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Thread: Calling Beth or any other sourdough experts out there!!

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
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    South Lake Tahoe, CA
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    Talking Calling Beth or any other sourdough experts out there!!

    I made a sourdough starter from an old thread. Basically it is flour, water, and yeast and I've had it "souring". It smells pleasantly sour, and the liquid is not pink at all, so I think it is working. What should it's consistancy be? It looks like pancake batter. If I use some, do I feed it and then put it in the fridge, or leave it out again for awhile (and if so for how long)? I've been over and over the old threads (and, Beth, you are obviously an expert! I vote to changing your title to sourdough queen!!) but I'm still pretty nervous about whether this starter is right. TIA from a sourdough novice!
    Write your hurts in sand, carve your blessings in stone.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    Chicago, IL
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    I made my own sourdough started from a recipe I found in one of the breadmachine cookbooks that I have and have been enjoying sourdough ever since. My recipe called for flour, yeast and milk to start. You leave it out for a week (can that be right). It does look like pancake batter and had a bit of a sour smell. It expanded quite a bit and sometimes bubbled -- the book says that is good. I have been following the book and using a cup each week and feeding the started with equal parts -- 1 cup each -- of flour and liquid. You alternate milk and water. You than leave out of the refrigerator 1 day and return to the refrigerator.

    The book mentions if the starter gets too sour -- feed it twice in a row with water.

    My husband and I are loving it. We even made rolls on Monday.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    It sounds like you are on the road to some wonderful sourdough bread! I have had my starter now for four years and the bread just keeps getting better and better.

    The consistency sounds right, mine is sort of like a loose pancake batter as well. I take out the amount that I need for the bread, then feed it with flour and water and usually leave it out for the rest of the day, and put it back in the fridge that night. I am sure that people have different opinions on this subject though.

    Good luck.

    -Becca

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    San Francisco
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    This brings to mind a comment made by an intern from the Netherlands who was staying with me some years ago: He told a friend of mine that he hated the bread in San Francisco because it always tasted sour. Hmm, come to think of it, he had a point!

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Sounds right! Should be like pancake batter. Sounds like you could start using it. I leave my starter in the fridge. When ready to use, remove from fridge and let is sit out on the counter for an hour or so. Be sure to stir it, because the water comes to the top. Take out 1 cup of starter, add 1 cup of flour (the same type of flour you used in the starter) put in bowl add about 2/3 cup of water (or milk if that is what you used), stir, cover with saran, let is sit overnight (I usually make this up after dinner). In the morning, remove saran, stir well, and take out what you need for your recipe, about a cup. Stir the leftover starter in with your old starter, close the lid of the container, and place in fridge until next time. This way it replenishes the old stuff. If you find that you want to have a larger amount of starter in the jar, just add an equal amount of flour and water, stir, leave it out about an hour, then refrigerate.
    MY STARTER IS MADE WITH WATER, NOT MILK! Have had it about 5 years, and it hasn't spoiled yet. It keeps better than a week in the fridge. If you don't want to use it for a while, take out about a cup of starter, throw it out, then replenish with one cup of water and 1 cup of flour.
    I dried a little of the starter, broke it up with a motar and pestle,put it in a little bag that I made up with my Foodsaver, and put it in the freezer. This way you can always reconstitute it from your own starter, you don't have to buy it.
    Curleytop

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    South Lake Tahoe, CA
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    Thank you for the replies and great info!!!!! I can't wait to make sourdough bread, sourdough pizza crust, sourdough rolls, sourdough waffles!!!!!! Thank you, Curleytop, for the info of drying the starter. I read on an old thread that was how you got yours, from an internet friend! I'm thinking if I can keep this starter going, I'm going to dry some and give to my foodie friends for Christmas.


    By the way, anyone reading this thread that has a starter in the fridge, here's a reminder to feed it if you haven't used it in awhile!!!
    Write your hurts in sand, carve your blessings in stone.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    I think that I'll feed my little one tonight come to think of it

    Thanks for the reminder Missi!!

    -Becca

  8. #8

    New Question: Friendship Bread Starter

    I'm embarrassed to admit that the friendship bread starter that I was given got neglected...the day I was supposed to add the stuff (Day 6, after 5 days of squeezing the bag and leting it sit)was a crazy day here, so I threw it in the fridge and thought I'd buy some time. Well, now it's two weeks later...is it dormant or ruined? This recipe does have milk in it.

    You sourdough experts seem to be just the people to help shed some light on this one.

    Thanks!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Lone Star State
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    20,766
    Oops! I've not been around a lot lately -- something about a 5 yr old with some school problems, 2 houses with work going on and getting one on the market, then a water leak and a foot through the ceiling while work is being done on the second. And that's just since Friday!

    Sounds like your starter is doing fine -- I tend to use mine a little thicker than pancake batter and have found that I will use a generous cup of flour to about 3/4 cup of water each time I feed it, but that's just because that seems to keep it near the same consistency as when I made it. Just find what works in your recipes and keep in mind that thinner may work better in some and thicker better in others -- so you can adjust with the amount of flour and/or liquid you use.

    Sourdough is not an exact science and you are not too likely to mess up the sourdough. Just make your bread doughs and batters feel right. You may even come upon some discoveries along the way -- like the cold morning I wanted waffles, but Malt-O-Meal sounded good too. My starter was thin, so I added several tablespoons of the dry cereal to the batter and had both, making a tasty, crispy edged waffle.

    Once you have used the starter, the guides I have say to feed it and leave it at room temp. for 8-12 hours or overnight. One said to watch the bubbling and leave it out until the starter has bubbled to its top height and begun to fall. If I know I will not be using the starter again for a while (a couple of weeks or more), I will put it in the fridge a little sooner rather than later. The recipes usually call for bringing the starter back to room temp before using. I have used mine cold, but it will take dough longer to rise and waffles may tend to stick -- leading to another tip -- you can pour the starter you are going to use into a glass or micro safe measuring cup or bowl and warm it gently on defrost or low. Just give it 30 seconds or so on low then stir to see how it works in your micro before doing more. You can also warm it with a water bath -- but using either method, keep in mind that the starter expands as it warms up and becomes more active -- more air bubbles. Use a 2 cup measure to pour out one cup, etc.

    Finally, I have not made the Friendship starter, but my guess would be that the starter is still fine. Set it out on the counter and see if you get bubbles as it warms up. You can probably feed it just like a regular sourdough starter and get it rev'ed up again if it seems sluggish or you are not ready to use it again.

    Okay -- I think I've made up for a little lost time now.

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