Wild Yeast

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by kylew, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. kylew

    kylew

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    93ECDDFC-1B3C-4FEE-B3F0-D53C53640C95.jpeg I have had a Brod & Taylor proofing box in my closet for a long time. If I were to list it on ebay it would be “Like New”. For even longer than the proofing box has been in my closet there has been no starter in my fridge. I recently decided to correct these condition.

    It took about 8 days for my starter to get up and running. I’ve used it twice and the results have been pretty good, given how long it’s been since I’ve baked sourdough. For the time being I’m sticking with the basics, flour+water+salt. Once I figure out the rhythm of the box I’ll get a bit braver.

    My first two bakes are about 75% hydration.
     

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  2. dueh

    dueh

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    Is there a question here? The loaves look nice for a starter that is only 8 days old.

    I would suggest instead of using a proofing box to shape your loaves and retard them overnight to develop more flavor along with a bit more oven spring when you bake them.

    What hydration is your starter? all bread flour? whole wheat?

    The starter i have and use at home is a 100% hydration whole wheat levain starter. kept cold it helps cut the acidity and the actual sourness of the bread, leaving a clean yeasty almost fruity like bread taste with a pillow light crumb.
     

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  3. kylew

    kylew

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    No question per se. Just thought I'd see if I couldn't start a discussion about the joy and sorrow that is baking with wild yeast :) While this starter is only two weeks old, I've actually done this before. At them moment I and just looking to get a little age on my starter. It's hydration is 100% and it's fed with KAF bread flour. As I get a bit of a rhythm established for me and my starter I will begin to play with different fermentation and proofing methods.

    The formula I'm practicing with is 78% hydration and 13 % whole wheat. I'm using KAF bread flour and milling the WW from Bob's Red Mill hard red spring wheat berries. After I knock the rust off I'm going to start playing with other flours.

    Kyle
     
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  4. rpooley

    rpooley

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    I've just gotten into using my own natural leavener (which I say rather than sourdough starter because I specifically try to keep it not sour) and really love it. Rather than discard and feed, I keep a small amount in a container and just give it a bit of flour and water every 2-3 days. Seems very happy. When I want to bake, I take a big hunk out for sourdough pancakes the next day, give it a good feed in the morning, in the evening do a bulk rise, shape and then overnight proof in fridge, bake it before I go to work. Loaves are turning out fantastic. Thinking about milling my own flour.
     
  5. butzy

    butzy

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    I have had a starter going for a couple of years now.
    100% hydration, AP flour.
    At least till last week when I grabbed the wrong flower and used whole wheat. So currently it is 50% whole wheat, 50% AP ad still 100% hydration.
    Next feeds will be AP again.
    I have a small amount of starter and when feeding, I take 50 ml starter, 50 ml flour and 50 ml water.
    I generally use the remainder to make pizza or some form of flatbread
     
  6. kylew

    kylew

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    My storage starter is about 2 oz. (bread flour) @ 100 % which I keep in the fridge. When I want to bake I build it up starting with 2 oz flour + 2 oz water. I keep it in my proof box @72 degrees.

    Next week I’m going to start playing with converting my starter to whole wheat. I’ll reserve some of my white starter after the first feeding and then feed with whole wheat twice and see what happens. After that I have some rye berries I’m going to play with.

    Part of my playing is going to be varying warmer/wetter and cooler/dryer fermentation amd proofing to see what happens to flavor
     
  7. dueh

    dueh

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    Stiffer yeast cultures held at cooler temperatures are noticeably less acidic. Or a liquid levain , which I use, mixed and set in the fridge to slowly develop is a much less acidic product.

    As far as hydration, starters tend to lean more to acetic acid the more liquid they are, and lactic acid the stiffer they are. that really depends on how long you let it ferment.

    I use a refresh of 75g levain, 50g bread flour, 150g whole wheat flour, and 200g water. enough for two loaves and a refresh.
     
  8. rpooley

    rpooley

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    @dueh "Stiffer yeast cultures held at cooler temperatures are noticeably less acidic. Or a liquid levain , which I use, mixed and set in the fridge to slowly develop is a much less acidic product. As far as hydration, starters tend to lean more to acetic acid the more liquid they are, and lactic acid the stiffer they are. that really depends on how long you let it ferment."

    This is the opposite of other sources i have read, i.e., wetter starters at warmer temperatures promote lactic acid production (sweeter, milkier flavor, less sour) and stiffer starters kept in the fridge promote acetic acid production (stronger, more sour flavor).
     
  9. dueh

    dueh

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    I had it flipped, what you have read is correct. However; wet starter held overnight at lower temps to slowly ferment, in my experience, tend to be more yeasty and "fresher" in smell, rather than say that same starter refreshed and left at room temp for 12-18 hours. I like to pull my starter out and let it come to room temp before I use it, and by that time the yeast activity has picked back up to where it should be, but without a smell typical of a "sour" starter. Starters kept under retardation for extended periods of time, say a week or more, will build up too much acid and need to be refreshed, but I don't notice any stronger sour smell or flavor from my liquid starter.