmark....ok call them "sourdough crumpets", what we are talking about is the "Sourdough" bit, not the fucking crumpet ....you are basically plotting a case for the deconstruction of terminology because everything "may" or "might" be defined however we feel at that time.....and that really everything is so "dependant-arising" that classification is useless....which is fine in philosophy,but not much help to Mrs Briggs as she tries to buy an authentic sourdough for her diabetic child.


 

[quote=jacklang]

I think we have to agree to disagree. They are not crumpets with sourdough,  to most people they are sourdough crumpets, and similarly not Hot cross buns with sourdough but sourdough hot cross buns. I am trying to get generally accepted terms.

I used "main" in the definition since in normal practice most dough will have a small amount of "endemic" bakers yeast (s. cerevisiae) just from the flour or from cross contamination in the bakery. I think it unrealistic to exclude it. It is reasonable to specify it plays little part in the leavening, so that mixed doughs are excluded. Do we have to define levels? Does the presence of say one tenth, or one hundreth or one thousandths of the level of other yeasts disqualify the dough as sourdough? Or should that be one hundred thousandths, the level used in other contexts for safe levels of pathogens in food. Few bakeries are that sterile.

Sourdough describes the final dough, thats why it has dough in the word. Its a type of dough. Not a sponge or a preferment. By implication it also describes the leavening method.  Your use of the the term in "A small portion of mature sourdough used to inoculate.." is not entirely correct, as it would imply use of the final dough. A I understand it, its the preferement not the final dough that you use, and a seperately maintained culture that I and others use. Not a dough, and hence not a sourdough.

Again, the flora is not endemic but introduced by the innoculation.  It may once have been endemic in some dough perhaps thousands of miles away and many years ago, but not now, and not in the dough the baker is about to introduce it to. It could theoretically be made up from pure laboratory strains.

Artisan means made by a skilled manual worker. It is not a definition of fermentation, You might (but I hope not) restrict "Artisan bread" to bread hand kneaded and made without machinery, but that way madness lies  Where do you stop? hand ground flour, hand cultivated wheat etc. Use a different prefix, such as "Danubian Sourdough Leavan Bread" and you can define that term however you like

I'm unclear why you believe ascorbic acid to be unnatural - its present in virtually all fruit and vegetables, or even why you believe it to be an adulterant.


[/quote]

But why would ascorbic acid be natural to bread, what is bread, water, flour, salt?
[quote=jacklang]

I think we have to agree to disagree.

I used "main" in the definition since in normal practice most dough will have a small amount of "endemic" bakers yeast (s. cerevisiae) just from the flour or from cross contamination in the bakery. I think it unrealistic to exclude it. It is reasonable to specify it plays little part in the leavening, so that mixed doughs are excluded. Do we have to define levels? Does the presence of say one tenth, or one hundredth or one thousandths of the level of other yeasts disqualify the dough as sourdough? Or should that be one hundred thousandths, the level used in other contexts for safe levels of pathogens in food. Few bakeries are that sterile.

Sourdough describes the final dough, thats why it has dough in the word. Its a type of dough. Not a sponge or a preferment. By implication it also describes the leavening method.  Your use of the the term in "A small portion of mature sourdough used to inoculate.." is not entirely correct, as it would imply use of the final dough. A I understand it, its the preferment not the final dough that you use, and a separately maintained culture that I and others use. Not a dough, and hence not a sourdough.

Again, the flora is not endemic but introduced by the inoculation.  It may once have been endemic in some dough perhaps thousands of miles away and many years ago, but not now, and not in the dough the baker is about to introduce it to. It could theoretically be made up from pure laboratory strains.

Artisan means made by a skilled manual worker. It is not a definition of fermentation, You might (but I hope not) restrict "Artisan bread" to bread hand kneaded and made without machinery, but that way madness lies  Where do you stop? hand ground flour, hand cultivated wheat etc. Use a different prefix, such as "Danubian Sourdough Leavan Bread" and you can define that term however you like

I'm unclear why you believe ascorbic acid to be unnatural - its present in virtually all fruit and vegetables, or even why you believe it to be an adulterant.[/quote]

We do disagree, Jack.

Ascorbic acid addition to bread dough to reduce fermentation time etc etc is central to the Chorleywood Bread Process. The research was done at Chorleywood and perfected for that method, so let it be. It has no place in 'artisan' baking.

Artisan, which not only refers to hand-made, but in the public eye it also implies unadulterated, unaugmented with additives etc. so I can't abide by your suggestion.

Again, no need to argue over the defined levels if the baker doesn't add bakers yeast at all. S. cerevisiae endemic to the starter, sourdough, or bread dough are endemic, so its a non sequitur.

Yes, I agree to disagree!


 

[quote=jacklang]...[snip]...

I'm unclear why you believe ascorbic acid to be unnatural - it's present in virtually all fruit and vegetables, or even why you believe it to be an adulterant.

[/quote]

After googling and reading over a dozen sources, I learned that ascorbic acid is indeed synthetic and is not 'simply' = Vitamin C. Quoted from this source:

[quote]Take Vitamin C, for example. The FDA has allowed ascorbic acid to be called Vitamin C. Ascorbic acid, however, is the anti-oxidant protector of the Vitamin C complex, much like the eggshell that protects the egg. The C complex consists of Vitamin P, J and K. Most people have not even heard of vitamins P or J. Vitamin J carries the oxygen and vitamin P is the anti-fragility factor. There is another element in whole food vitamin C called terrosenase, which is a copper enzyme. It is needed to make hemoglobin and prevents anemia. Ascorbic acid, on the other hand, is this chemical teased-out portion which is deficient in all these co-factors and will never have the effect that vitamin C has. It has no effect on the common cold or other conditions that vitamin C has. Studies show that people who eat a diet rich in vitamin C do much better than those taking ascorbic acid. In fact, the body has an enzyme that gets rid of ascorbic acid. Nature knew that we needed the egg and not the eggshell.[/quote]


IF ascorbic acid = synthetic, THEN synthetic is NOT = artisan, and has no place in Pure/Artisanal/Traditional* Sourdough. Of course, you can always add it to your sourdough bread and even call it sourdough. My 2 sen.

* Note the keywords.

Perhaps, Dman, it's time for some sort of poll (anonymous, if possible) to investigate how sourdough is viewed by a wider audience.

TP, unprejudiced, but would like to be as clear as clear can be.


[quote=TeckPoh]
Perhaps, Dman, it's time for some sort of poll (anonymous, if possible) to investigate how sourdough is viewed by a wider audience.
[/quote]

Thanks, TP. Maedi will have to show us the way to that. Maedi, is there a polll option on this site where people can vote anonymously? if so how do we set that up?

I'd think it should be conducted in such a way that records the numbers, prevents a second vote, and keeps it anonymous.

Any other ideas welcome. John, would you like to add anything before we vote?


Yes, click "Create Content" at the top and you should see an option to create a poll. You could create a forum topic and link to it, one day I think the polls will be apart of the forum. The poll  prevents second votes etc. and keeps it anonymous.

I'm not sure why you think synthetic is necessarily bad.  Its a bit like the muck and magic school of gardening. Next you will tell us that sourdough has to be mixed only widdershins, or by the light of the waxing moon, or under blue pyramidal covers. Unless you are going to eat only raw unwashed food, then all food is processed and to that extent unnatural.

In terms of the keywords above:

Pure - synthetic chemicals are purer than natural sources,

Artisanal - means made by hand. It does not mean quality or natural

Traditional - For many the Chorleywood process "Mothers Pride" and the like is the traditional bread of their youth. Mechanical dough development systems go back to at least the 1920s, with the Chorleywood process developed by BBIRA in the early 60s, over 40 years ago, and designed to make the popular bread of the time, witha fine, even crumb. You can make a crumb with large uneven cells with the Chorleywood process by adjusting the process parameters, for example increasing the bulk fermentation time. In contrast, widespread availability of sourdough, except for some german ryes is recent. Even in San Franciso the sourdough revival is comparatively recent, with  Acme Bread only going back to 1983."Traditional" is one of those words that has been subverted in advertising speak, and often means adulterated, such as "traditional sausages" (example: http://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk/cgi-local/frameset/detail/266038_Fry_s_Traditional_Sausages__8___500g.html).

 

A poll is a good idea

[quote=JohnD]Looks good D-man,im getting out my nitting kneadles.
[/quote]

I trust you've still got you kneadles poised; I'm sure you could put some crittical finishing touches to this bun in the oven! Anything?

.bump.

I've been looking on the web at what other people put in their sourdough.
Often it's hard to find. Statements like "made from the finest organic unbleached flour, water and salt" tell only half the story.

The fine print on, for example La Brea Bakery says
"UNBLEACHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR), WATER, SOUR CULTURE, contains less than 2% of each of the following: SALT, WHEAT GERM, SEMOLINA, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID, FERROUS SULFATE. "



This comment has been moved here.

DRAFT


Function My adopted terms Definition
Inoculating culture Starter A small portion of mature sourdough used to inoculate or "start" a larger  batch of flour and water referred to as "sourdough or leaven". At maturity the original weight of "starter" is removed to inoculate or start the next sourdough or leaven, hence it is not included in the yield calculations.
Inoculating dough
Sourdough leaven
A portion of the total bread dough flour weight inoculated by a starter to form a mature dough of endemic flora - including but not limited to: lactobacillus, and endemic yeasts - used to aerate and produce bread dough maturity. Sourdough leaven can be a single stage fermentation or multiple stage fermentation to maturity.
Bread dough
Sourdough Leaven Bread dough       

A dough containing all the final ingredients, including but not limited to: sourdough leaven, that is used as the final dough in the bread making process. This dough is baked to form bread.

The process:

fermentation
Sourdough leaven fermentation the process of fermenting sourdough leaven is initiated by a polyculture in a natural symbiosis of endemic origin. Typically a mix of lactobacillus and sourdough leaven yeasts. Bakers yeast strains are not deemed typical nor included.


The product Sourdough Leaven Bread Bread of sourdough leaven; does not include any other fermentation other than the endemic polyculture of sourdough leaven from the first to the final stage until entry into the oven.


 

I'm about to post a poll to gauge the level of support or disdain for the DRAFT terms and definitions.

This draft is the only proposal that the contributors of this thread have posted. There have been some objections to various parts of this draft but there has been no other alternative emerge amist those objections. This may mean the draft proposal has widespread acceptance, or it may mean its being shunned. But we won't know unless the question is asked. On that basis I put forward a poll the determine where the members stand on this. This poll will be open to members for 2 weeks. At the end of this period no more votes can be registered.

Please take the time to read the thread content so the objections can also be considered. Thank you for participating. You can find the poll here:[url=http://sourdough.com.au/?q=i-consider-draft-proposal-sourdough-baking-terms-and-definitions-are-best-described-following-way%3B#comment-9393]POLL[/url] 
AArgh!

I disagree with almost all your terms.
I insist for fairness you put my alternative definitions, and let people vote on a term by term basis.


For the avoidance of doubt I repeat my definitions below (TP: can you sort out the formating please. DONE/TP)


Function Jack's adopted terms Definition
Stored culture

Process








Inoculating culture
Mother

Leaven



Sourdough leaven



Starter
The stored sourdough culture

Leaven is a general term for a raising agent (leavening).


Sourdough leaven is a raising agent whose main action is the fermentation of a symbiosis of lactobacillus and acid tolerant maltose negative yeasts

A small portion of sourdough culture used to inoculate or "start" a larger  batch of flour and water.

Inoculating dough
Sponge or preferment





Aceto Biga


Poolish naturale
Flour and water inoculated and fermented with culture, usually to be incorporated into the final dough. The term can be preceded with "sourdough" to make clear that the culture is a sourdough culture

A stiff sourdough preferment (50% hydration)

A wet sourdough preferment (100% hydration)


Bread dough

Final dough       

A dough containing all the ingredients that is used as the final dough in the bread making process. This dough is baked to form bread.

The product Sourdough 
Term indicating the product does not include any fermentation other than sourdough leaven

Sourdough Bread Bread whose leavening agent is sourdough leaven

 


I asked a week ago for input and there was deathly silence, but now all of a sudden after I posted a poll you want it changed?!

We could conduct a poll on the whether the poll was appropriately constructed?? Lol

Ok, Jack, lets ask the floor - if there's anyone left out there; this could be a yawn to most except us for all we know - what they think.

The proposal now forwarded is that a poll be conducted on each individual term, a "term by term basis". Further, to use Jacks terms and definitions as alternatives.


Alternatively we could wait for this poll to finish and then conduct one on Jacks alternate set.

Don't be timid, speak up....how do you say?

Boris,
I say aye!
[quote=Danubian]

1. The proposal now forwarded is that a poll be conducted on each individual term, a "term by term basis". Further, to use Jack's terms and definitions as alternatives.

OR,


2. Alternatively we could wait for this poll to finish and then conduct one on Jacks alternate set.

[/quote]


We should vote on the original and then take it from there. We can then discuss the merit  of each additional term one by one and then vote on it.  The first draft is strong overall and if tweaking is deemed necessary, then it can be done under the umbrella of the first proposal.  The endemic stuff is essential and must stay.  Otherwise what's the point if a door is left open to premade and/or commercially derived sourdough starters.  I think there's a philosophical issue and play here.  At least that's how I reading it.  I'm for this -

2. Alternatively we could wait for this poll to finish and then conduct one on Jacks alternate set.


Let's continue with the current poll...I'm curious to see the results...then, play from there, as suggested, have a poll with Jack's terms after this. I'm sure this isn't a Poll to End All Polls (good one, Boris, lol). With the forum growing, and, hopefully, more participation, a new poll could be conducted as an update of opinions.


Yeah, maybe we could keep the poll alive indefinely, like a good leaven.  Smiley.

Tony
[quote=jacklang]AArgh!

I disagree with almost all your terms.
I insist for fairness you put my alternative definitions, and let people vote on a term by term basis.


For the avoidance of doubt I repeat my definitions below (TP: can you sort out the formating please. DONE/TP)


Function Jack's adopted terms Definition
Stored culture

Process








Inoculating culture
Mother

Leaven



Sourdough leaven




Starter
The stored sourdough culture

Leaven is a general term for a raising agent (leavening).


Sourdough leaven is a raising agent whose main action is the fermentation of a symbiosis of lactobacillus and acid tolerant maltose negative yeasts

A small portion of sourdough culture used to inoculate or "start" a larger  batch of flour and water.

Inoculating dough
Sponge or preferment







Aceto Biga





Poolish naturale
Flour and water inoculated and fermented with culture[shouldn't you use the word "starter" to denote the connection between the previous step and this one?], usually to be incorporated into the final dough. The term can be preceded with "sourdough" to make clear that the culture is a sourdough culture

A stiff sourdough preferment (50% hydration)
[and what do we call a 70% hydration sourdough, "Biglish"? these terms, "Biga & Poolish" are unhelpful as they don't clarify but continue the confusion, besides, we agreed to stay with English]
A wet sourdough preferment (100% hydration)[perviously mentioned this is a yeasted batter term, but what of 150% etc? sourdough can have varying hydrations but "Poolish" is known exclusively as the 100 percenter. Using this term doesn't provide clarity but confuses the issue further]


Bread dough

Final dough
As it stands here this term is a generic term which can be used in reference to any bread dough, but the idea was to use specific terms for 'sourdough' to add distinction.    

A dough containing all the ingredients that is used as the final dough in the bread making process. This dough is baked to form bread.

The product Sourdough 
Term indicating the product does not include any fermentation other than sourdough leaven [anything else it shouldn't include?]

Sourdough Bread Bread whose leavening agent is sourdough leaven
[again, anything else it shouldn't include?]
[/quote]

BTW I negelected to include in my table the very important distinction that 'sourdough' bread should not contain any augmenting ingredient/s such as ascorbic acid, sodium meta-bisulphite, or emulsifers, etc. I must include it in the 'term and definition' blow by blow poll!
1. Starter
The problem is that the term "Starter" is used by different people to apply to different things
- the stored culture
- the inoculum
- the preferment (first elaboration)

I'd be happy with any of them, and yes can certainly change the definition of sponge or preferment (or even starter) to
Flour and water inoculated and fermented with starter culture usually to be incorporated into the final dough. The term can be preceded with "sourdough" to make clear that the culture is a sourdough culture.

I'd be happy replacing the term "mother" with "starter" for the stored culture.

2. Percentages
Happy to omit the exact percentages in the definitions of "aceto biga" or "poolish naturale", or indicate the percentages are just the examples as they were intended to be.

3. Sourdough final dough
I agree final dough is a generic term. Maybe we should add a line

Sourdough final dough   A final dough whose leavening agent is sourdough culture

4. I prefer an inclusive definition of sourdough.

Purity ("Bread shall contain only flour water salt and starter") is I think a seperate debate and qualifying term from "Sourdough"
"Pure sourdough" if you like.
Providing the main leavening agent is a sourdough culture, I don't think anything else added disqualifies it as sourdough.

I therefore disagree with you saying
"BTW I negelected to include in my table the very important distinction that 'sourdough' bread should not contain any augmenting ingredient/s such as ascorbic acid, sodium meta-bisulphite, or emulsifers, etc. I must include it in the 'term and definition' blow by blow poll!"

In particular spelt sourdough is greatly helped by vitamin C.
You may want to declare it on the label, and some folk may not eat it, but it doesn't stop it being sourdough, anymore than adding malt amylase or vital gluten or a hard fat or glazing with egg wash or sprinkling it with sesame seeds does.

My comment in red.

[quote=jacklang]1. Starter
The problem is that the term "Starter" is used by different people to apply to different things
- the stored culture yes, agreed.
- the inoculum yes, agreed again.
- the preferment (first elaboration) this isn't really applicable to starter, it's the first part of the sourdough leaven.

Sure, plenty of bakers and ring-ins have misused language and now there's a lack of precision. Our aim is to bring it to a point where it posseses precision, again, not mimic the confusion because others do.

I'd be happy with any of them, and yes can certainly change the definition of sponge or preferment (or even starter) to
Flour and water inoculated and fermented with starter culture usually to be incorporated into the final dough. The term can be preceded with "sourdough" to make clear that the culture is a sourdough culture.

I'd be happy replacing the term "mother" with "starter" for the stored culture.
I wouldn't be happy if you didn't!

2. Percentages
Happy to omit the exact percentages in the definitions of "aceto biga" or "poolish naturale", or indicate the percentages are just the examples as they were intended to be.

Omit the terms entirely; they confuse! Poolish is a yeast term and technology, and we are not just documenting what bakers and others have said in the past but we are attempting to shape the language for the future.

3. Sourdough final dough
I agree final dough is a generic term. Maybe we should add a line

Sourdough final dough   A final dough whose leavening agent is sourdough culture

4. I prefer an inclusive definition of sourdough. I don't; I'm trying to bring distinction to different classes of bread so they can be seen clearly as unique rather than trying to include as much as possible under one classification. But you know that already.

Purity ("Bread shall contain only flour water salt and starter") is I think a seperate debate and qualifying term from "Sourdough"
"Pure sourdough" if you like.
Providing the main leavening agent is a sourdough culture, I don't think anything else added disqualifies it as sourdough. Using the word "main" is problematic because you deem the issue of ingredient inclusion/exclusion as a seperate issue which would then allow deliberate additions for other ferments provided they are considered 'secondary'. The language must be robust and clear. If S cerevisiae of endemic origin occurs then it has no bearing because its endemic. If smalll amounts are added by way of sponge or directly they may be considered secondary therefore still permissable, which I can't accept. For other bread classifications this should be looked at and defined but should be excluded from this one, it's exclusive.

I therefore disagree with you saying
"BTW I negelected to include in my table the very important distinction that 'sourdough' bread should not contain any augmenting ingredient/s such as ascorbic acid, sodium meta-bisulphite, or emulsifers, etc. I must include it in the 'term and definition' blow by blow poll!"

The issue of what constitutes "sourdough leaven bread" is central to the whole exercise. You're happy with "providing the main leavening agent......." which is a tame attempt at defining a limited constitution to sourdough bread. But you then declare any other inclusion doesn't disqualify it as "sourdough" But why make this the only distinction?  The sum of the parts do not always equal the whole.

Sourdough is [more] than lactics and maltose negative yeasts in symbiosis. It includes the biochemical transformation of proteins and swelling pentosans, etc. by those sourdough flora. Sourdough leaven bread is the [domain] of sourdough flora, not just on the basis of its gas producing (aeration, leavening) but also its transforming effect on a micro and macro level. It must be unaugmented, free of intrusive synthetic compounds that some consider are needed for sourdough leaven bread even if "greatly helped by [sic] vitamin C." Sourdough must be allowed to replace these synthetic enhancers and complete its full role in transforming grain into bread in every sense, not just 'produce gas', or 'flavour' the bread by its prsesnce but [displace] ascorbic acid, sodium meta-bisulphite, etc.

In particular spelt sourdough is greatly helped by vitamin C. Using the term "vitamin C" rather than "ascorbic acid" perpetuates the myth that it's not synthetic but 'natural'!
You may want to declare it on the label, and some folk may not eat it, but it doesn't stop it being sourdough, anymore than adding malt amylase or vital gluten or a hard fat or glazing with egg wash or sprinkling it with sesame seeds does.

You mistakenly assign ascorbic acid with the same innocuos role as eggwash, sesame seeds, etc? shows your ignorance of the qualitative difference. See above.

[/quote]


I see you are of the "muck and magic" school, where something is "natural" it must be OK, and something synthetic is not, despite that the natural has had unnatural manipulation, and the artificial may be nature identical. Just how much manipulation makes it not OK is unclear. Is the use of a dried and processed sourdough culture OK? What if that culture is grown in an synthetic medium, or the flour used comes from non-organic or worse genetically modified wheat?

I profoundly disagree with trying to overburden the term "sourdough" with implications of "natural" or "organic". By all means qualify the term "natural sourdough" or "organic sourdough", but not sourdough itself.

Swelling of pentosans etc is because of the acid environment, and nothing to do with the "natural" origin. There may be a case for defining the the pH of the dough to count as sourdough. How sour is sourdough? pH 4.5? Although I can make a non-acid naturally leavened bread.

OK for the sake of progress I am happy to:

replace "mother" with "starter"
delete "biga" and "poolish" for now, although I find them useful terms
delete "main" from the definition of sourdough
Add a pH requirement.

The definition of "sourdough" would now be
Sourdough is where the leavening agent is a symbiosis of lactobacillus and maltose negative yeasts, and the final dough has a pH of 4.5 or less.

Add a new term "natural sourdough"
Natural sourdough is a sourdough where the dough contains no synthetic ingredients.

I think that covers all your points