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Sourdough Starter - Hows, Whys, Whats


nanetteb
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Hi all, I have a problem and I was hoping someone could help me.

So, I've been attempting to make a sourdough starter. The recipe I got for it from a Spanish baker's -named Xavier Barriga -book, and it gives strict instructions to this:

Step 1 cut up two apples and remove seeds, place in airtight container with 25g of honey and cover with mineral water. Store at 35 - 40 degrees celsius for 5 days.

Step 2. Strain and mix in 100g of "harina integral", in english I believe it's unprocessed flour. Store this in airtight container at 35 - 40C for 48 hours.

Step 3. Weigh 100g of this mix and mix in 300g of warm mineral water and 300g of "harina de fuerza" I think it's bread flour in English, 12g of protein/100g. Store again airtight but at 30C for 24 hours.

Step 4. Weigh 150g of this and stir with 250g water and 250g of flour as before. 24 hours, 28 degrees

Step 5. 150g mix 300g water, 300g flour, 6 hours 28 degrees and it should be ready.

My problem is this. The starter is very wet. It's the consistency of very wet and sticky porridge. And when I try to make bread with it, the bread won't rise at all. It just turns sour. The starter itself just creates these tiny bubbles that have the same color as soap bubbles...

Can someone please offer guidance or a better recipe? Thank you!

The perfect vichyssoise is served hot and made with equal parts of butter to potato.

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Harina Integral in English is actually Whole Wheat flour, and Harina de Fuerza is probably best translated as high-gluten flour. Regular bread flour has less gluten in it than Fuerza does.

I've always had excellent luck with a potato, boiled and then riced, left in a standard bread flour sponge (1C water, 2C flour) on the counter, in my little stone crock which has an ill-fitting lid. It sours in about 3 days and provides a lovely rise.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Add a slice of rhubarb to the starter? Essentially - you are trying to capture the wild yeast bacteria that live in the environment, so don't go around spraying everything with "Kills 99% of all known bacteria" sprays! Temperature, enough flour for the bacteria to feed off and the right amount of water are all key - as is patience! Good luck.

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Harina Integral in English is actually Whole Wheat flour, and Harina de Fuerza is probably best translated as high-gluten flour. Regular bread flour has less gluten in it than Fuerza does.

I've always had excellent luck with a potato, boiled and then riced, left in a standard bread flour sponge (1C water, 2C flour) on the counter, in my little stone crock which has an ill-fitting lid. It sours in about 3 days and provides a lovely rise.

Isn't boiling the potato defeating the purpose? Or is the potato just yeast-chow?

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Hi all, I have a problem and I was hoping someone could help me.

So, I've been attempting to make a sourdough starter. The recipe I got for it from a Spanish baker's -named Xavier Barriga -book, and it gives strict instructions to this:

Step 1 cut up two apples and remove seeds, place in airtight container with 25g of honey and cover with mineral water. Store at 35 - 40 degrees celsius for 5 days.

Step 2. Strain and mix in 100g of "harina integral", in english I believe it's unprocessed flour. Store this in airtight container at 35 - 40C for 48 hours.

Step 3. Weigh 100g of this mix and mix in 300g of warm mineral water and 300g of "harina de fuerza" I think it's bread flour in English, 12g of protein/100g. Store again airtight but at 30C for 24 hours.

Step 4. Weigh 150g of this and stir with 250g water and 250g of flour as before. 24 hours, 28 degrees

Step 5. 150g mix 300g water, 300g flour, 6 hours 28 degrees and it should be ready.

My problem is this. The starter is very wet. It's the consistency of very wet and sticky porridge. And when I try to make bread with it, the bread won't rise at all. It just turns sour. The starter itself just creates these tiny bubbles that have the same color as soap bubbles...

Can someone please offer guidance or a better recipe? Thank you!

try here, good folks,,http://groups.google.com/group/rec.food.sourdough/topics

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  • 8 years later...

*Bump* 

 

I ran across an article from Serious Eats today, discussing whether the type of flour used to make sourdough starter makes a difference. (TL;DR version: not in the long run although perfectionists may wish to make adjustments to recipes depending on the flour involved.) This topic could use a boost, because of an especially good discussion some years back. I'm now boosting it.

 

Serious Eats article: The Best Flour for Sourdough Starters: An Investigation.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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I too saw that article and began my second foray into sourdough bread baking now that I have lots of time. An even better tutorial is the instagram account of Kristen Dennis called Full Proof Baking which takes you through 14 days of how to make and nurture a sourdough starter (also found on youtube). She also has a video of how to advance from the starter you have made to making a loaf and a video on how to dry your starter if you don't have time to bake from your starter for a long period of time and also how to rehydrate the starter back to leaven ready.

I am using unbleached AP flour that has a protein content of 13%. My first starter this time seemed normal until day two but appeared to be a little dry and had no evidence of activity. So at the beginning of day 3  I added about 1/2 tsp of distilled water which I mixed in thoroughly and to my amazement the starter began fermenting within an hour or two.  By the evening the starter had doubled in bulk so  I fed the starter a 1/1/1 ratio and by the next morning it had more than doubled again.  Here I failed miserably as I mistook vinegar for distilled water and had to throw the whole thing out and I started the whole process again. However I am very thrilled by how active the first starter was by the end of day 3 and am looking for success again with this attempt.

 

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"Flay your Suffolk bought-this-morning sole with organic hand-cracked pepper and blasted salt. Thrill each side for four minutes at torchmark haut. Interrogate a lemon. Embarrass any tough roots from the samphire. Then bamboozle till it's al dente with that certain je ne sais quoi."

Arabella Weir as Minty Marchmont - Posh Nosh

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Finally success with my third attempt at making a sourdough starter. This time round there was no signs of life in the starter on the morning of day 2 so I just stirred the drying surface back into the water/flour base and eureka on the morning of day three I found the starter had risen by about 1/2 again and was full of tiny bubbles. So I fed with a 1/1/1 ratio of  20 gms each of starter, flour and water and covered with cheesecloth and left it alone. By mid afternoon it was quite active and I think I will feed again tonight with a 1/1/1 ratio.

 

 

Day 3 6 hours post 1 to 1 to 1 feed.JPG

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"Flay your Suffolk bought-this-morning sole with organic hand-cracked pepper and blasted salt. Thrill each side for four minutes at torchmark haut. Interrogate a lemon. Embarrass any tough roots from the samphire. Then bamboozle till it's al dente with that certain je ne sais quoi."

Arabella Weir as Minty Marchmont - Posh Nosh

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