Skip to content
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Fark)   Sourdough, love or leave it. Who's got a starter that is older than they are? Anybody have tips for getting started on one? Ideas for making yummy, chewy sourdough loaves?   (fark.com) divider line
    More: Survey, Bread, Flour, Oven, Maurizio's blog, King Arthur Flour, good crust, cast iron dutch oven, lots of recipes  
•       •       •

166 clicks; posted to Food » on 25 Mar 2019 at 11:21 PM (16 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



47 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2019-03-25 07:18:00 PM  
My cleaning lady threw out my starter. She thought it was old food.
 
2019-03-25 07:26:23 PM  
You can get a free starter for the cost of Self Addressed Stamped Envelope.
http://carlsfriends.net/source.html
 
2019-03-25 07:31:30 PM  
Love it.  I have a starter that has been alive since the Gold Rush, no lie.  My landlady gave it to me as a housewarming gift when I moved here.

I do a cold-ish fermentation - not in the fridge, but I don't try to help it along with warmth either.  I keep my house at about 65F.  I just start it the night before, knock it back the next morning, then give it the day to do its thing while I putter about the house, run errands, etc.

With the baking - my favorite way to get a good crust is to use my cast iron dutch oven as a cloche.  I put the dutch oven in a 500 degree oven for 45 minutes to get really hot.  I let the loaf rise the second time on parchment paper (shaped round to fit the dutch oven).  When it's time to bake, I just pick the whole assembly up by the corners of the paper, place it in the hot dutch oven, sprinkle a bit of water down the sides, put on the lid and pop it back in to bake.  Turns out crusty and delicious.

Damn, now I want hot bread.
 
2019-03-25 07:32:06 PM  

optikeye: You can get a free starter for the cost of Self Addressed Stamped Envelope.
http://carlsfriends.net/source.html


That ii pretty neat.
 
2019-03-25 07:33:49 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Love it.  I have a starter that has been alive since the Gold Rush, no lie.  My landlady gave it to me as a housewarming gift when I moved here.

I do a cold-ish fermentation - not in the fridge, but I don't try to help it along with warmth either.  I keep my house at about 65F.  I just start it the night before, knock it back the next morning, then give it the day to do its thing while I putter about the house, run errands, etc.

With the baking - my favorite way to get a good crust is to use my cast iron dutch oven as a cloche.  I put the dutch oven in a 500 degree oven for 45 minutes to get really hot.  I let the loaf rise the second time on parchment paper (shaped round to fit the dutch oven).  When it's time to bake, I just pick the whole assembly up by the corners of the paper, place it in the hot dutch oven, sprinkle a bit of water down the sides, put on the lid and pop it back in to bake.  Turns out crusty and delicious.

Damn, now I want hot bread.


That's pretty neat too.

/also wants hot bread
 
2019-03-25 07:36:13 PM  
I really like Maurizio's blog theperfectloaf.com  It's a little disorganized, but his advice is really good. King Arthur Flour has a good website with lots of recipes, but Maurizio has reasons why to do the various steps. I made my own starter (Tim) from the local environment following his instructions, and it is great. I bake about every week or 10 days, and Tim rests in the fridge in between. Takes about 36 hours (3 feedings) to revive it (YMMV). And as I've raved in other sourdough posts, the waffles from theperfectloaf.com are the best thing on heaven or earth. I have to take a nap after breakfast every time (maybe it's the extra Qaaludes).

Maurizio is all about freshest flour, but I have fine results with King Arthur or Red Mill. The key to good texture is controlling 1) hydration 2) temperature during bulk fermentation 3) handling. The sour flavor really develops in the overnight refrigerator rise after the loaves are shaped.

I'm a real convert, and use the starter for all kinds of products. But here is a recent one:
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2019-03-25 07:40:53 PM  

optikeye: You can get a free starter for the cost of Self Addressed Stamped Envelope.
http://carlsfriends.net/source.html


Wait ... what?
 
2019-03-25 07:51:07 PM  
I need to learn to bake my own bread.
 
2019-03-25 07:55:08 PM  

NewportBarGuy: I need to learn to bake my own bread.


Oh wow - yes, you do.  Nothing like it.  It's not that hard.

Try this recipe to start. Works fine with white flour or whole wheat.
 
2019-03-25 07:55:31 PM  

HawgWild: optikeye: You can get a free starter for the cost of Self Addressed Stamped Envelope.
http://carlsfriends.net/source.html

Wait ... what?


They'll send about 1/2 tablespoon of starter...it's enough to get things started.
It's like adopting a pet tho.
 
2019-03-25 07:59:29 PM  
I keep forgetting about mine after about 6 weeks and it dies in the back of the fridge.
 
2019-03-25 08:14:28 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: NewportBarGuy: I need to learn to bake my own bread.

Oh wow - yes, you do.  Nothing like it.  It's not that hard.

Try this recipe to start. Works fine with white flour or whole wheat.


Bookmark save!! Will try it. Thank you 😉
 
2019-03-25 08:56:06 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: I keep forgetting about mine after about 6 weeks and it dies in the back of the fridge.


You can restart it by farting over the bowel and quickly covering it with a damp dish towel.  True story.
 
2019-03-25 09:26:17 PM  

Diogenes: Marcus Aurelius: I keep forgetting about mine after about 6 weeks and it dies in the back of the fridge.

You can restart it by farting over the bowel and quickly covering it with a damp dish towel.  True story.


Hahahaha!
Jebus, talk about thread-sh*tting...

/Haven't tried baking sourdough before, it's on now.
//Or actually a week from now... derp
 
2019-03-25 09:53:23 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: I keep forgetting about mine after about 6 weeks and it dies in the back of the fridge.


Pull it out, add flour and water, stir, let sit.

I have a 2 year old starter that I can go more than a month without feeding fine.
 
2019-03-25 10:41:22 PM  
I've killed more sour dough starters than I can remember, but I have an Amish coffee cake starter that wont die in a fire.
 
2019-03-25 11:04:41 PM  

sno man: I've killed more sour dough starters than I can remember, but I have an Amish coffee cake starter that wont die in a fire.


This gold rush starter is the first one I've had that I could treat like shiat and it would be fine. I swear this thing is virtually indestructible.
 
2019-03-25 11:20:27 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: sno man: I've killed more sour dough starters than I can remember, but I have an Amish coffee cake starter that wont die in a fire.

This gold rush starter is the first one I've had that I could treat like shiat and it would be fine. I swear this thing is virtually indestructible.


I've had one in the freezer for two years, totally forgot it was there, pulled it out, did the voodoo and bamb coffee cake, plus same amount of starter. not just virtually.
 
2019-03-25 11:42:14 PM  

optikeye: You can get a free starter for the cost of Self Addressed Stamped Envelope.
http://carlsfriends.net/source.html


Thank you VERY much!  I've been thinking of trying to get a starter going again after I stupidly let the old one I had, that my mentor in culinary school started in SF in the 90s...
 
2019-03-25 11:43:11 PM  
*continued* get ruined by exposing it to the elements and was ruined...
 
2019-03-26 12:49:46 AM  

optikeye: You can get a free starter for the cost of Self Addressed Stamped Envelope.
http://carlsfriends.net/source.html


That's not necessary. Whole wheat flour has all the yeast and bacteria you need already in it. Just add water, cover it, and leave it at room temperature for a few days. Fermentation will start on its own. Then add more flour and water to grow it up to a pitch you can use to start a whole loaf.
 
2019-03-26 12:52:19 AM  

Tarl3k: optikeye: You can get a free starter for the cost of Self Addressed Stamped Envelope.
http://carlsfriends.net/source.html

Thank you VERY much!  I've been thinking of trying to get a starter going again after I stupidly let the old one I had, that my mentor in culinary school started in SF in the 90s...


see my post above. mail order starters are a waste of time and effort.
 
2019-03-26 01:43:54 AM  

TwowheelinTim: That's not necessary. Whole wheat flour has all the yeast and bacteria you need already in it. Just add water, cover it, and leave it at room temperature for a few days. Fermentation will start on its own. Then add more flour and water to grow it up to a pitch you can use to start a whole loaf.


Well, that depend on where you live. Each region of the country has it's own population of natural yeasts. And if you live in (clicks profile...) California. Yeah...you're gonna get those type of natural yeasts floating around the air that populate your room temp starter. So you're like "Yah...no prob here". While all the other 'not california places' probably need to import microfauna for a 'starter'.

Sure...it'll be good in other places doing the same thing...but it won't be quite as good.

Temp...and regional microfauna play a part for fermentation.

I'll do sauerkraut in October. and start it in a big bowl under a Oak Tree when the full moon is out.
And there's a good reason for that... natural yeasts that live in oak tree like to spawn like corals in the light of a full moon. That helps the start the sauerkraut.
 
2019-03-26 02:11:46 AM  

TwowheelinTim: see my post above. mail order starters are a waste of time and effort.


You LITERALLY LIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO bay area. Yeah...you can make a good san francisco sourdough starter by spitting in a bowl with potato peels and putting it out on your balcony for a few days.
We other lesser beings do not have that luxury.
 
2019-03-26 02:49:51 AM  
The one thing I enjoyed making when I still had a starter was sourdough pancakes.  There was very little work involved since just using the starter for the pancakes made things easy.
 
2019-03-26 08:24:41 AM  

NewportBarGuy: I need to learn to bake my own bread.


How to make black bread
Youtube tTGT2P-zsGg


/or you can make bread the Mr. Peejay way:  One bottle Guinness, two cups flour, a little baking powder, a little salt, mix, 375 until done.
 
2019-03-26 08:38:47 AM  

optikeye: natural yeasts that live in oak tree like to spawn like corals in the light of a full moon.


I find that oddly arousing.
 
Ant
2019-03-26 09:18:17 AM  
A bread making book I have says milk, whole wheat flour, and a tiny bit of cumin. I have no idea what the cumin is supposed to do, but it works. I had a starter that lasted a year or so before I killed it by forgetting to feed it for a while.
 
Ant
2019-03-26 09:21:57 AM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Love it.  I have a starter that has been alive since the Gold Rush, no lie.  My landlady gave it to me as a housewarming gift when I moved here.

I do a cold-ish fermentation - not in the fridge, but I don't try to help it along with warmth either.  I keep my house at about 65F.  I just start it the night before, knock it back the next morning, then give it the day to do its thing while I putter about the house, run errands, etc.

With the baking - my favorite way to get a good crust is to use my cast iron dutch oven as a cloche.  I put the dutch oven in a 500 degree oven for 45 minutes to get really hot.  I let the loaf rise the second time on parchment paper (shaped round to fit the dutch oven).  When it's time to bake, I just pick the whole assembly up by the corners of the paper, place it in the hot dutch oven, sprinkle a bit of water down the sides, put on the lid and pop it back in to bake.  Turns out crusty and delicious.

Damn, now I want hot bread.


I do something similar. I have a Dutch oven with legs and I put it in the oven upside-down on a pizza stone for an hour at 500 degrees. Great oven spring.
 
Ant
2019-03-26 09:25:55 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
Its been a while since I made bread
 
2019-03-26 10:28:36 AM  

optikeye: TwowheelinTim: see my post above. mail order starters are a waste of time and effort.

You LITERALLY LIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO bay area. Yeah...you can make a good san francisco sourdough starter by spitting in a bowl with potato peels and putting it out on your balcony for a few days.
We other lesser beings do not have that luxury.


I don't live in California (I'm in AR) and I have not problem with getting a starter going just by the method Twowheelin Tim posted.

I would however, imagine that those old starters you import in would have a different flavor profile, as not all yeast are the same region-to-region. So I could see getting some ordered in to get that genuine SF bread.
 
2019-03-26 11:41:30 AM  
My starter died, so I am experimenting with using kifir to make sponges.  A bit tricky since kifir is dairy.
 
2019-03-26 12:29:48 PM  

natazha: My starter died, so I am experimenting with using kifir to make sponges.  A bit tricky since kifir is dairy.


Where can you buy it in the US?
 
2019-03-26 12:46:35 PM  
I've been meaning to make my own starter, but I rarely bake bread.  My main thing is that sourdough's the only white bread I can consume without triggering inflammation - excess sugar triggers the inflammation, and sourdough has less sugar than most breads (hence the "sour").  Also, I really like it in general.

Unfortunately, it's hard to get decent sourdough around here.  Avenue Bread's the only one that has real sourdough; the rest are fake sourdough flavored white breads.
 
2019-03-26 01:32:06 PM  
Here in Los Angeles my starter produces lots of bubbles but not a lot of flavor. When I lived in Tallahassee the same handling produced a starter that tasted like Cheez-it crackers. Y. U. M.
 
2019-03-26 01:35:37 PM  
I love baking bread and made my own culture using local unbleached flour.  It took me a few months of baking about once a week to really dial in my preferred hydration, kneading method, resting times, and baking temperatures (dutch oven) but I am super happy with the results.

I also use a very slightly modified version for making pizza dough and it is fantastic.
 
2019-03-26 02:50:48 PM  
Bookmark
 
2019-03-26 03:46:18 PM  
I posted the link to Carl's a couple months ago in the 'bread" thread and it is still one of my favorites for flavor and ease of use.
My second fav is Schat's Sheepherder and Squaw breads. Bought the mixes at the store many, many years ago (50ish) and used a pinch to make starters from them. Maybe not traditional SD starter but it is eastern sierra flavor.

If you don't know Schat's you don't know sh$%
 
2019-03-26 07:57:13 PM  
My husband's aunt gave me a sample of her starter, which she was given when she got married (over 50 years ago). She said it was descended from a starter from the gold rush (she lives in Alaska). I tucked it in the fridge and found it 2 years later. A little tlc and it was just fine - I can leave the starter (Fred) in the fridge for months and he revives every time.

I'd like to make better bread than what I've been able to do so far - I think part of it is that I'm just not sure what it's supposed to look or feel like along the way.
 
2019-03-26 08:38:15 PM  

optikeye: TwowheelinTim: see my post above. mail order starters are a waste of time and effort.

You LITERALLY LIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO bay area. Yeah...you can make a good san francisco sourdough starter by spitting in a bowl with potato peels and putting it out on your balcony for a few days.
We other lesser beings do not have that luxury.


I do not live in San Francisco Bay Area, unless you consider 300 miles north "bay area".

I present facts; you're pulling uninformed shiat out of your ass.

You do have that luxury. You just need to know what you're doing. You obviously do not.

NEXT!
 
2019-03-26 08:40:38 PM  

optikeye: TwowheelinTim: That's not necessary. Whole wheat flour has all the yeast and bacteria you need already in it. Just add water, cover it, and leave it at room temperature for a few days. Fermentation will start on its own. Then add more flour and water to grow it up to a pitch you can use to start a whole loaf.

Well, that depend on where you live. Each region of the country has it's own population of natural yeasts. And if you live in (clicks profile...) California. Yeah...you're gonna get those type of natural yeasts floating around the air that populate your room temp starter. So you're like "Yah...no prob here". While all the other 'not california places' probably need to import microfauna for a 'starter'.

Sure...it'll be good in other places doing the same thing...but it won't be quite as good.

Temp...and regional microfauna play a part for fermentation.

I'll do sauerkraut in October. and start it in a big bowl under a Oak Tree when the full moon is out.
And there's a good reason for that... natural yeasts that live in oak tree like to spawn like corals in the light of a full moon. That helps the start the sauerkraut.


You have some valid points, but  all the organisms needed for fermentation are in the flour. You obviously know less than you think you do. There's a term for that...
 
2019-03-26 09:06:11 PM  

TwowheelinTim: optikeye: TwowheelinTim: see my post above. mail order starters are a waste of time and effort.

You LITERALLY LIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO bay area. Yeah...you can make a good san francisco sourdough starter by spitting in a bowl with potato peels and putting it out on your balcony for a few days.
We other lesser beings do not have that luxury.

I do not live in San Francisco Bay Area, unless you consider 300 miles north "bay area".

I present facts; you're pulling uninformed shiat out of your ass.

You do have that luxury. You just need to know what you're doing. You obviously do not.

NEXT!


Have you considered decaf?
 
2019-03-26 10:05:03 PM  

Beta Tested: I love baking bread and made my own culture using local unbleached flour.  It took me a few months of baking about once a week to really dial in my preferred hydration, kneading method, resting times, and baking temperatures (dutch oven) but I am super happy with the results.

I also use a very slightly modified version for making pizza dough and it is fantastic.


The 'weigh your flour' is another one of the things that's only valid if you're listing the type of flour and region and even the brand of flour. In the South US "Gold Medal" is 125g/cup  . King Arthur will have it's own chart of weight/cup.
And that's probably the reason why with your local flour you had to futz about with recipe to get the proper hydration rate.
You get 1 cup AP flour at 120 grams from one source https://skillet.lifehacker.com​/this-in​gredient-weight-chart-will-make-your-b​aking-even-1789284033
And 4 1/2 ounce of AP (127.53 grams) from this Chart. https://www.thekitchn.com/weig​ht-conve​rsions-for-flour-sugar-and-other-commo​n-baking-ingredients-171316
And Cook Illustrated says...1 cup of AP flour is 142 grams. ?????
https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_​t​os/5490-baking-conversion-chart

And all that is just the AP flour. Don't even get me started on Bread Flour and with 00 Italian flour (which is fantastic BTW)
 
2019-03-27 12:47:53 AM  

optikeye: You can get a free starter for the cost of Self Addressed Stamped Envelope.
http://carlsfriends.net/source.html


I had an active carl clone for a few months, because supermarket bakery prices for sourdough were pretty bad, and someone had a frequent hankering for it.

But eventually they got tired.

I saved some, but I expect that if I go looking for it it'll be gone because someone will go "what's this jar of dried crud doing in the freezer?"

img.fark.netView Full Size
/Brad is a better name for a starter than Carl
 
2019-03-27 02:10:04 AM  
Weighing your flour and nothing else is bull tits. Get a good scale and weigh everything. *In metric* (the math is so much easier). It's called Bakers Percentage, and it's golden. For example, start with 1kg (1000g) flour (the 100%, everything else is listed a percentage of *that* weight) with say 65% hydration (650ml*) water. Yeast at say 3% (30g) and salt at 2% (20g)
Start with your mixing bowl on the scale, zero the scale to cancel out the weight of the bowl, add the 1000g of flour, pour in water til the scale says 1650, add the yeast, 1680g, and salt, 1700g. Bonus, no dirty cups or measuring spoons.
*ml (millilitres) are a measure of volume, but translate 1-1 for weight (grams) with water.
A lot of cookbook recipes can be reverse engineered to this tidy handy bulletproof reproducible method with a little math and some trial and error. The author will have gone to great effort to use a single standard and common brands for easily reproducible results. But volume measurements can be all over the place, common standards include Metric, Imperial or US, cups of each for water are 250ml, 284ml or 236ml (More than 17% variation) and for flour, depending on filling method and what kind or brand of flour, you can get even more variation in your recipe, especially if you mix standards between the water and flour, a teaspoon will fill with more instant yeast from brand x than regular yeast of brand y, even salt can have different coarseness which messes with volume. Weight is weight, whatever volume, always.
 
2019-03-27 05:54:58 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size

Last night's dinner (plain because it was for me and my daughter).  Whole wheat sourdough crust.
 
2019-03-27 07:20:26 AM  

optikeye: The 'weigh your flour' is another one of the things that's only valid if you're listing the type of flour and region and even the brand of flour. In the South US "Gold Medal" is 125g/cup  . King Arthur will have it's own chart of weight/cup.
And that's probably the reason why with your local flour you had to futz about with recipe to get the proper hydration rate.
You get 1 cup AP flour at 120 grams from one source https://skillet.lifehacker.com/​this-ingredient-weight-chart-will-make​-your-baking-even-1789284033
And 4 1/2 ounce of AP (127.53 grams) from this Chart. https://www.thekitchn.com/weigh​t-conversions-for-flour-sugar-and-othe​r-common-baking-ingredients-171316
And Cook Illustrated says...1 cup of AP flour is 142 grams. ?????
https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_t​os/5490-baking-conversion-chart

And all that is just the AP flour. Don't even get me started on Bread Flour and with 00 Italian flour (which is fantastic BTW)


Definitely always weigh everything, but it still takes some time and testing to dial everything in to your taste. Especially since I use a flour mix (bread flour and finely milled whole gain 13%) of a local brand of flour. I don't think the varieties are even available outside the country, I doubt anyone is importing it.

For pizza I do a slow cold rise and would ideally use Caputo Cuoco.  However, it is a little tough to find and expensive to import so I end up using just the normal bread flour and it works well.  I haven't been super motivated to pay the premium yet.
 
Displayed 47 of 47 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking





On Twitter




In Other Media
Top Commented
Javascript is required to view headlines in widget.
  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report