Idea: Australian spit-dough (for the amylase)

jas's picture
jas

Hi All,

I was just learning about amylase after Davo tipped me off about diastatic malt, and the wikipedia article [1] points out that this enzyme is present in saliva. It sounds like Australian white flour is low in this enzyme, which helps to provide sugar for the dough beasties.

I started to wonder whether Australia could become renowned for its rustic spit-dough. A little dribble while mixing could be our secret. It looks like the domain spitdough.com is still available...

Anyway...

Just curious - I've been reading all and sundry lately about how to make sourdough, but I haven't encountered the need for malt so far. My question is, are all you Aussie 'artisans' out there adding a little malt to help things along?

Another thing I picked up is that malted barley is sometimes present in bread improver. I rushed to the pantry to see if my old packet of Lowan bread improver contained this, but no details of ingredients are given. Anybody know?

I'm mainly asking these questions because I like the idea of just sticking to basic ingredients, but will try and obtain some diastatic malt if it's widely regarded as a requirement for white flour.

J.

[1] Wikipedia page on Amylase
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amylase

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Millciti's picture
Millciti 2009 May 6

Sounds like a contaminate to me...:) There would definitely be more than LAB and yeast in your mouth!

Since you are researching malt-check the following blog out...If you haven't already!

http://sourdough.com/forum/malt-flour

And don't miss Debra Wink's link on the Fresh loaf... She is very good at making pretty technical info easier to get.

You know that somehow in the process there is something in there (your dough) digesting and spitting out and er otherwise disposing of, all kinds of stuff on the molecular level. As well as producing Carbon dioxide that makes our bread rise.

But lets just keep it on the visible plane for now...

Terri

jas's picture
jas 2009 May 7

I just mail-ordered some diastatic malt from Queensland just to see. Still uncertain whether it is common practice with Australian flour.

davo 2009 May 7

Jas, Danubian is a pretty well respected SD guru around here, and he's pretty harsh on holding that suplerflous things shouldn't be in SD (vitamin C caused a bit of a stir, I gather) - and he advised me to use diastatic malt...

On the basis that it's a natural grain material that a stoneage guy could produce, I'm happy to use it. If you use a high proportion of wholmeal (wheat or rye), you won't need it.

jas's picture
jas 2009 May 7

Cheers Davo,

Yep - I'm sold after reading around a bit & studying your spreadsheet. I'm definitely shooting for large bubbles, so will give it a go. There's a home baking shop in Burwood Rd that I am hoping to visit tomorrow, and will have a poke around there too to see what they've got.

All I need now is for my starter to begin expanding...

Thanks again.

J.

jas's picture
jas 2009 May 7

@Millciti:

Contaminates can be good. I'm thinking like mould in blue cheese. And there are different sorts of mould, just like there are different kinds of spit...

Here in Australia, the Queenslanders are closer to the equator, and speak kind of slowly, so I figure their spit would add a kind of mellow flavour. It is well established that Melbournites are the most sophisticated, however they can sometimes be abrupt and pushy - the dough would probably be rather sour. Folk from Sydney, well, the dough would just be course, rough, and earthy...

8-P

J.

Millciti's picture
Millciti 2009 May 8

So then JAS, once you successfully can make bread, and you tell your co-workers or family all about your wonderful bread...  Do you really think they will want to try any if you tell them it contains your spit?

If you decide to try it I would keep very very quiet about it.   Heck I have a hard time getting people to try sourdough sometimes just because it is called sour!  

Where I come from - I grew up in West Virgina, we are a lot like the Dutch Culture.  (I am Scots-Irish, Dutch-Irish, English and German by the way).  If we offer you food and you don't at least politely try it, we feel quite offended, like somehow our food is tainted...  or we ourselves are being rejected.  A somewhat weird cultural thing, I guess! ;)

Once you make your bread, you will really want to share it, that is part of the satisfaction of making it!  On the other hand maybe you will just want to keep all your bread for yourself!!! )

Just to get back to the subject though, you probably don't want to add over 600 types of bacteria including Streptococcus to your culture.  After all, it is still young and needs time to develop the right symbiotic cultures.  See this CNN article about the bacteria in saliva - it also talks a bit about the amylase found there, and how different cultures have more in their saliva.

  http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/03/03/saliva.spit.survey

 

Terri :)
 

jas's picture
jas 2009 May 8
Hey Terri.  

Something's been lost in translation here - the saliva proposition is not serious, and the Sydney-Melbourne refrences are consistent with the traditional inter-city ribbing that goes on here.

Davo's picked up on the serious queries in this thread; i.e. whether there is a well-adopted practice of adding malt to Austrian white flour for sourdough.  Based on the feedback, I'm going to do some experiments with diastatic malt.

Apologies if the saliva proposition was alarming - I concur that sharing bread full of spit would be antisocial, and I don't really think the taste of bread would change according to the locale of the spitter.  8-)

J.


Millciti's picture
Millciti 2009 May 11
I really do have a sense of humor ... but stranger things have been done to starters I am sure.  You've heard the stories about the Alaskan Miners who would sleep with theirs, right??!! Thanks for the lively discussion and though I am not from Australia I really do understand the comments.  When I lived in Texas I had 2 roommates from different parts of Australia, Sydney and Perth.  They really were like night and day one is an artist and the other one was a telephone operator. To my regret I haven't had a chance to see all the wonders in Australia that they spoke of.  At least not yet!  

So how is your starter doing now that Davo has you under his wing? Got bubbles?

Terri
jas's picture
jas 2009 May 8
While I'm waiting for my malt to arrive, I'm going to experiment with some bread improver that I just found at the local health food shop.  The company is Lotus, and the label lists ingredients that include amylase.  I guess this also answers my questions above - this stuff *is* present in at least some bread improvers, so it appears as though addition of extra amylase is commonplace.
jas's picture
jas 2009 May 8
Hey Terri.

I empathise with that Alaskan thing after spawning my own starter.   Although my starter is pathetic, I am becoming quite fond of it, and am feeling compelled to nurse it along at night.  Kind of like talking to plants.

Re the bubbles: I'm going to post an update on my 'new guy' thread about its current state of [un]wellbeing.

J.
Millciti's picture
Millciti 2009 May 11

Sorry about the repost above but I had to correct an important spelling error... If no-one caught it good!!

Jas as you can see silly is fundamental right along with tangents on this site!!!  So keep up the good work...

I see your starter is showing signs of life!!  Yeah~!!  So where are the bread pics already!! 

 

Terri


 

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