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Shelby

Milling Heritage and Ancient Grains for Baking Bread and Beyond

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Posted (edited)

I plan to.

 

hoping for the best.

 

Im wondering if you got green mold in one ' batch ' because the container was not ' clean enough '

 

grown yeasts is not the same a bacteria in a petri dish.  its quite an ordinary thing to do.

 

Id just make sure that items that you intend to ue ' long term ' are as clean as you can reasonably get them

 

not steril , just clean.   the green mold got in there somehow.

 

follow that ever ' best practices ' are mentioned in the various book

 

expect an occasional ' loss'

 

Id not buy a autoclave if i were you.


Edited by rotuts (log)
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Just now, rotuts said:

I plan to.

 

hoping for the best.

 

Im wondering if you got green mold in one ' batch ' because the container was not ' clean enough '

 

grown yeasts is not the same a bacteria in a petri dish.  its quite an ordinary thing to do.

 

Id just make sure that items that you intend to ue ' long term ' are as clean as you can reasonably get them

 

not steril , just clean.   the green mold got in there somehow.

i wondered that too.  I washed the containers but there must have been some kind of bad guy in the one that I missed.

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I wonder whether rye flour is more prone to mold than wheat flour? I've never had mold problems with the wheat flour starters I've made, but it took 2 or 3 tries to get the rye to go without molding.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

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1 minute ago, Smithy said:

I wonder whether rye flour is more prone to mold than wheat flour? I've never had mold problems with the wheat flour starters I've made, but it took 2 or 3 tries to get the rye to go without molding.

Good to know.  That hadn't occurred to me.

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@Smithy

 

Ive got no mold.   

 

just no Action.

 

have my finders crossed.

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I used organic rye flour for my starter and never had any problems.  I made it the way @Ann_T said to do it.  But, I decided today that I am giving up on sourdough.  I'm happy enough making bread using poolish /biga or a quick something in my bread machine.  So today I said goodbye to my starter.

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5 hours ago, Shelby said:

Good to know.  That hadn't occurred to me.

 

5 hours ago, Smithy said:

I wonder whether rye flour is more prone to mold than wheat flour? I've never had mold problems with the wheat flour starters I've made, but it took 2 or 3 tries to get the rye to go without molding.

I've always used locally ground organic rye and have never had an issue with mold.  

 

@ElsieD, I think I have mentioned before that I'm not really a fan of sourdough bread.  Both Moe and Matthew like it.    I actually prefer the bread I make using just a biga with yeast.   But I don't want to let the

starter die.  So when I feed the starter, I just toss some of the excess into a batch of dough with  3 or 4 grams of yeast.   This way they get a mild sourdough flavour, one that I am okay with.

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If I had a grain mill (two of which I could have traded for a root canal) I'd start off with commercial yeast.

 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

If I had a grain mill (two of which I could have traded for a root canal) I'd start off with commercial yeast.

 

I did that :)   and it works great....I just want to try having a starter.  

 

And, I think I do.  I did the 4th and final step of the pineapple juice method yesterday afternoon.  This morning it looks like this:

 

It's bubbly.  Like pancake batter only a tad thinner.  Does this look right?  It smells sour/good.

 

thumbnail_IMG_6466.jpg.28617b26d644b425fdaf69ba3fe3b556.jpg

 

If this is right, here is where I need help.

 

What now?  The instructions don't go any further.

 

I've read a bit on the internet and this link looks like good information.

 

If I follow those instructions, I keep my starter in the fridge and feed it at least once a week maybe twice?  I feed it equal weights of flour and water?  How do I know how much to discard? Or do I have to discard?  I would discard only to make sure that my starter isn't a massive amount, right?

 

Maybe this should be located in the absurdly simple cooking questions lol.

 

Edited to add one more question:

 

Do you have to bring this to room temperature to use it?

 


Edited by Shelby (log)
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you want to have your starter ' active ' when you use it for bread making.  that just meads the yeast is actively doing its work and not dormant.

 

depending on your ' room temperature '  you want the refrigerated starter to get to room temp along w the feeding.

 

there is lots of good advice on the net :

 

https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/feeding-and-maintaining-your-sourdough-starter-recipe

 

https://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/sourdough/preparing-fresh-sourdough-starter-baking/

 

KAF and Cultures for Health I think are reliable

 

for me  : No Activity , and no mold.

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2 hours ago, Shelby said:

What now?  The instructions don't go any further.

 

I've read a bit on the internet and this link looks like good information.

 

If I follow those instructions, I keep my starter in the fridge and feed it at least once a week maybe twice?  I feed it equal weights of flour and water?  How do I know how much to discard? Or do I have to discard?  I would discard only to make sure that my starter isn't a massive amount, right?

 

Maybe this should be located in the absurdly simple cooking questions lol.

 

Edited to add one more question:

 

Do you have to bring this to room temperature to use it?

 

There are various kinds of starters and various methods to keep a particular starter, so it's not a perfect science like "this is the perfect method and the others are worse".

Your starter is in the liquid starter realm (1 part flour 1 part water), there are the solid starters too (about 2 parts flour and 1 part water). So you need to choose a method that works for a liquid starter. For example you can find a long and detailed explanation on "Tartine Bread" by Chad Robertson.

 

Every time you feed it you need to keep a given amount of starter, then add same weight of flour and water. The ratio of starter compared to the flour and water amount depends on the method you are following, there are no fixed rules. In general, the lower the starter ratio, the longer the time for it to proof. If you make a feed with 100 g starter and 500 g flour + 500 g water (ratio 1:5), then it will take much more time to triple in volume than if you made a feed with 100 g starter and 200 g flour + 200 water (ratio 1:2). This choice depends on the use you are planning: if this feed is for keeping reasons (you are not using the starter for a recipe, just for keeping it alive), then better using a low ratio; if this feed is for making a recipe, then better using a low ratio to make it more active and alive.

Storing it in the fridge is for practical reasons: low temperature means slower fermentation, means you feed it less frequently (less work for you). When you are planning to make a recipe you need to do at least an active feed to wake up the culture. It's possible to make a recipe starting from a cold dormant starter just out of the fridge, but there are some risks, fermentation times will be much longer and it's not effective 100% cases.

 

When you make the feed you will always end up with excess starter from the previous feed. If you are going to make a recipe, then the starter to be used in the recipe must be taken from this excess starter (you always need to keep a part of the starter for your storage). So you need to plan accordingly, depending on the quantities of the starter you need. If you are not making recipes (it's a mainteinance feed) then you are going to put to waste the excess starter. So you need to plan the quantity of the starter you keep in storage according to your uses. If you bake a lot of bread, then you need a good amount of storage starter (1 kg or more, for example). If you bake a batch of bread per week for family use, then you need a small amount of storage starter, otherwise you end up wasting too much flour.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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Interesting reading in the thread. Thanks.

 

I wouldn't use the mill for spices or coffee unless you want your bread to smell of these in the future.

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Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
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Posted (edited)

I used my starter last night!

 

We wanted pizza so I decided to experiment :)

 

Here is the starter before I dipped some out:

 

IMG_6466.jpg.6f79281825df98ee92b493c3f9b35a92.jpg

I used equal parts starter and  AP flour--I felt like all wheat wasn't the way to go , a tablespoon of olive oil and some salt.  I didn't need any additional water.

 

Dough before rising:

IMG_6467.jpg.b2014cb36784fe4031094c853320d05a.jpg

 

I confess, I started dinner late.  The dough should have risen a lot more, but I ran out of time.  It tasted amazing.  Deeper than my regular dough and had the sour flavor I wanted.  Even though I used AP flour, the wheat was prominent from the starter.

 

IMG_6468.JPG.63e9cf7f302f63f88f308f481fe85bda.JPG

We like thin crust

 

IMG_6469.JPG.4ab72a65c26d80593296cfe124a377c9.JPG

 

Now, I need to feed my starter because I have less than a cup left.  


Edited by Shelby (log)
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@ 4 days , no activity.

 

Ill add the lsat dose of BB-HR and water and see.

 

no other things growing.  this implies there was no yeast on the BB-HR  or somehow it didn't make it

 

through the mill , or the yeast throughout the PJ was GreenBell Juice.

 

that later I can understand.

 

I do have a packet of  dried starter from BreadOpia and will use that to get going in a few days if there continues to be

 

No Activity 

 

[ed.:  " No Activity " is a TV show from Australia or New Zealand , forget which and is fairly funny ]

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Shelby,  glad you liked the pizza.  You said you were down to your last cup, but don't worry too much about running out of starter .  While starters can be hard to create, they are pretty hard to kill, and the tiniest amount is all you need.  In fact, if you completely emptied your jar, the residue in the jar would be more than enough to keep going.  Just refresh at whatever rate you have been using   1: 1 : 1  ( weight of starter, water, flour ) is what I think you have been doing , and it will build back up quickly, and then pretty quickly you will have to go back to discarding some when you refresh.  Also, it is a good  idea to take a little starter after it has been refreshed, put it in a separate jar, and add more water to get it thin and runny, then spread it out very thinly on parchment or a silpat.  Once it is dry,  break it up into tiny pieces  and wrap it up in plastic, label it , and store it in the freezer.  It will last nearly forever, and if for some reason you run out of starter, you can just add water to it , and it will leap back to life. 

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2 hours ago, rotuts said:

does active starter freeze well ?

 

You can freeze it, but you need to refresh it at least a couple of times before it comes back to the usual activity. It's better to thaw it in the refrigerator and keep it there for a day before proceeding with a refresh.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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Rotuts,  KA  has it right, though I usually take the flakes, put them in a plastic bag, and go over them with a rolling pin to reduce them to dust.  You can use a food processor, but it will be awfully loud.  It makes it much easier to rehydrate.   I have dried and frozen starter many times, usually stored in a vac seal bag, and sent them to others and have never had anyone report a problem with reviving it.     I have never tried to freeze active starter, and since it is so easy to dry, and it takes up much less space, probably will never try.  

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I tried to make the Serious Eats whole wheat bread again yesterday.

 

 Once again,  during the process in the Cuisinart I knew that the dough was way too liquidy.  I didn't add extra flour, but I did omit the 55 grams of water in step #3.  Even doing that, it was still not as firm as I thought it should be.  However, it was better than the first time I tried.  I forgot to take pictures until after the cuisinart step.  Here it is before the first rise:

 

IMG_6478.jpg.2fd39e65aca5880831c3790655c197cc.jpg

And after:

IMG_6479.JPG.1772e1b0dfac55016f8f1d3c5869f43b.JPG

Once again, there was no way I could shape it into a loaf--I poured it in the pan again.

 

IMG_6480.jpg.e0def4e43711a8de8525cd60afca077d.jpg

After a good three hours it once again only rose to the top of the pan.

IMG_6481.JPG.cc2a6607ff2eb8dd0e68304889f1ee92.JPG

After baking

 

IMG_6483.JPG.0fd30207c4b3b2601f494ab0894c5a4c.JPG

IMG_6484.JPG.b4f187f30ddbd4b36224c54b006e8fe7.JPG

 

The flavor and texture of this bread is so good that I can't give up on it.  Maybe the third time will be the charm?  Next time I will add a bit more flour and still omit the water. (don't mind the date on my weather station behind the bread--I can't figure out how to set it correctly lol)

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Seems like a case of insufficient gluten development, both from how it rises flat and on how you say the dough was too liquidy.

First of all, be sure you are using 100% wheat with good gluten content.

Second, try getting a finer flour with the mill, looking at the photos you are using a flour that is a bit too coarse (big flour particles mean fewer proteins will idrate, so less gluten will form).

Third, try getting some experience about gluten development, look for infos about the "window test". The recipe you linked talked about using a food processor with blades, not my favourite method for developing gluten, if you have a stand mixer with a hook attachment then it's much better. If you use the stand mixer, then keep it at low speed, otherwise you risk breaking it.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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1 hour ago, teonzo said:

Seems like a case of insufficient gluten development, both from how it rises flat and on how you say the dough was too liquidy.

First of all, be sure you are using 100% wheat with good gluten content.

Second, try getting a finer flour with the mill, looking at the photos you are using a flour that is a bit too coarse (big flour particles mean fewer proteins will idrate, so less gluten will form).

Third, try getting some experience about gluten development, look for infos about the "window test". The recipe you linked talked about using a food processor with blades, not my favourite method for developing gluten, if you have a stand mixer with a hook attachment then it's much better. If you use the stand mixer, then keep it at low speed, otherwise you risk breaking it.

 

 

 

Teo

 

Thanks, Teo.

 

That's supposed to be the "beauty" of this recipe--the blade is supposed to make quick work of the dough and make it very gluteny in a short time.  ( I know, gluteny isn't a word lol).

 

I'll try to get a finer grind on the flour.  I think I'm milling it at the lowest setting I can before the stones in the mill hit each other........

 

And, yes, the window test--I've read about that and I was able to make a "window" in this dough, but maybe not like it should be.

 

I'm not defeated and I'll move on to a different recipe soon.  I just wanted to master this one :) 

 

Again, I really thank you and everyone else for their time and in-sight.

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1 hour ago, Shelby said:

That's supposed to be the "beauty" of this recipe--the blade is supposed to make quick work of the dough and make it very gluteny in a short time.  ( I know, gluteny isn't a word lol).

 

I see their point, but if you want to make serious bread (which is the goal of this very thread) then it's better to follow other ways: stand mixer, or even hand kneading.

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Shelby said:

I'll try to get a finer grind on the flour.  I think I'm milling it at the lowest setting I can before the stones in the mill hit each other........

 

You can try to pass it a second (and a third and fourth) time in the mill, each time it will be finer.

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Shelby said:

I'm not defeated and I'll move on to a different recipe soon.  I just wanted to master this one :) 

 

Trying to master this one is the wisest choice you can make. That's why I'm suggesting to use a finer flour for your next try, it should be enough to fix the troubles.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Teo

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Shelby,  first congrats.  I saw that the flavor is great and that is the primary thing.  If your choices are a good looking loaf that tastes like cardboard, or an average looking loaf that tastes great, go with the second every time.   Turning to your photo, it is hard to see, but it looks like the edges are slightly higher then the rest of the loaf.   While that could be lack of gluten development,  it is also a classic sign of hydration that is too high.  Decreasing water is the best solution, as you add flour, you run the risk of changing the ratios of yeast and salt.   Are you doing stretch and folds after kneading ?   If not , why don't you try stretch and folds every 20 minutes after kneading -  you should be able to feel the dough develop strength between each set of stretches.  Hamelman does it here at about 5 minutes  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnxiawZoL4A&t=1s  a         Here is a much better view of it since it is a smaller amount, and you can see how it develops between each set  and that will tell you whether it is a hydration or gluten development issue.

 

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