Starter Questions

If the recipe calls for 3 cups of starter and I've got 1 cup of cold starter in the fridge whats is the best way to get it to 3 cups keeping the acid level up.
If i just put the fridge starter in a bowel and add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of flour and wait 6 hours is that OK? will the acidic and yeast balance be OK. Room temperature is around 25 degress celcious.

23 comments

[quote="black dog"]
i have often (well for the last 6 months anyway) wondered about the health benefits of eating raw starters. I guess it would be the same as eating these new pro-biotic yoghurts. Has anyone read about or tried doing this? Are they alive to tell the tale?
[/quote]

I think this whole healthy stuff (joghurt or starter) will end right in your stomach when the acid hits the poor bacilli!

Laughing

I cannot imagine that much gets through that acid bath alive.

Confused

You've seen Mick's oversized bread.


or bake him...

Wink


lol, dont think he would fit in the oven

never tasted it, always give it a sniff. Personally i would have to blend it with some kind of flavouring i think.

My dog, on the other hand got stuck into some i put in the bin, i came back last night to find him covered in an off white bubbling goo, his head looks like the inverse of a dalmation. Cant get it out of his fur so will have to chuck him in the river

alex

There's been some discussion about the benefits of LAB in the bbga mailing list. A very lengthy discussion. I'll just quote Jack from 2 of his recent posts:

29.3.07
[quote]
As it happens I had my sourdough culture tested a while ago by

http://www.cambridgetheranostics.co.uk/.

It showed strong anti-bacterial properties, as you might expect. They theorised it would show general health benefits, and protection from ulcers, heart disease etc. However the difficulty is the delivery mechanism, since the LAB is mostly killed during baking,
I guess you might get some benefits eating raw sourdough or culture, but
yogurt is tastier...
[/quote]

4.4.07
[quote]
You need to distinguish between pro-biotic activity, typically the ingestion
of live LAB that in the gut out-compete , and are active against other,
possibly harmful bacteria, and pre-biotic substances, such as complex
carbohydrates that act as food and growth promoters for particular desirable
gut organisms, and that may have been excreted by the LAB.

Although most LAB are killed in the baking process, normal contamination in
a bakery making sourdough will ensure there are some present, and one could
consider deliberately adding some to a "health" bread, for example by
painting the baked, cooled loaf with dilute starter.

M Antonia Martinez-Anaya in "Association and Interactions of Micro-organism
in Dough Fermentations" chapter in Handbook of Dough Fermentations (Kulep
and Lorenz 2003) p89 states
"Lactobacilli may possess antimicrobial properties that facilitate their
coexistence with other microbial populations, and may account for the
predominance of a determined bacteria and for the microbial stability of
sourdough. Bacteriocins (proteins with bacterial activity directed against
species usually closely related to the producer bacterium) are common
amongst lactic acid bacteria, and several have been described as produced by
L. Plantarum [ref]. L.sanfranciscensis also has some antibacterial
properties, which are considered active toward B. Subtilis but not against
sourdough yeast and molds [ref]. Two bacteriophages active against
L.frementun have been isolated from wheat sourdough cuture, and exert an
inhibiting effect on some strains of L.brevis and L.fermentun reducing and
even stopping their fermentative activity"

I think I'll eat a spoonful of starter....

Jack Lang
[/quote]

Ditto, Jack. Starters fine with me, since, lately, I find I'm beginning to be intolerant towards yogurt. Alex, don't you taste your starters? I give my starters a sniff (safer than sniffing glue I hope; I do get some kind of 'high' from the fruity smell) and taste them in various stages of activity. I think I'll taste by the tablespoons now, rather than teaspoonfuls.


Sorry to put my anal scientists hat on for a moment, but i dont think lactobacillus (or yeasts) originated in the human gut, nor any other animals gut for that matter.

It is far more likely that the lactobacillus originated from plants, and via a symbiotic relationship have come to find their home in the guts of humans and other animals. The human gut provides a stable and suitable environment for them, they provide us with the digestive power we need to convert what we eat into a suitable energy source i.e simple sugars.

Taking my hat off, i have often (well for the last 6 months anyway) wondered about the health benefits of eating raw starters. I guess it would be the same as eating these new pro-biotic yoghurts. Has anyone read about or tried doing this? Are they alive to tell the tale?

alex

[quote="TeckPoh"]
[quote="Barry"]
[snip]...
If i just put the fridge starter in a [b]bowel[/b] and add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of flour and wait 6 hours is that OK? will the acidic and yeast balance be OK. Room temperature is around 25 degress celcious.
[/quote]

I've been hearing that sourdough starters have lactobacillus which is good for the gut...so that is definitely OK.

Very Happy

Seriously...what you proposed sounds fine, but, watch for signs of activity, rather than fix a time period for it.[/quote]

TP,

That's hilarious. It seems all that talk on the internet about sourdough lactobacillus/yeasts originating from humans is true. That may be another way of 'rearing' a culture. Then it would not be a rocket science as some seem to make it but purely alimentary.

Tomsbread

[quote="TeckPoh"]
Gosh. You had to give me the idea. As if I haven't got enough to be busy with.
[/quote]

And don't forget millet and oats

Smile

Laughing

Laughing

Cool

[quote="carla"]
You can do the same to make rice, buckwheat, barley, spelt, teff or pea sourdoughs to bake flat-breads of all descriptions!
[/quote]

Gosh. You had to give me the idea. As if I haven't got enough to be busy with.


Good that my answer didn't make it more complicated for you. Some people give up when they read about the different temperatures and times. For others it is a game to find the best spots in their house to make great sourdough and the little bowl gets put on top of the heater or at the back of the fridge where the warm air rises or into the shower/bathroom for the better humidity...

I always think it is easier to maintain a healthy rye sourdough myself. Because it has enough acids as well as the yeast it is not so wont to go moldy or spoil that easily. My yeast sourdough got too mild and yeasty a couple of times resulting in mold growing on it - even in the fridge.

So I always maintain my rye sourdough and if my wheat one is not up to scratch I just use a bit of the rye and put it through three stages and it turns into a good wheat sourdough.

You can do the same to make rice, buckwheat, barley, spelt, teff or pea sourdoughs to bake flat-breads of all descriptions!

Thanks Carla, the information in your post and the other threads has really explained the nature of how the microbes are grown to get the right balance between leaven and acidity, information I have not got from books.
I've been using light rye to maintain my starter and later building the sponge with first wheat then rye.I've had some success with my attempts with some help from many great contriuters to this forum - many thanks. I guess the expansion volumes quoted don't need to be so great if not required but building in stages at the temperatures and for that length of time is crucial.

[quote="Barry"]
Say I needed 6 cups of ferment. Is it ok to go from 1 cup from the fridge to 6.Would this have an effect on the acidity of the dough?
[/quote]

Hi Barry,
I guess your "starter" is made from wheat and is a wheat sourdough? I am more familiar with rye sourdough, but have learned to bake with wheat sourdoughs too now.

In Germany there is a difference between "Sauerteig Fuehrung" and "Sauerteig Vermehrung".
The first term means that you adhere to some proven recipes to keep your sourdough in best shape (like the Detmold stages).
The second term means you just feed your sourdough some flour and water and keep it in any temperature range you happen to have on the day in your kitchen for as long as you feel like it (or how it fits into your day).
I am sure there must be a proper english expression for "Sauerteig Fuehrung", but it has evaded me since years.

The Detmold method of making sourdough rye bread was developed in Germany to develop the different aspects of the rye sourdough cultures - yeast, acetic acid, and lactic acid - as each aspect thrives under different conditions of moistness (hydration), temperature, and duration of ripening.
The sourdough is built up in three stages. The time and temperature requirements of each stage is important in order to obtain the highest-quality results.
There is more about this written [url=http://www.sourdough.com.au/forum//viewtopic.php?f=21&t=276&hilit=][b]here[/b][/url] and [url=http://www.sourdough.com.au/forum//viewtopic.php?f=20&t=311&hilit=][b]here[/b][/url].

For a wheat sourdough you can use a 2-stage process with 1% starter from the fridge:
1. Stage at a hydration of 300, Temp 25°C, for 15 - 20 hours
2. Stage at a hydration of 300, Temp 26 - 27°C, for 3 hours.

Example:
1. Stage: 5g starter plus 500g wheat flour plus 1000g water
2. Stage: The above = 1500g plus 1500g wheat flour plus 3000g water
You then have 6kg of sourdough starter which will make about 16kg of bread dough (with the addition of more flour and water etc.)!

There is also a 5stage wheat sourdough system which was developed in the last war when yeast was often not available. It includes whipping up the very sloppy sourdough for aeration regularly and produces mainly yeasts and is only a little sour.

Hope this helps and doesn't confuse you too much

Laughing

Thanks Roland, definitly good advice and will save a lot of problems in the long run.
And the next step on my baking journey.

Hey Barry,

Not untill you've done SD many times over, will you get a sense just by observing and feeling starters and dough. In the meantime, WEIGH ingredients for consistency.
Profesional Bakers (most of them) weigh their ingredients so why should we, as amateurs, do any different?

Keep notes of what you're doing, so if you get a very good result (or very bad), you know what (not) to do next time.

Happy baking

Roland

Great I'll put it to practice next time. Need to get some scales as I'm feeling in the dark a bit going by cups and estimates, and a thermometer now I'm on that track.

Hey Barry.

This is what I normally do, regardless whether the starter has been in the fridge for less than a week, or for many months

50g Cold Starter, 75g flour, 75g (ml) water; mix well and prove. A recently used starter should normally kick into action and double itself within 6 hours @ 30C or 12hrs @ 20C (but this will vary from starter to starter). The key is, it should be able to double itself. If it doesn't, repeat the sequence by using 50g of the last feed (discard the rest), adding 75 flour + 75 water, until it does! (This way, you don't waste too much flour)

Once you know your culture is nice and active, can you start using larger quantities of flour and water to build up the sponge to the required quantity (make sure you make enough to allow you to keep 100-150g of starter for your next batch.

hth

Happy baking

Roland

what would be the best way taking a week old starter out of the fridge and taking it from roughly 1 cup to 3?

If the starter has been sitting in the fridge unused for more than, say, 3/4 days it will need a couple of feeds to return it to its former glory. It depends if we are talking about overnight in the fridge or several days or more.

Hope I didn't mislead you, Barry - if your starter has not been used for a while, feed it with smaller quantities a few times then jump it to larger quantities.

Pete


Just wondering: I thought it was best to always use active starter. So if there's a cup of starter sitting in the fridge, chances are it won't be very active (right?). So you'd want to pull it out of the fridge and refresh it once (using a small amount of this original starter) to get it active again. And then start refreshing it for use in the dough. Or is Barry's suggestion fine too?
These are just my (beginner's) thoughts. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Jake

Yes, do jump it like that - keep the proportion of flour to water that you feed the ferment with the same though. I doubt it will affect the acidity.

Pete


Say I needed 6 cups of ferment. Is it ok to go from 1 cup from the fridge to 6.Would this have an effect on the acidity of the dough?

[quote="Barry"]
[snip]...
If i just put the fridge starter in a [b]bowel[/b] and add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of flour and wait 6 hours is that OK? will the acidic and yeast balance be OK. Room temperature is around 25 degress celcious.
[/quote]

I've been hearing that sourdough starters have lactobacillus which is good for the gut...so that is definitely OK.

Very Happy

Seriously...what you proposed sounds fine, but, watch for signs of activity, rather than fix a time period for it.