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Old 05-07-2009, 10:32 PM   #1
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Default Sourdough starter

I know there have been a lot of questions about sourdough so here's mine. I have a starter about 1 week old. I made bread with it which turned out ok but it was fairly doughy and not very sour. I have left it outside uncapped for several hours, added powder from ground grain etc but my yeast won't give me sour sourdough and it produces few bubbles.

It produces hooch very quickly and is bubbling hardily is there anything I can do?

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Old 05-08-2009, 01:55 PM   #2
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Add some unpasteurized yogurt or sour cream to the starter. It's the bacteria that give sourdough the sour flavor

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Old 05-08-2009, 06:17 PM   #3
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Just like sour beers that feature bacteria and wild yeast, a sour dough starter takes many rounds of decanting/feeding to really start coming into its own. Just keep at it for a while - david mentioned some good tips. But just be patient and hopefully in a couple of months you will notice a pleasant difference.

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Old 05-22-2009, 06:20 PM   #4
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stick it into the fridge in some tupperware. I read (and tested personally) that the colder it ferments, it will produce more sharp flavored acids rather than smoother flavored ones at a warm ferment. Let it hang out for a week, then pull it out and feed it. There should be a good amount of alcohol on the top of it. If you want the sour, then just pour off most of it, but leave some and add in the flour and water. Then leave it uncovered on the counter until it starts to bubble again and then back into the fridge for a week. Then you can start taking half of it to make bread, pancakes or whatever and feeding the rest.

I find that it takes about a month to get the flavor of the sour. Really though you should be able to smell that foul cheesy sort of smell pretty quickly (like a week or two) and that means that you have enough of the bacteria to produce some good sourdough.

Lastly, if you add commercial yeast, then it will take some time to get to the good sour flavor.

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Old 05-28-2009, 05:39 PM   #5
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A friend of mine tried this years ago and said he needs to try again. Now that he knows more about it. It takes time and a bit of effort, but only a bit. I've thought about it, but too many hobbies and frankly, I'm not that into sourdough.

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Old 08-04-2009, 04:42 PM   #6
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if you add a teaspoon (to about 1.5 cups of starter) it often will lower the pH enough to create an environment for the yeast to kick in. I've also found that using a scale to measure equal weight water and flour really helped.

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Old 09-05-2009, 06:39 PM   #7
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I've had a nice starter going for a few months now. One thing I've never seen tried that worked well for me. I used the yeast slurry from a batch of beer for my starter.

In my reading on the sourdough process, getting a starter with no yeast is sort of hit-or-miss, while using commercial yeast to jumpstart the process is viewed as somehow "cheating". So I figured the slurry would be a reasonable compromise. Plus, it worked.

Joe

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Old 09-06-2009, 07:29 PM   #8
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From what I understand, any openly-aged starter is considered a "sourdough", even if it doesn't taste sour. Most pizza doughs from the better pizzerias are sourdough cultures but don't carry the "sour" taste.

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