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 02-06-2009, 10:40 PM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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Hello everybody. I was wondering if anybody might have an idea of how many
refreshments might be best to get a good balance of yeasts to lactobacilli,
after reconstituting dried and frozen starter flakes.
I ask because I am not presently in the habit of keeping an ongoing
(active) culture, because of my wife's gluten restrictions I make bread much
less frequently than I used to. I have been reduced to baking my bread in
spurts every couple months, and so I get a batch going as needed.
Afterwards, I spread some starter out and let dry on wax paper, break it up
and freeze it until next time. I might only bake bread once or twice before
"freeze drying" my culture. It gets good and bubbly active after only one
refreshment, but I doubt if the balance is optimum.

hutchndi


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Old 02-06-2009, 11:50 PM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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"hutchndi" wrote in message ...
It gets good and bubbly active after only one
refreshment, but I doubt if the balance is optimum.


If its good and bubbly, its good enough to start some sourdough.

By the time the dough is ready for the oven, if all has gone well,
the balance is shifted towards the bacteria.

A stiff culture can be kept in the fridge (unfrozen) for at least a
month, probably two or three. It takes less time (maybe 12 hours
less) to reconsititue a starter from a fridge culture than from frozen
dry.

Or so it seems to me.

--
Dicky
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Old 03-06-2009, 01:21 AM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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Thanks Dicky.

True, the just revived and refreshed starter smells fresh and maybe a
little fruity even, and then towards the end of bulk fermentation of the
dough the aroma matures to what I remember in a dough made with continuously
active starter.

The main reasons I started doing it this way are the long times between
uses, either I neglect the starter for too long and it turns into something
my wife secretly flushes when I am not looking, or I start getting that
acetone smell from refrigerator acclimation (I know everybody says there is
no harm in that, but I just don't care for that smell). I don't mind doing
it this way if it keeps me from needing to find a new glob of culture every
few months, even though there is usually someone here more than willing to
help out. Seems to be working for me so far, but I have only done this a few
times.

hutchndi

"Dick Adams" wrote in message
...

"hutchndi" wrote in message
...
It gets good and bubbly active after only one
refreshment, but I doubt if the balance is optimum.


If its good and bubbly, its good enough to start some sourdough.

By the time the dough is ready for the oven, if all has gone well,
the balance is shifted towards the bacteria.

A stiff culture can be kept in the fridge (unfrozen) for at least a
month, probably two or three. It takes less time (maybe 12 hours
less) to reconsititue a starter from a fridge culture than from frozen
dry.

Or so it seems to me.

--
Dicky

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Old 03-06-2009, 03:21 PM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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On Jun 2, 4:40*pm, "hutchndi" wrote:

I have been reduced to baking my bread in
spurts every couple months...


Russ,

If that's the case, why don't you shift gears and work with store
yeast. You can make really decent bread with store yeast if you're
willing to use very minute amounts and run a long primary ferment.
Without starting a food fight... I'm under the impression that quality
of flour and quality of ferment are the real flavor variables, not
pedigree of starter.

Will
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Old 03-06-2009, 04:31 PM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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Will,
That might be my own few experiences with commercial yeast. I did try what
you describe (I think) a few years ago but the result got stale so much
faster than my sourdough loaves that I abandoned it. If I remember
correctly, the bread was ok the first day but deteriorated quickly after
that. With me being the only one in the house able to eat wheat flour, this
wasn't a good scenario...

Russ

"Will" wrote in message
...
On Jun 2, 4:40 pm, "hutchndi" wrote:

I have been reduced to baking my bread in
spurts every couple months...


Russ,

If that's the case, why don't you shift gears and work with store
yeast. You can make really decent bread with store yeast if you're
willing to use very minute amounts and run a long primary ferment.
Without starting a food fight... I'm under the impression that quality
of flour and quality of ferment are the real flavor variables, not
pedigree of starter.

Will



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Old 08-06-2009, 12:22 AM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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hutchndi wrote:
Hello everybody. I was wondering if anybody might have an idea of how
many refreshments might be best to get a good balance of yeasts to
lactobacilli, after reconstituting dried and frozen starter flakes.
I ask because I am not presently in the habit of keeping an ongoing
(active) culture, because of my wife's gluten restrictions I make bread
much less frequently than I used to. I have been reduced to baking my
bread in spurts every couple months, and so I get a batch going as
needed. Afterwards, I spread some starter out and let dry on wax paper,
break it up and freeze it until next time. I might only bake bread once
or twice before "freeze drying" my culture. It gets good and bubbly
active after only one refreshment, but I doubt if the balance is optimum.

hutchndi


Why not keep it in the fridge and do a room-temp cycle once or twice a
month? Take it out one day before bed, feed it, then feed it in the
morning and back in the fridge. Seems like less hassle than freezing and
reconstituting and should be healthier for the start.
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Old 10-06-2009, 02:49 PM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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"Hans Fugal" wrote in message
...

Why not keep it in the fridge and do a room-temp cycle once or twice a
month? Take it out one day before bed, feed it, then feed it in the
morning and back in the fridge. Seems like less hassle than freezing and
reconstituting and should be healthier for the start.


Hans, this is why I asked my original question in the thread, I was
wondering what is a good balance out time, or how many refreshments might be
needed, to get the culture in good health before freeze drying again. There
are some older threads concerning acetone smell turning up in cultures kept
in the fridge as you suggest. That is how I used to keep my starter going,
and I always got that smell after awhile, and a few posters here have stated
it is unavoidable, as the culture changes after a time when subjected to
forced acclimation to cold temperatures. So far I have not found this happen
with this method, and I don't find it to be a hassle.

hutchndi

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Old 10-06-2009, 05:26 PM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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hutchndi wrote:

"Hans Fugal" wrote in message
...

Why not keep it in the fridge and do a room-temp cycle once or twice a
month? Take it out one day before bed, feed it, then feed it in the
morning and back in the fridge. Seems like less hassle than freezing and
reconstituting and should be healthier for the start.


Hans, this is why I asked my original question in the thread, I was
wondering what is a good balance out time, or how many refreshments
might be needed, to get the culture in good health before freeze drying
again. There are some older threads concerning acetone smell turning up
in cultures kept in the fridge as you suggest. That is how I used to
keep my starter going, and I always got that smell after awhile, and a
few posters here have stated it is unavoidable, as the culture changes
after a time when subjected to forced acclimation to cold temperatures.
So far I have not found this happen with this method, and I don't find
it to be a hassle.

hutchndi


I have until recently mostly kept my start in the fridge and sometimes
used it frequently and other times used it once every month or two. I
didn't feed it a cycle between fridge uses - I just fed it and stuck it
back in the fridge. Lately I was reading things that indicated this
would favor the yeast and reduce the overall sour. So I fed it on the
counter for a couple of weeks and then began this method (fridge with
counter feedings between). I don't pay enough attention to it to come to
any conclusion - as long as it rises and tastes better than yeast I'm happy.

But if "ideal" is continuous countertop, then the countertop between
fridge method seems like the best compromise to me. If you find evidence
in favor or against either method due to meticulous notekeeping, I'd
enjoy hearing it.


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