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Sour Dough Starters and Wild Yeasts
Tue 20-Dec-11
8:34 am
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Sooliz
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Ooh Nadine, I'd love a 'care-package' of your starter.....I promise to take really good care of it! big_hug

I don't know what we're doing wrong, but we've tried making a sourdough starter twice now and it didn't work either time cry.  After an initial bit of bubbling each time we feed it (and it is only a little bit, certainly doesn't get anywhere near the overflowing stage), it then goes flat and smells really sour confused

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Tue 20-Dec-11
10:36 am
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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wave  Of course you can have some Sue, once I have tested it thoroughly. I have never had much success with it before but the Dan Lepard book I mentioned above  is full of starter recipes plus a whole page of photos he took of the various stages¦¦it is so helpful. I am a visual person & always have been so his format is for me. Mind you if only he could capture the smells of the starter as it progresses it would be perfect.  It changes a lot & goes through quite a rank stage before it changes for the better¦..I suspect yours was at that rank stage when you got rid of it.  Mine has a definite sour note to it still but that is as it should be¦¦after all it gets mixed into a lot of flour when you actually make the sourdough  loaves etc.  You can easily make a starter which isn't sour at all, he has recipes for those too¦.they don't take long to ferment. 

I shall keep you informed on my progress as I go along & with luck I can send you a sample after Christmas/New Year.   big_hug  smile

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Tue 20-Dec-11
10:48 am
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Sooliz
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You're probably right Nadine and we're just not being patient enough....but I have to say the smell and appearance (it just looks flat, grey and dead) put me off.

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Tue 20-Dec-11
11:30 am
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Aly
Normandy France

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me too, I threw it out when I thought it had gone off and haven't tried again since. When I have a few days in a row when I can  give it my attention I will try again. I am very keen to get this underway so would value pointers from you experts!

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Tue 20-Dec-11
11:35 am
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Hattie
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At that stage (the flat & dead look) was when I added some of my favourite ale, that soon livened things up & it hasn't looked back since. I only added a tiny amount; about a tablespoonful to a very large jar. Yesterdays huge ferment I think was bought about by my adding about the same of fresh apple juice.....within about an hour it was oozing it's way out of the 2 big jars......pretty spectacular. I think the other thing that's important is keeping it consistently warm, night & day in the early stages; mine is right up against a radiator. I notice if the radiator is off so is the ferment. That is why you can store it in the fridge in it's non-fermenting stage for weeks at a time.  It's all simple chemistry like most cooking (unless you are as advanced as Heston Blumenthal)......years ago Raymond Blanc wrote a book on the chemistry of cooking***....I can't remember what it is called but it was very interesting. I remember thinking it would be an ideal subject for a combine cooking/science syllabus in schools.

 

***I think this is the book.

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Tue 20-Dec-11
1:27 pm
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Toffeeapple
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Crikey, this is getting very interesting.  As Sue and Aly have said I get mine to the flat grey and dead stage then throw it out.  It will be interesting to see what happens after you dry the starter.

I'll try that again!

Tue 20-Dec-11
2:34 pm
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Aly
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just started another one, will keep you all posted!

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Thu 22-Dec-11
4:21 pm
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Hattie
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I have just found another on-line source of interesting varieties of flour etc who will deliver to me.

 

http://www.wessexmill.co.uk/acatalog/Other_Flour.html

 

This is just one page of a fascinating site¦..they even import French Bread Flour, have sourdough starters & stock GF flour. 

They have recipes too.

I shall be in touch with them after the holidays.

 

***News of my soudough starter:

Well I have managed to dry it off in my dehydrator, now to powder it & freeze it.  smile

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Thu 22-Dec-11
4:24 pm
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Aly
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added a bit of beer and it is going mad

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Thu 22-Dec-11
4:48 pm
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Hattie
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Well in the past nearly all bread was made with beer yeast, that's what gave it it that wonderful taste. I think it amazing just how little beer you need to get the ferment really going crazy.  Real untreated apple juice works as well as do several other fruits which I haven't tried yet (but I definitely will, given time).  surprised  whistle

 

cheers   

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Thu 22-Dec-11
4:52 pm
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Sooliz
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I've just got a book from the library (500 Greatest Ever Vegetarian Recipes) which includes a recipe for a quick sour rye bread - the starter only needs 2 days! eeek  I made the starter this morning (it was rye flour and warm milk) so will make the bread on Saturday.  I'll report back on the result....if it's good, we'll be having it for bacon sarnies Christmas morning laugh.

 

Nadine, will you please stop putting on links that will make me sit here for hours whistlebig_laugh.  There's so much on that Wessex Mill site, it's fantastic! ok (Thank you, and I am only joking.....well, a bit.....no, really, I am winkkiss)

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Thu 22-Dec-11
5:55 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Every single time I see this thread topic in the new posts lists, my brain reads:

Sour Dough Starters and Wild Beasts

Eventually I will train my brain . . but it makes me giggle every time.

I have not had sourdough bread since I was in San Francisco approx 15 years ago. until this weekend when Fiona bought a Waitrose CFC sliced batch loaf for £0.39

Had it toasted for breakfast this morning and it was gorgeous. F mentioned this evening that she intends to try it so I will point her towards this thread. Really looking forward to it.

Never knowingly underfed

Thu 22-Dec-11
6:02 pm
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Hattie
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San Francisco was where I learnt to love sourdough Danny¦..I worked there quite often & it is a real foodie city. People there love to read cookery books but they seldom seem to cook because they have thousands of wonderful restaurants which are reasonably priced. 

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Sat 24-Dec-11
7:07 am
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Hattie
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 Yesterday I made up a bowlful of sourdough & it all went as it should (according to my new bread-making guru Dan Lepard). His book has been such a help. I had baked a lot of bread in my life but had never succeeded (or even come close) with getting a sourdough starter to work. I think now it was that I never had the patience to tend to it's needs....we lead such busy lives nowadays ! 

I made two loaves out of the basic dough, using the white bread flour starter plus one of those small packets of quick yeast. Number one was a fruit loaf, with various dried fruit, including sultanas, raisins, currants, apricots & prunes which I had soaked in tea for a short time & incorporated into the dough after the second rising of the dough. The final rise was spectacular, much greater than I expected. I baked this in one of those clay bakers like a Romertoph (can't spell it !!), without the lid. As it baked it started to rise even higher & threatened to explode over the sides. The top got very brow rather fast & I thought the sides had too (I had soak the clay pot in water & scattered inside with dry coarse polenta) so I turned it out onto a flat baking tray upside down to finish baking. I later covered it in a clean cloth to cool. The second loaf I made was a savoury one with little pieces of rather elderly Docellate cheese & some of the skin from the smoked gammon joint I had slow cooked the day before; I chopped this up into tiny slivers & added this to the dough after the 2nd rising. This did not rise nearly so much as the fruit bread (obviously the sugars inthe fruit weren't there). The rise was fine though & I baked that in a normal oblong tin & covered in a cloth to cool.

Well I couldn't wait to try the cheese & bacon one, the smell was so wonderful & I was so hungry. I lit into it with just some unsalted butter.  It was just so good......of course the sourdough taste was not as pronounced as the bread from San Francisco but their starters are mature ones, mine is only a few weeks old.....it will get there eventually smile

This morning I will try the fruit loaf for my breakfast. I love a slice of it with poached eggs, from my own clever little darlings.

The loaves look very rustic & they are so filling & I am so pleased with myself ( & thank you Dan Lepard for all your help....I ordered more of his books from Amazon so I have lots to read over Christmas).   peace

wave  wave  wave

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Sat 24-Dec-11
8:42 am
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Sooliz
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So glad you made them successfully Nadine, they sound delicious (although I'm not sure I'd have poached eggs with fruit loaf surprised.....but each to their own lol).

I'm (well, husband is, under my direction wink) making the quick sour rye bread this morning, using the mere 2-day old rye & warm milk starter......fingers crossed lol.

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

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