sourdough recipes & wild starters! - Page 15 - Mothering Forums

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#421 of 516 Old 08-06-2008, 09:09 AM
 
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This is where my starter is today - with clear yellow liquid floating at the top. So I poured off the liquid and stirred the starter. I presume I should feed it again.

It was looking fabulous and fat and now it looks kinda limp. Should I be feeding it more or more often? I fed it two nights before I went to bed and then covered it for overnight. I wonder if after I feed it, it should be left to the open-air since that is the method I am trying.

I had a horrible dream about it: I dreamt I left it uncovered overnight and the next morning cockroaches were stuck in it. YUK!!!!!
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#422 of 516 Old 08-06-2008, 01:14 PM
 
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This is where my starter is today - with clear yellow liquid floating at the top. So I poured off the liquid and stirred the starter. I presume I should feed it again.

It was looking fabulous and fat and now it looks kinda limp. Should I be feeding it more or more often? I fed it two nights before I went to bed and then covered it for overnight. I wonder if after I feed it, it should be left to the open-air since that is the method I am trying.

I had a horrible dream about it: I dreamt I left it uncovered overnight and the next morning cockroaches were stuck in it. YUK!!!!!

Terrible dream! Super YUK

Sounds like it ran out of food and that's why it looked limp. You can stir it as often as you think of it (at least once a day in my experience) and toss in flour to keep it going. You'll get a feel for how often that needs to be. For my culture, it was every other day (when I wasn't using it constantly, otherwise repleneshing what I removed from the container was all I needed to do).

I never left mine in the open air since fruit flies would dive bomb it. I used a thin kitchen cloth and it seemed to get plenty of air that way, never had an issue with not leaving it open.

Oh and yes I never kept mine in the fridge, always on the countertop but from what I read if you don't want to maintain it constantly then the temp in the fridge will slow down the culture enough that you can leave it for a week at a time and then will need to pull it out the day before you want to use it (and feed it when you pull it out).

HTH!

Erin sharing life with a burly husband and two rad boys 7/06 & 5/09 : : Zone 9-ish
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#423 of 516 Old 08-06-2008, 03:47 PM
 
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Thanks, Erin, it is a great help! I appreciate the feedback.
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#424 of 516 Old 08-06-2008, 11:26 PM
 
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I think we have a keeper starter at our house. Yay! We'll be gone all day tomorrow, but Friday might be the day to try some baking. I'm imagining how delicious that first slice of yummy crust is going to be, and the second, and the third....

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#425 of 516 Old 08-07-2008, 08:30 AM
 
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Has anyone baked with kamut flour? My brother's had some serious gut problems in the past and has to be very careful with what he eats (very NT). If I get this starter going with rye, can I add in kamut instead of WW so I can pass it on to him?

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#426 of 516 Old 08-07-2008, 09:18 AM
 
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Has anyone baked with kamut flour? My brother's had some serious gut problems in the past and has to be very careful with what he eats (very NT). If I get this starter going with rye, can I add in kamut instead of WW so I can pass it on to him?
I have used rye starter with other flours (sprouted WW, to be exact), but haven't done Kamut. Presumably it should work. You should give it a try. I'd be curious to know your results.

Good luck.
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#427 of 516 Old 08-07-2008, 12:03 PM
 
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I think we have a keeper starter at our house. Yay! We'll be gone all day tomorrow, but Friday might be the day to try some baking. I'm imagining how delicious that first slice of yummy crust is going to be, and the second, and the third....
How long have you been nursing this starter? I've read a lot of differing opinions on how old the starter "should" be. I don't want to wait long, I want sourdough bread!
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#428 of 516 Old 08-07-2008, 11:23 PM
 
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I think I started this starter four days ago? We've been having nice warm weather. I think it depends on the temperature, humidity, your flour and water, the yeasts around, etc. Mine is bubbly, with a sourish smell. It's swelling, so I think it's ready to start playing with! Sourdough isn't really a "exact measurement, follow the rules" kind of bread, more of a "feels right, try and see" kind! Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to share some good results!

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#429 of 516 Old 08-08-2008, 10:47 AM
 
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Can we go back (for the umpteenth time I'm sure, sorry...) and summarize the basics of starting a starter?

I've read this thread start to finish like a year ago and tried a few starters which didn't work and I just kinda took a break...and now I'm somewhat confused.

I've got a starter going that I did using 1/2C rye flouer to 1/4C water (as per someone's directions on the www ... there are SO many differing opinions when it comes to sour dough it seems) and it seemed REALLY dense and thick. I cheated and added a little more water 'cause it just seemed too thick to be productive.

ANywhoo, I'm only on day 3 (I've been tossing half, then adding 1/4C rye flour and a 1/4C water once a day.)

Anything I'm forgetting or misunderstanding?

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#430 of 516 Old 08-08-2008, 06:18 PM
 
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I think I started this starter four days ago? We've been having nice warm weather. I think it depends on the temperature, humidity, your flour and water, the yeasts around, etc. Mine is bubbly, with a sourish smell. It's swelling, so I think it's ready to start playing with! Sourdough isn't really a "exact measurement, follow the rules" kind of bread, more of a "feels right, try and see" kind! Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to share some good results!
Cool, I think I may give mine a whirl soon and see what lands! I think I haven't been feeding it enough so I'm going to try to feed more the next couple of days and see.
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#431 of 516 Old 08-08-2008, 06:19 PM
 
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Can we go back (for the umpteenth time I'm sure, sorry...) and summarize the basics of starting a starter?

I've read this thread start to finish like a year ago and tried a few starters which didn't work and I just kinda took a break...and now I'm somewhat confused.

I've got a starter going that I did using 1/2C rye flouer to 1/4C water (as per someone's directions on the www ... there are SO many differing opinions when it comes to sour dough it seems) and it seemed REALLY dense and thick. I cheated and added a little more water 'cause it just seemed too thick to be productive.

ANywhoo, I'm only on day 3 (I've been tossing half, then adding 1/4C rye flour and a 1/4C water once a day.)

Anything I'm forgetting or misunderstanding?
I've gotten the impression that a lot of people use equal parts of flour and water. So what you're doing sounds about as scientific as what I've done.
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#432 of 516 Old 08-09-2008, 02:24 AM
 
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Success! Well, a pretty good start, anyway. This morning I took 1 c. of my starter, added 1 1/2 c. warm water, 4 c. whole wheat flour, and about a teaspoon of honey, and mixed it together. Let that rise. Late afternoon it had risen at least double, so I kneaded in about 1 1/2 c. white flour and let it rise in loaf shapes on a cookie sheet. After that had risen (didn't get much higher, just spread out), I rubbed the top with water, cut slits in, and baked it at 400 for about 45 minutes (with a pan of water in the bottom of the oven.) A while later, I ate some.

The verdict: tasty, but the crust is VERY crusty. I think my little ones will have some trouble chewing it. Otherwise, I'm very happy with it. I'll have to figure out the crust thing.

For my starter, I had used 1 c. whole wheat flour with 1 c. water. I put it in a glass 1 litre jar, with a j-cloth under the ring. I let that sit in our house (which has windows and screen door open all the time) for about 3 days, then fed it another 1/2 c. whole wheat flour and 1/2 c. water. Fourth day did nothing (except I stirred it once each day) and then today I baked with it. When I took my starter out, I added 3/4 c. ww flour and 3/4 c. water. Then I put it in the fridge. I'll probably bake again on Monday.

Any suggestions about getting it a bit less crusty? Thanks.

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#433 of 516 Old 08-09-2008, 08:53 AM
 
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I watched a guy on Google video pour a cup of water in the bottom of his oven and shut the door really fast to steam his bread as it baked. Perhaps that makes it a little softer crust?
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#434 of 516 Old 08-09-2008, 09:13 AM
 
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I've been neglecting my starter pretty badly!! I moved into this new house in May and only made sourdough once and it FLOPPED. I have not got the hang of my new kitchen yet. I think I should take it out and wash it and feed it and try again! Seems like I make good sourdough in the winter but not the summer.

Oh and I wanted to say that if you brush the loaves with melted butter or olive oil then you should get a nice soft crust.

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#435 of 516 Old 08-10-2008, 01:33 PM
 
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Yeah, upon further research it seems that the steaming makes the crust crustier. D'oh!
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#436 of 516 Old 09-04-2008, 11:34 AM
 
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This incredibly useful thread should be stickied. It's been going for two years, so it's obviously useful and important!

Meanwhile, I'm only on page six - back to my reading....
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#437 of 516 Old 09-04-2008, 11:01 PM
 
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Question for the sourdough experts...

I killed my starter ages ago and am just getting started again but now I cannot find my "starter bucket" - a deep, straight sided, plastic tub I used to keep it in. The only thing I have remotely the right size are some old pickle crocks. Sort of like this ( http://www.leeners.com/pictures/YMKsauerkraut.JPG ) but antique and with brown glaze.

Would you think these would be okay? I'm wondering if maybe the stoneware would have a negative effect on the dough - everything I can find says glass or plastic containers. Any ideas?
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#438 of 516 Old 09-05-2008, 07:04 AM
 
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Question for the sourdough experts...

I killed my starter ages ago and am just getting started again but now I cannot find my "starter bucket" - a deep, straight sided, plastic tub I used to keep it in. The only thing I have remotely the right size are some old pickle crocks. Sort of like this ( http://www.leeners.com/pictures/YMKsauerkraut.JPG ) but antique and with brown glaze.

Would you think these would be okay? I'm wondering if maybe the stoneware would have a negative effect on the dough - everything I can find says glass or plastic containers. Any ideas?
I use a similar type jar and haven't had a problem. As far as i know it is only metal containers that shouldn't be used, specially copper and aluminum as the leech into the starter. I am actually more worried about the chemicals that would leech out of plastic than stoneware (but that's just me )

ANNIE - Crunchy WAHM to 2 boys & baby girl born 12July08 ~From contentment with little comes happiness â African Proverb
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#439 of 516 Old 09-05-2008, 02:19 PM
 
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I use a 1-litre mason jar for my starter.

Just finished lunch. Sourdough bread with assorted toppings. Yum! I'm really pleased with how our bread is working out. I like how it changes a bit each time, depending on what I have around and feel like putting in the dough, how long it rises, etc. I like that I don't even have to add yeast or sugar. It's down to just flour, water, and salt.

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#440 of 516 Old 09-05-2008, 06:58 PM
 
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(Sigh) a girlk can dream! Someday my starter will work and I'll have pancakes and biscuits and breads and pretzels!
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#441 of 516 Old 09-06-2008, 01:45 AM
 
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I fixed my starter!!

I tried one of the ideas in this thread and placed my started in the oven with just the light on. now it is bubbly and happy. It hasn't increased in size, though. Does that matter or is the bubbling the important part??
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#442 of 516 Old 09-06-2008, 06:56 AM
 
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Ok, I hope I'm not talking to myself here...

1. If my bread dough doesn't have a very sour taste, is it because my starter is still so young?

2. My recipe book says I should still add yeast to the dough. Isn't the starter supposed to REPLACE the yeast?

3. More than a few places say you should name your yeast. Have any of you done this?

4. I've placed my starter in the fridge for the time being. When I want to use it, do I take it out and feed it immediately or wait for it to warm back up first? How soon after I feed it can I use it?

Hoping for some of you sourdough mamas to enlighten me!
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#443 of 516 Old 09-06-2008, 09:35 AM
 
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Ok, I hope I'm not talking to myself here...

1. If my bread dough doesn't have a very sour taste, is it because my starter is still so young?

2. My recipe book says I should still add yeast to the dough. Isn't the starter supposed to REPLACE the yeast?

3. More than a few places say you should name your yeast. Have any of you done this?

4. I've placed my starter in the fridge for the time being. When I want to use it, do I take it out and feed it immediately or wait for it to warm back up first? How soon after I feed it can I use it?

Hoping for some of you sourdough mamas to enlighten me!
1. Don't know, sorry.

2. In a book that I have, it suggests that if you don't want to add additional yeast, to let your dough rise for 18 hours. I don't add yeast, I just let it rise longer. Some days it only gets to rise a couple hours, then I shape it and let it rise 1-2 hours before baking. Other days I let it rise overnight, all day, or up to about 18 hours.

3. Nope

4. I take the starter out, then mix up my dough. After the dough is resting again, I replenish my starter and put it right back in the fridge. I think if I had your starter, which you would like to have a more sour taste, I would let it sit out longer to see if the taste will become more pronounced. But if you like it like that, and it's rising well, it doesn't matter.

As you can tell, I am no expert, just someone enjoying my sourdough journey so far Good luck!

Carlyn - loving and caring for my family.
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#444 of 516 Old 09-06-2008, 11:48 AM
 
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Ok, I hope I'm not talking to myself here...

1. If my bread dough doesn't have a very sour taste, is it because my starter is still so young?

2. My recipe book says I should still add yeast to the dough. Isn't the starter supposed to REPLACE the yeast?

3. More than a few places say you should name your yeast. Have any of you done this?

4. I've placed my starter in the fridge for the time being. When I want to use it, do I take it out and feed it immediately or wait for it to warm back up first? How soon after I feed it can I use it?

Hoping for some of you sourdough mamas to enlighten me!
I used to use my Dh's grandmother's starter recipe and it tasted very young for about the first year. I'm now working on a new storebought starter package from San Francisco - I was hoping to get some depth of flavor right away - and it tastes quite sour.

I've used recipes that use extra yeast and some that don't. I think it depends on your starter. My old version was fed with sugar, milk and flour and I never used yeast (but I did use soda). This new version (fed only on flour and water) I'm using a small amount and it seems to give it some extra oomph.

I let my starter warm up from the fridge before feeding it and let it sit out for several hours before putting it back in the fridge.
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#445 of 516 Old 09-06-2008, 06:22 PM
 
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I put my dough in the oven with the light on to help it rise, since it has been quite cold here lately. Instead it flattened out, dripped over the edges, and cooked a little on top[. Ooops! I cooked it anyway (after cleaning the drips) and now we have flat bread for lunch! :

ETA: Tastes pretty good, though I could still go for an even more sour taste!!

I'm going to name mine Harry Potter since it's only surviving by magic.
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#446 of 516 Old 09-06-2008, 06:30 PM
 
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Oh, and thank you for all the answers you ladies gave. I am fascinated by how much there is to understand about Sourdough. It really is like having another family pet, isn't it?
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#447 of 516 Old 09-10-2008, 01:57 AM
 
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Whew, I made it through this amazing thread! I started a wild starter the other day. Like a couple other people have reported, it seems to separate and have a yellowish liquid on top every morning. Today it finally started smelling "sour" and not just weird. So, I'm trying some bread. I mixed it up and am going to let it rise in the oven overnight (oven is off now, but I turned it on for about a minute to get some warmth in there). I've got my fingers crossed that it will rise. I did goof up a bit when mixing and I added all the flour before the salt, sugar and oil. But I'm hoping it will forgive me.

:
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#448 of 516 Old 09-10-2008, 04:54 AM
 
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I just caught wild yeast yesterday! Good luck to us!:
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#449 of 516 Old 09-10-2008, 03:46 PM
 
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Oh good luck Alisa! Mine is apparently not being forgiving. After 16 hours I have no rising action whatsoever. :
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#450 of 516 Old 09-10-2008, 06:40 PM
 
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Yeah, I don't get how the other sourdough mamas get their bread to rise without adding a little extra bakers yeast. My pumpernickel didn't rise at all, either!
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