Sourdough (rec.food.sourdough) Discussing the hobby or craft of baking with sourdough. We are not just a recipe group, Our charter is to discuss the care, feeding, and breeding of yeasts and lactobacilli that make up sourdough cultures.

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Old 09-02-2004, 09:00 PM
HeatherInSwampscott
 
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Default Not sour enough...

Paul wrote:


Why would a sour starter not have enough sour character?


Perhaps you are not letting your sponge sit long enough. I made a super
sour rye bread this weekend by letting my sponge (it contained the
starter, and about half the total flour, and all the water of the
recipe) sit out for 48
hours. I find I like the sour taste I get when I leave the sponge out 12
- 24 hours or more. The 48 hour loaf did not rise quite so much, but it
was sour! This was using Carl's starter.

Best,

Heather
_amaryllisATyahooDOTcom


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Old 10-02-2004, 03:08 AM
Samartha Deva
 
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Default Not sour enough...

Paul wrote:

Hello, I have a question for experienced sourdough bakers.


[sequence messed up ;-) ]

The problem is,
now I want the bread to be noticably sour, I feel like that is an
essential element of New York Rye, or Pumpernickel.


Not only that, to make breads with a higher rye content, the acidity is
required to prevent amylase activity (pH needs to be below 4.5, or so)
and get decent loafs.

I made a Rye starter by feeding whole rye to a portion of my wheat
starter for a week or so, and then started making bread. The texture
of the breads is fine, I get plenty of lift and yeasty flavor. But the
taste... just not sour enough.

Why would a sour starter not have enough sour character?


Acidity is generated mainly by lactic acid bacteria and if it doesn't
get sour enough simply indicates that they are not producing to your
liking ( = non-brainer).

So, to get them going more would be the task to accomplish.

A couple of things:

Wheat starters are different animals than rye starters and (IMO),
growing a rye starter out of a wheat starter is a loosing process. This
could be one source of your issue.

LB's like to grow a bit warmer. I have noticed a significant increase in
sourness very quickly (maybe 1/2 hour difference in rising time) when
rising the dough at a temperature of 93 F or warmer.

The other possibility is that you may be not allowing your starter to
run through it's cycle enough to get sour, like keeping it on the
surface of it's capability.

There is a growth curve:

http://samartha.net/SD/SourdoughDefinition.html#GC

and with that in mind, you will see a peaking with a decline in activity
after feeding your starter. You want to be "over the hill", so to say
with your activity to reach sourness.

You are in the lucky position to grow a whole grain rye starter and
those fellows run forever i. e. can accumulate a great amount of acidity
due to whole graininess (buffering the acid production of the LB's and
maintain a longer period for them to keep producing).

So, what you could do with your existing starter is to

- grow it a little warmer
- grow it a little longer
- grow it until it does not produce more gas

what you would do is, deflate it - get the gas out by
stirring/pressing with a spoon and wait if there is still gas
development. Then, at this point feed again or make dough.

- ferment your loafs longer
what you can do is to let them rise until they start ripping i. e.
start falling apart and bake then on a hot baking stone.

Are my expectations unreasonable, based on tasting that awful
sourdough bread from the grocery store?


Not at all - you can get sour bread, it will contract your mouth, curl
up your toe nails and dissolve metal;-). The question is if you would
like this for your bread - probably not.

I feed my starter pretty regularly, three times a day when I'm baking.
Too often?


This could be and it depends on a lot of factors, mainly temperature,
starter activity, multiplication factor (starter flour with lots of
organisms versus amount of feeding flour).


Should I start over and try to grow a new culture? Are some colonies
just richer with acid-producing bacteria than others?



What seems to matter is the ratio of yeasts versus LB's and this can be
influenced by growing parameters (temperature, hydration) - BUT, since
nobody (please correct me with Google reference) on this forum so far
has had an analysis of what LB's actually grow in his/her starter, it's
hard to say since individual LB strains differ in their behavior. Just
assuming you've got the best and work with it can help a lot.


I have a home grown culture that's about a year old, that I use to
bake very good bread.

However, my bread isn't very sour, I'd say there's just a hint of sour
flavor. This is perfectly fine with me, I don't care for the taste of
sour wheat bread.

Lately, however, I have ventured into rye breads. I am not trying to
make Korn-type breads--yet. Instead, I am making the Americanized
versions that contain quantites of white wheat flour.


This appears somehow to be a mis-conception. Mix type breads i. e. a
certain ratio of rye/white flour mix is very common in parts of Europe,
not to say the main type of breads sold and I suspect what you perceive
as being an Americanized is actually imported, or "brought along".

Pure rye breads have certain characteristics, taste being one of it
which can be blended well as being just one component of the whole
complexity instead of everything.


Hey - have fun playing with your rye :-))

Samartha


--
remove -nospam from my email address, if there is one
SD page is the http://samartha.net/SD/
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Old 10-02-2004, 01:06 PM
Paul
 
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Default Not sour enough...

The reason that I don't keep a pure rye starter is because I have read that
they will become rancid if not fed very regularly. I have to put my starters
in the fridge for a week to 10 days at a time sometimes. My wheat starter
deals with that kind of rest period without a hitch. Would a rye starter be
able to endure periods of long neglect?

I can understand why a rye starter might get off to a faster start, but it's
unclear to me why I cannot convert a wheat starter to rye. Same flora,
right?

OK, I'll try this. I'll start a culture with rye flour to see if I can get
the acidity I'm looking for. I'll report back.

Paul


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Old 10-02-2004, 03:21 PM
Charles Perry
 
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Default Not sour enough...



Paul wrote:

I have to put my starters in the fridge for a week to 10 days at a time sometimes. My wheat starter deals with that kind of rest period without a hitch. Would a rye starter be able to endure periods of long neglect?


Yes, in a word. You should bring your stored starter back to
baking status by taking a small amount of the stored start and
grow it to the quanity needed by tripleing or more each stage of
feeding. I use 1/2 teaspoon of stored start to one tablespoon of
flour for the first stage. Then 1/4 cup and then to the amount
needed for the baking starter. You do not need to store a large
amount and if you store it as a thick paste, you can extend the
safe storage time.

I can understand why a rye starter might get off to a faster start, but it's
unclear to me why I cannot convert a wheat starter to rye. Same flora,
right?


If you are a regular baker of rye, it just makes sense to keep a
rye starter. Although Samartha doesn't think much of the idea, I
have had sucess converting white wheat starter to rye when I want
to make rye bread. I take 1/2 tsp of starter and feed with 1Tbl
rye, then 1/4 cup rye, then 1/2 cup rye. If it is not perking
along with vigor, at that stage, I discard all but 1/4 cup and
feed that with 1/2 cup of rye and go from there. For me, an
occaisional rye baker, I find that it saves time over making a
new rye sour everytime I want to make a mostly rye bread and I
don't have to worry about some nasty looking lump in the back of
the refrigerator that may have once been starter.

Regards,

Charles

--
Charles Perry
Reply to:

** A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand **
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Old 10-02-2004, 04:33 PM
Samartha Deva
 
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Default Not sour enough...

Paul wrote:

The reason that I don't keep a pure rye starter is because I have read that
they will become rancid if not fed very regularly.


Duh - 'nother fairy tale... 'd be interested where that's coming from.
Dude - don't swallow everything you read, especially with sourdough in
baking books. FG rye is the stuff you can relax with...

I have to put my starters
in the fridge for a week to 10 days at a time sometimes. My wheat starter
deals with that kind of rest period without a hitch. Would a rye starter be
able to endure periods of long neglect?


I keep my starters in the fridge for 2 month without refresh and guess
which one's are coming up quicker and are more reliable under those
conditions?

I can understand why a rye starter might get off to a faster start, but it's
unclear to me why I cannot convert a wheat starter to rye. Same flora,
right?


Not necessarily - can be different. Germ counts are lower in wheat
sourdoughs and microorganisms tool their machinery to what's available.
Food is definitely more complex in full grain flours - and that's what
you get: more complexity in taste.

You can convert it from white to FG rye, it will grow fine and I still
think you can work with your existing starter by changing the paramaters
to get it more sour.

I did it once and converted a rye starter to white wheat flour and back
to rye and it was a significant loss in bread taste. On the other side,
growing a white flour starter from a rye resulted in good tasting white
bread. I drew my conclusions from that and practicality.

So, you got plenty of options to play with.

Samartha

--
remove -nospam from my email address, if there is one
SD page is the http://samartha.net/SD/


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Old 11-02-2004, 02:20 AM
Paul
 
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Default Not sour enough...

Duh - 'nother fairy tale... 'd be interested where that's coming from.
Dude - don't swallow everything you read, especially with sourdough in
baking books. FG rye is the stuff you can relax with...


Well, until I found you guys all I had was baking books I confess the
"rancid rye starter" rumor is from Nancy Silverton.

I'm going to start a rye-based culture this weekend, I'm sure if I read
Samartha's site carefully I'll get some good advice. If it kicks off and
tastes good, I'll branch off a new white starter from it, and keep both
going. Looking for that lactic acid.

Thanks,

Paul


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Old 11-02-2004, 02:13 PM
DaveT
 
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Default Not sour enough...

On Tue, 10 Feb 2004 09:33:35 -0700, Samartha Deva
wrote:

I keep my starters in the fridge for 2 month without refresh and guess
which one's are coming up quicker and are more reliable under those
conditions?

Samartha's experience parallels my own. I've been operating from the
same rye starter for four years and it sometimes goes two to three
months without use. I just refreshed mine this very morning for the
first time since I baked bread for Christmas day.

DaveT
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Old 12-02-2004, 03:42 AM
LaurenW
 
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Default Not sour enough...

On Mon, 09 Feb 2004 21:00:19 GMT, HeatherInSwampscott
wrote:

Paul wrote:


Why would a sour starter not have enough sour character?


Perhaps you are not letting your sponge sit long enough. I made a super
sour rye bread this weekend by letting my sponge (it contained the
starter, and about half the total flour, and all the water of the
recipe) sit out for 48
hours. I find I like the sour taste I get when I leave the sponge out 12
- 24 hours or more. The 48 hour loaf did not rise quite so much, but it
was sour! This was using Carl's starter.



Sponge? Please elaborate?
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Old 12-02-2004, 12:27 PM
Kenneth
 
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Default Not sour enough...

On Wed, 11 Feb 2004 21:42:05 -0600, LaurenW wrote:

Sponge? Please elaborate?


PMJI, but "sponge" is another name for starter (or moist dough) in
this context...

HTH,

--
Kenneth

If you email... Please remove the "SPAMLESS."


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