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Intimate look at giving up commercial yeast

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Health, yes.

Confidence building, yes.

And feeling a kinship with bakers going back thousands (yes, thousands) of years - definitely yes.

 

I must admit that I'm not a scientist, but I do not like blanket health claims either. Bit of a Michael Pollan fan and I at least like to have a good idea of scientific rationales. Pretty obvious, however, if I am making sourdough bread, that I am trying to be more natural in my food preparation and I very much stay away from fast food and factory meat.

 

If you are curious about beginning to bake bread with a sourdough starter, here are some good sources.

I have a blog, though I will not link to it here out of respect for ChefTalk rules.

 

<link removed> is probably the best, though one should stay calm because the the starter resources are overwhelming. One tip: You do not have to follow the conventional wisdom to throw out half of your starter (or bake) each time you feed it. If you are not baking, but will in a few days, build up to the desired amount - plus a little extra - before putting together the next dough or preferment. If you feed the starter a bit at a time, no need to ever throw any away.

 

One can keep a starter mainly in the fridge and feed twice a week; one can even stiffen the starter so it keeps well in the fridge during a vacation. See? Normal life and sourdough starters can coexist. After you build the starter, think of all of the wonderful breads to rise and the pride that you will feel. Trust me, you will feel it, perhaps even become a bit obsessed.

 

One nice photo before I sign off. Oh,yes, there was a bite taken before the photography.

post #2 of 5
Starters are much easier to maintain than their reputation may suggest. I only (Ha!) have three going right now and that makes me feel naked.

The one tip I would recommend, get yourself one of those cheep 15 dollar yogurt makers. You can get a really nice ripe mother going from scratch in 2-3 days with no problem.
post #3 of 5

I've been using a sourdough culture on and off for the last decade.

Recently I have been using the culture to make everything that uses yeast: waffles, cinnamon bun, nut bread, monkey bread, baguettes, bagels

next, thinking of trying to make doughnuts and brioches in the future.

 

almost every recipe I make using the culture requires to mix and knead, leaven 12-18hours, punch down, shape then rise a second time and bake.

I use a large inverted clay pot with pizza stone to bake my boule bread recipe to obtain a crackly crust!

 

 

If you master a sourdough culture, kefir is a piece of cake!

Luc H.

I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #4 of 5


Could you please explain the use of a yogurt maker for your sourdough starter ?

Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

Only the smart ones are doing it while they are still alive.

Wer den Pfennig nicht ehrt,

Ist des Talers nicht wehrt !

Reply

Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

Only the smart ones are doing it while they are still alive.

Wer den Pfennig nicht ehrt,

Ist des Talers nicht wehrt !

Reply
post #5 of 5
Berndy, really simple. You just need the least sophisticated yogurt maker, like a plastic bowl with a lid and an "on" switch. Use whatever yeast starter you want, get it going in bowl that will inset into the yogurt maker, close it and turn it on.

Let it go for 12 hours or so, or until you get some initial bubbling, then follow your recipes feeding regimen but you can accelerate it to likely 4 or 5 hr feeds. After a couple days, maybe three, it ought to be potent enough to raise bread.

I have used this method with rye, fruit, and even carrot starters with out any problems.
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