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Home Brew Forums > Food and Beverage > Cooking & Pairing > Anyone else make sourdough? How about *beer* yeast starters?
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:32 PM   #1
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Default Anyone else make sourdough? How about *beer* yeast starters?

I have nurtured several sourdough starters over the years, and on occasion, I have tossed in a mason jar of saved brewing yeast instead of bread yeast. e.g. pitching a Belgian yeast into a "dessert" bread like scones or pancakes to get subtle esters and phenols that compliment it. I decided that I should try maintaining a beer yeast culture in a bread starter to see how the flavors change, and then maybe I'll eventually take my bread culture and adapt it back to beer.

Currently I have one "normal" sourdough starter going, along with another one I made starting with a bit of my mild that used Nottingham. It has a very distinctive sweet, fruity aroma.

Anyway, they are both a few weeks old at this point, and I'm getting some tasty bread from them now.

Today's bread, at my wife's request, is pain-de-epi. Actually she requested bacon epi pain, but we don't have any bacon.

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Old 11-30-2012, 04:10 AM   #2
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As I understand it the major sacc in sourdough starters does not ferment maltose at all or very well, unlike brewing yeast. The yeast will ferment out the sugar you add to make the bread rise but the bacteria will break down the starches into maltose and consume them, creating the acids. Adding yeast that can consume the maltose before the lactic acid bacteria can consume them might hinder your acidity.

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Old 12-03-2012, 07:06 AM   #3
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i'm having really good success with a starter i made from wyeast roeselare blend, ie. two sacc strains, two brett strains, lacto and pedio. but when training up the culture you are constantly introducing a host of other sacc and lacto competitors from the flour you use so i'm not completely convinced that the guys fermenting my bread are the original strains. i didn't use it for bread until i had it trained for a few weeks on flour, that makes a big difference. anyways i'm certainly not adding any sugar; just 90% white flour, 10% whole wheat, water, salt, starter culture. there's a thread on here with my technique if interested. lovely loaves by the way (ahem).

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Old 12-22-2012, 08:05 AM   #4
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This is the best bread I ever had and it only has flower, water, salt and yeast. Make just like the guy tells ya.

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Old 12-27-2012, 03:40 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by mikescooling View Post
This is the best bread I ever had and it only has flower, water, salt and yeast. Make just like the guy tells ya.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13Ah9ES2yTU
Kinda defeats the whole "sourdough" purpose of this thread...

Anywho.


I cheated and bought the sourdough starter from King Arthur Flour. Have had it going for a few months now and it's not too bad to keep going. I made bread about 2x per week at first but I've backed it down to once every week or 2. I have a whole grain sourdough boule going in the oven as I type.

To really get a great sourdough bite, you need to have an extended 2-stage ferment/rise. Overnight rest in the fridge followed by a long second rise gives me great results on a real sour bread reminiscent of SF sourdoughs. Most shorter rise breads won't be as sour and need some instant yeast to help it along, but you can get a nice subtle sourness to the any bread by using your sourdough culture.
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:48 PM   #6
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I opened a jar of harvested yeast today and smelled some sour funk. Instantly reminded me I needed to make some more bread soon. Ive cultured a sourdough starter before but I was kind of skeptical that it was just wild yeast taking off. I've read that some flours have yeast mixed in and I'm having a hard time finding a reliable source for quality flour here in Atlanta. Anyways I'll be pitching this funkdafied yeast in some dough. I think the yeast is Nottingham. It was from a brown porter. I'll tell ya how it comes out.

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Old 12-28-2012, 08:11 PM   #7
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I'm having a hard time finding a reliable source for quality flour here in Atlanta. .
If you bake enough to make it worth while, get a 50 lb sack of bread flour from a restaurant supply place. We've got Smart&Final and Cash&Carry on the west coast.

OP That looks much better than my efforts. Do you slice the dough into leaf-shaped sections and string them together? I've never had much luck just scoring and stretching the dough.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:14 PM   #8
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I made some sourdough pancakes a couple of weeks ago that turned out pretty well. As with all things sourdough, you really need to let it ferment a much longer time than with traditional yeast, although pancakes are typically made as a quickbread and aren't even fermented. I let my batter ferment overnight, and then made pancakes with it in the morning. Worked out perfectly, although the batter was a bit thin at first so I had to thicken it a bit in order to avoid making a batch of crepes. As I was just eyeballing things when I made the batter, it turned out pretty respectably.

My next attempt at a traditionally quickbread-turned-sourdough recipe will probably be scones, as my wife really likes them.


On another note, I got sick and didn't tend to my sourdough starter for a bit too long, and let it die. All the glutens broke down and it got all gluey and the yeast died out. So, I have started another one up. Last time I was getting good yeast rise out of it after only a few days, and I was baking sourdough bread within a week, although naturally the sour character takes a bit longer to develop in earnest. Hopefully this next one will be the same. I started it out yesterday and so far so good.

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Old 12-28-2012, 10:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Randar

Kinda defeats the whole "sourdough" purpose of this thread...
The one thing about that that is worth noting is that baking your bread in an enclosure, such as a cast iron combo cooker, makes a huge difference. It basically mimics a professional steam oven.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:05 PM   #10
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The one thing about that that is worth noting is that baking your bread in an enclosure, such as a cast iron combo cooker, makes a huge difference. It basically mimics a professional steam oven.
You can also throw a ladle of water on the floor of your oven and get a similar effect as long as you don't have convection on. But yes, a crock or french/dutch oven both work very well as stated in Bittman's no-knead bread recipe/method. The thermal mass of the crock will also allow the dough to puff a bit more before coming up to heat and forming the crust that limits any further rise. Gives nicer air pockets and crumb to the resultant bread (especially for whole/multigrain breads that tend to be a bit more dense). I've used Bittman's method before, but I prefer the kneaded option, and with a stand mixer, it doesn't involve any real work on my part. Also, I think his pre-heat option is a bit aggressive. I don't preheat it quite as high before popping the dough in and dropping the temp. I feel like pre-heating to 500 gives it way TOO MUCH crust.
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