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BHM's Homesteading & Self-Reliance Forum
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Go Back   BHM Forum > Homesteading > Food > Breads & Grains

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  #1  
Old 04-12-2011, 03:49 AM
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Default Sourdough bread starter

In preparation for TEOTWAWKI, I will soon begin a sourdough bread starter. It is my understanding this eliminates the need for yeast, which could be nearly impossible to obtain if the economy collapses.

I've studied up a little bit on the procedure, but do not, as yet, have any hands on experience. I've ordered fresh sourdough starter from KingArthurFlour.com. that will include instructions.

Any beneficial suggestions, that other members could offer me, would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 04-12-2011, 05:38 AM
keydl keydl is offline
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A lot of the flour has preservatives in it, so read the label.

Start with a container 2-3 times the volume of what you want to use in 3 days and add the starter, flour and water. The wild yeast will grow, dip what you want to use and replace with fresh flour and water.

There are different flavors you may find a good one wild but getting a starter from a known good tasting variety is a good start, likewise guard it from wild invaders.

It makes really good frybread, the amount sets the texture along with the temperature. It does not do well when the kitchen temperature is in the 20's F.
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  #3  
Old 04-12-2011, 10:01 AM
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I made a sourdough starter by combining cooled potato water, unbleached flour and yeast. As I used some, I would "feed" it by adding more unbleached flour to the mixture. This went well until I started to notice mold in it. I know that you shouldn't have to refrigerate starter, so I don't know what went wrong. You have given me the idea to try it again, maybe I'll use a different recipe.
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:03 PM
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I keep my sourdough starter in the fridge, it hasn't gone moldy at all. At least once a week I use at least a cup of it and feed it.
Mine is made with skim milk powder, water and white flour. I haven't had any luck with using whole wheat in it.

Do have to admit, when I make bread, I still add some regular yeast to it. Just get a better rise that way. I don't have the patience to wait long enough for straight sour dough to do it's thing.
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:05 PM
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Default Looking wonderful...

Wanted to let everyone know that, after several days of babying my batch of sourdough starter, my efforts have been rewarded. It's very healthy (foaming and bubbling and has a nice aroma) and it has actually grown into three batches...one of which I gave to a friend this morning.

Will be making my first sourdough bread from the starter tomorrow. Am excited to see how it turns out. From the remarks that he's made, my husband will be ecstatic when he sees me take the loaves out of the oven.
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  #6  
Old 04-16-2011, 09:55 PM
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I started a sourdough starter last fall using regular store bought yeast, flour, water and some sugar. I have been keeping a double batch of starter in the cold room, and soon to move to the fridge and alternating between batches. One of the two has gone dormant in the past few days so I am right now doubleing the remaining starter.

I have used almost all whole wheat flour in the starter and in the bread. It does take a long time to raise, however, from the reading I have done wheat is more bioavailable if it has been wet for at least 8 hours before it is eaten.
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:13 AM
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I started mine with the store yeast too. I also experimented right out of the gate and started one with goat milk. It's amazing stuff! I've since branched these guys off and feed them all kinds of different things. But once I found out that you can start them from potato water or grapes (or in my case, blackberries) I'm going to see if I can start one directly from that. My starters have gone through so much different food I probably should take notes LOL.

One word of advice to anyone else starting one with store yeast. Make sure your containers are large enough or watch it closely the first 12 hours and stir it. Mine leapt out of the containers 3 times.

Last edited by chris-wasan; 04-17-2011 at 12:15 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:32 PM
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Default Couldn't be more pleased...

First attempt with my sourdough starter turned out amazingly well...much better than I had anticipated. No-yeast recipe that I used made two loaves...nice semi-hard crust and soft, moist bread full of small "bubble" holes.

For Easter, I plan to bake sourdough rolls using yeast.

BTW, my husband bragged to his mother, last night on a long distance phone call, about my sourdough bread. It doesn't get any better than that!
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  #9  
Old 11-30-2011, 12:54 PM
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MYellowRose Female MYellowRose is offline
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I'm reading some old posts that I missed when I didn't have a computer & couldn't remember my user name & password. LOL

Karen I see you use skim milk powder in your starter. Do you think it would work using non-fat dry milk powder? I've got lots of that. Would you be willing to share your recipe for starter with me? I don't generally like commercially made sourdough bread as many times it taste like wood to me, though I can't figure out why. I want to start doing more along these lines. Help please!
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MYellowRose View Post
I'm reading some old posts that I missed when I didn't have a computer & couldn't remember my user name & password. LOL

Karen I see you use skim milk powder in your starter. Do you think it would work using non-fat dry milk powder? I've got lots of that. Would you be willing to share your recipe for starter with me? I don't generally like commercially made sourdough bread as many times it taste like wood to me, though I can't figure out why. I want to start doing more along these lines. Help please!
I used instant skim milk powder for about a year, but lately I've been using plain water or potato water instead. I wonder if you & I are talking about the same milk powder product? I've had this batch of starter going for so long, I don't actually remember what I did at the beginning! I found something on the internet with flour, water and I think just a bit of yeast and skim milk powder.

Now that I'm using an antique bread bucket to make the dough I'm having all kinds of fun fooling around with recipes. Whatever liquid is called for, I thin out my starter if it needs it and use that in place of the water or milk in the recipe. My bucket makes 4 loaves of dough very nicely. Now I've started leaving out the salt to see what happens, still experimenting with that.
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  #11  
Old 11-30-2011, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MYellowRose View Post
I'm reading some old posts that I missed when I didn't have a computer & couldn't remember my user name & password. LOL

Karen I see you use skim milk powder in your starter. Do you think it would work using non-fat dry milk powder? I've got lots of that. Would you be willing to share your recipe for starter with me? I don't generally like commercially made sourdough bread as many times it taste like wood to me, though I can't figure out why. I want to start doing more along these lines. Help please!
http://packham.n4m.org/sourdrec.htm they use some milk powder...I don't see why the non fat would be different from skim.

Edit-don't toss out the discard stuff...delicious for onion rings.....and I've had a neighbor make pretzels from it.
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  #12  
Old 01-28-2012, 05:32 PM
debbie-bountiful Female debbie-bountiful is offline
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well I bouoght my starter from King Arthur. Made sour dough yesterday for the first time and it was HORRIBLE. maybe I don't know what to do. Follow the recipe but believe me it had a horrible smell and taste... Any one ever use King Arthur? Also I must say I've never tried to make sour dough before. Great luck with 100 whole wheat but that is about the limit of my skills.
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:08 PM
grumble Male grumble is offline
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I'm probably the world's worst person to give advice on anything that happens in a kitchen, but I never let things like that stop me. <G>

I wanted to make some San Francisco Sourdough like the expensive stuff in the store. After clicking around on google for a while, I found this site:
http://www.sourdoughhome.com/startingastarter.html

I made my starter with just some fresh whole wheat flour, letting the yeast from that flour take over. I made a fair amount of bread and pancakes from it that came out pretty decent, and my DILs and DD got enough to get them going. Eventually, I forgot to take care of the starter and it died, but I was then able to say I had the experience, and went back to the easy way, buying the packets of yeast.

Using real sourdough is a lot of trouble, and time consuming. Takes forever, it seems, for the dough to rise, and if it doesn't rise enough, you have hardtack instead of bread. And, my place stays pretty cool, only getting above 65* for a couple months in the summer. It got old waiting for two days or more for the dough to rise -- not exactly something to do to make a quick sandwich.

But it was good stuff! I'd recommend it to anyone with the patience to try it.
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumble View Post
I'm probably the world's worst person to give advice on anything that happens in a kitchen, but I never let things like that stop me. <G>

I wanted to make some San Francisco Sourdough like the expensive stuff in the store. After clicking around on google for a while, I found this site:
http://www.sourdoughhome.com/startingastarter.html

I made my starter with just some fresh whole wheat flour, letting the yeast from that flour take over. I made a fair amount of bread and pancakes from it that came out pretty decent, and my DILs and DD got enough to get them going. Eventually, I forgot to take care of the starter and it died, but I was then able to say I had the experience, and went back to the easy way, buying the packets of yeast.

Using real sourdough is a lot of trouble, and time consuming. Takes forever, it seems, for the dough to rise, and if it doesn't rise enough, you have hardtack instead of bread. And, my place stays pretty cool, only getting above 65* for a couple months in the summer. It got old waiting for two days or more for the dough to rise -- not exactly something to do to make a quick sandwich.

But it was good stuff! I'd recommend it to anyone with the patience to try it.
pssst..... http://www.sourdoughhome.com/revivingastarter.html

I've used king arthur and I've never liked there starters.

For sour dough I've got 2 recipes that I've always enjoyed. I've got to dig them out though.
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  #15  
Old 01-29-2012, 11:24 AM
Mperfect1 Female Mperfect1 is offline
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I'm very rusty on where or when I got the info (Carla Emery's book??) but I've read that most kitchens of today don't have enough of the right beasties floating around to make from-scratch starter work well without using some packaged yeast to get it going. If you keep a batch going for awhile, you will eventually have mostly home-brewed yeast at some point, but most of us will need to begin with purchased yeast to get everything started off right.

I've had luck using the starter recipe out of one of the Tightwad Gazette books - maybe I'll look it up and compare it to these others...
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:07 PM
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While I suppose there are yeast spores floating around in the air, it's probably a "by guess and by by golly" proposition of getting the right spores to get a bread starter going. Once upon a time, that was also how yeast to make beer and wine was used.

If you get some freshly ground whole wheat flour, something less than a couple months old, the yeast you need will be in the flour. It's important to get flour that isn't too old, and that hasn't been processed. Shouldn't matter whether you use wheat, rye, or other types of flour, only that it's fresh and not processed (whole grain). It's the yeast you want, not the flour.

Clearly, you can keep a store bought batch of yeast going for a long time. The idea of using the natural yeast in the flour is that it is less refined, and will have a stronger flavor. There may also be some advantages to mold resistance or other diseases to the yeast plant, but I don't know enough about it to say for sure.
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:58 PM
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ok....first I make yeast from scratch....any kitchen can do it.

Organic tompson raisins....all fruit have a natural yeast on the skin!
Water...I use distilled.
Jelly jars....we all have them.

1.5 ounce box of raisins The small 6 pack ones.

To make your yeast..boil the jars for a few minutes and let dry.

Add raisins in the jar to water in a 1:1 ratio. You need the water chlorine free it'll kill the yeast.

Shake the jar vigourously, and tighten the lid. Keep the jars at 82 degrees F.

4-5 hours later shake them again. Keep them at 82 degrees. Now we increase the water...you want twice the amount of water as raisins.

Shake them daily, release the lid to let out any gas, then tighten the lid.

Sometimes on the 3rd and 4th day you'll hear a swehehehehehe sound. Then refrigerate when you get that sound. Take it out of the fridge each day and shake it. Then put it back. About day 5 your ready to make the levain that night.

I make my levain on a 1:1 ratio. Equal amount of yeast raisin water, use an equal amount of flour.

You must check the ph level before adding the flour. Your looking for between 5.5 and 5.75 for the ph test. Then add the flour. If it's higher, let it sit another day and check it again till it's in that range.

Your now ready to use it in your breads.

2 cups yeast starter = 1 package active dry yeast


*note, levain is known as a sourdough starter not all sourdough starters yeild a sour bread. Sour bread is from lactobacilli.
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:18 AM
Mistie Female Mistie is offline
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Flour,,milk,,Sugar,,those are the 3.... I will always remember,,I have that sitting in a crock bowl always through the winter,,,,,,on the back of the very old propane stove that my family thinks shoud be new LOL
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Old 04-21-2012, 01:47 PM
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Smile Sourdough bread starter

Wow, I am very glad to have found this thread!
I received some sourdough starter from a bread class I took.
I have found that feeding it once a week and keeping it refrigerated is the trick to a healthy and 'happy' sourdough starter.
I feed mine bread flour and a small amount of water.

The only thing I have made with my sourdough is pretzels but I have been looking for other uses and advice.

Thanks to all of you!
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Old 04-21-2012, 04:33 PM
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The only good thing about San Francisco is the smell of fresh Fishermans Wharf Sour Dough French Bread coming out of the ovens in the mornings. Love the stuff especially when fresh and hot ! Yesterday I bought a small can of Augason Farms French Bread mix. Will be trying it out in a few days.
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