starter for dummies 
Author Message
 starter for dummies

Quote:
> Or is there a consensus that dough
> that doubles in T hours (because the ambient temperature is 80
> degrees) is better (or worse) than dough that doubles in 2T hours
> (because the ambient is 60)?

I think there's no question that a dough risen longer, at a lower
temperature, results in a more interesting loaf.

(The results of a direct-method bread made with quick-rise yeast
are pretty sad.  Better to cut back on yeast for a long rise.)

- dc



Sun, 09 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 starter for dummies

I've been baking for years and thought I had learned something about
the art.  What a waste.  Just the few loaves I've been able to make
since finding this group has convinced me that the default state of
'bread' is sourdough -- that bread without sourdough is like bread
without salt: Perfectly edible but a specialty item.

What sourdough adds is not the taste of sour, particularly, but
an amazing depth and intricacy of flavor and a superior texture.
Where does this flavor come from?  My guess would be from the variety
and distribution of yeast species -- ordinary bread is made with
one yeast type; good sourdough is made with two or three; great
sourdough is made with four or five.  

This hypothesis carries with it certain implications about starter
preparations.  Many ecologists think complex ecologies arise best in
stable environments, like the seasonless tropics.  Such environments
generate a fine structure of ecological niches that support large
numbers of species.  By contrast, the far lower species abundance of
the temperate zone is thought caused by its winter-summer alternation.

Thus one implication is that it is easier to make great bread from
starter that has been disturbed as little as possible (consistent with
keeping the basic yeast/lactobacilli population ratio).  Starter that
has been continuously fed should be better than starter that has spent
time in the back of the fridge, since when starter goes unfed (I read)
the lactobacilli bloom and the yeast dies off.  This results in
a homogeneous environment (rather like our winter) that resets the
ecological clock to zero.  Species diversity has to suffer.  

Perhaps it also follows that starter that is handled by pouring has
more promise than starter that is stirred, since again, stirring would
be a comparatively more {*filter*} disruption of the niche structure that
supports diversity.

What other possibilities are there that explain this extraordinary
taste?  Another could be the accumulation of yeast byproducts.  This
theory differs from the multiple species theory in that the effect on
taste would not depend on ecological structure (unless perhaps these
byproducts deteriorated quickly).

By the way, I want to thank those responsible for all the good
suggestions I got for dealing with the temperature control problem.
I am tempted just to let the starter and dough take whatever time
they need to do what they have to do and clock my schedule to theirs
rather than the other way around.  Or is there a consensus that dough
that doubles in T hours (because the ambient temperature is 80
degrees) is better (or worse) than dough that doubles in 2T hours
(because the ambient is 60)??

Regards,

Fred
www.pobox.com/~hapgood



Mon, 10 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 starter for dummies

Quote:

>Or is there a consensus that dough that doubles in T hours
>(because the ambient temperature is 80 degrees) is better
>(or worse) than dough that doubles in 2T hours (because
>the ambient is 60)??

It seems doubtful that there is a consensus about anything.

Say, Fred, would you agree that dough that doubles (presumably in
volume) in T hours at 80 degrees F. and in 2T hours at 60 degrees
F, would probably double in 4T hours at 40 degrees F.?

Here is a question about an actual situation.  Yesterday at about
2 PM I set out to test four of my archived cultures for viability.
I made a batter from white flour taken from a freshly opened paper
sack.  I aliquoted the batter to five jars which were then closed
with their proper caps, and thereupon respectively inoculated
four of the jars with material taken from  each of the four
archived cultures.  Care was taken that only one jar was open
during each inoculation.  The jar to which no inoculation was
made remained tightly closed.

The five jars, labeled as to the contents of each, and covered
tightly, were set in the 95 degree (thermostated) incubator.  This
morning, at 8 PM, I observed that the contents of all five jars
were foaming very actively.

How would you interpret this result, and how do you think I should
proceed?

---
{*filter*} Adams



Mon, 10 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 starter for dummies

Quote:

>I think there's no question that a dough risen longer, at a lower
>temperature, results in a more interesting loaf.

>(The results of a direct-method bread made with quick-rise yeast
>are pretty sad.  Better to cut back on yeast for a long rise.)

But there you are changing the nature of the yeast, or the amount
of yeast.  Suppose you keep the yeast constant and change only
the temperature, putting the dough in the oven whenever it has
doubled. Are you sure that under those conditions you would
see a difference in taste?  I've made bread in summer and bread in
winter; there is easily a 2x difference in rising time as between
these two seasons (we're pretty casual about heating the house) and
the bread I make in the summer is just as good, if not even a bit
better, than that I make in the winter.  

Plus, isn't that what you would expect in theory anyway, given that we
are dealing with biological organisms adapted to a temperate climates?

Fred

www.pobox.com/~hapgood



Mon, 10 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 starter for dummies

?>
?>I think there's no question that a dough risen longer, at a lower
?>temperature, results in a more interesting loaf.
?>
?>(The results of a direct-method bread made with quick-rise yeast
?>are pretty sad.  Better to cut back on yeast for a long rise.)
?
?
?But there you are changing the nature of the yeast, or the amount
?of yeast.  Suppose you keep the yeast constant and change only
?the temperature, putting the dough in the oven whenever it has
?doubled. Are you sure that under those conditions you would
?see a difference in taste?

Yes,

I have done precisely that experiment. Mixed up a batch of dough,
divided it in half, let one half rise to double twice at 80
degrees F, let the other half rise to double twice at 60 degrees
F. Prepared loaves, let them rise to double at their respective
temperatures, and finally, baked 'em at 450 with steam for ten
minutes.

As I have previously posted here, the differences are obvious:

The cooler-slower loaf has a darker crumb (more tan-golden rather
than white). It has a more irregular crumb texture. The crumb is
more elastic: when the bread is pulled apart slowly, the
cooler-slower bread tears in longer "strings") The crumb is
"opalescent" that is, it has a shiny-transluscent quality that is
absent in the warmer-faster bread. BTW, please forgive my limited
baker's vocabulary, there may well be proper names for these
characteristics. I am just describing my observations as best I
can... The cooler-slower bread had a thicker crust that was
crisper. Finally, (and most importantly) the cooler-slower bread
had a much more interesting, pleasant, and complex flavor.

Try it... the experiment is no more complicated than making two
loaves of bread.

--
-Kenneth

Please respond here, and also via email (after removing "SPAMLESS.")



Mon, 10 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 starter for dummies

Dear Fred
It is the by-products of yeast fermentation and bacterial action that
produce
the wonderful flavors of sourdough bread. Because of the longer time
element
in sourdough, you get more of it also.

You can test this theory out by making 2 ordinary white breads--one by
conventional
method (mix it all up and let it rise), and one by sponge method (mix up
the yeast with
water and some of the flour to make a batter and let it stand a few hours
before finishing
the mixing process. The sponge method will have superior taste and
texture.

When I decide to make bread on the spur of the moment, and the sourdough
culture is
cold in the refrigerator, I just dump some of the sourdough starter into
the water after
I've dissolved the yeast, and the bread comes out so-o  good.
Bev

Quote:

> What sourdough adds is not the taste of sour, particularly, but
> an amazing depth and intricacy of flavor and a superior texture.
> Where does this flavor come from?  My guess would be from the variety
> and distribution of yeast species -- ordinary bread is made with
> one yeast type; good sourdough is made with two or three; great
> sourdough is made with four or five.

> This hypothesis carries with it certain implications about starter
> preparations.  Many ecologists think complex ecologies arise best in
> stable environments, like the seasonless tropics.  Such environments
> generate a fine structure of ecological niches that support large
> numbers of species.  By contrast, the far lower species abundance of
> the temperate zone is thought caused by its winter-summer alternation.

> Thus one implication is that it is easier to make great bread from
> starter that has been disturbed as little as possible (consistent with
> keeping the basic yeast/lactobacilli population ratio).  Starter that
> has been continuously fed should be better than starter that has spent
> time in the back of the fridge, since when starter goes unfed (I read)
> the lactobacilli bloom and the yeast dies off.  This results in
> a homogeneous environment (rather like our winter) that resets the
> ecological clock to zero.  Species diversity has to suffer.

> Perhaps it also follows that starter that is handled by pouring has
> more promise than starter that is stirred, since again, stirring would
> be a comparatively more {*filter*} disruption of the niche structure that
> supports diversity.

> What other possibilities are there that explain this extraordinary
> taste?  Another could be the accumulation of yeast byproducts.  This
> theory differs from the multiple species theory in that the effect on
> taste would not depend on ecological structure (unless perhaps these
> byproducts deteriorated quickly).

> By the way, I want to thank those responsible for all the good
> suggestions I got for dealing with the temperature control problem.
> I am tempted just to let the starter and dough take whatever time
> they need to do what they have to do and clock my schedule to theirs
> rather than the other way around.  Or is there a consensus that dough
> that doubles in T hours (because the ambient temperature is 80
> degrees) is better (or worse) than dough that doubles in 2T hours
> (because the ambient is 60)??

> Regards,

> Fred
> www.pobox.com/~hapgood



Tue, 11 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 starter for dummies

Quote:

> >I have done precisely that experiment. Mixed up a batch of dough,
> >divided it in half, let one half rise to double twice at 80
> >degrees F, let the other half rise to double twice at 60 degrees
> >F. Prepared loaves, let them rise to double at their respective
> >temperatures, and finally, baked 'em at 450 with steam for ten
> >minutes.

> Interesting.  These results certainly differ from mine. I suspect
> that the reason is that up until now my breads have been yeast-only.
> The sourdough culture, balanced as it is between yeast and
> lactobacteria -- and perhaps with more than one species
> of each -- is probably much more sensitive to temperature than
> a yeast-only bread.

> Does that make sense?

> Fred
> www.pobox.com/~hapgood

From what I've read, it does make sense.  The lactobacili and the yeast
react differently to temperature.  The lactobacili not only continue to
make the bread more flavorful, but the kind of acid that they produce
changes because of the temperature.  I wish I could be more precise, but
I don't have the article I found this in with me.

Stefie



Tue, 11 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 starter for dummies

Quote:

>I have done precisely that experiment. Mixed up a batch of dough,
>divided it in half, let one half rise to double twice at 80
>degrees F, let the other half rise to double twice at 60 degrees
>F. Prepared loaves, let them rise to double at their respective
>temperatures, and finally, baked 'em at 450 with steam for ten
>minutes.

Interesting.  These results certainly differ from mine. I suspect
that the reason is that up until now my breads have been yeast-only.
The sourdough culture, balanced as it is between yeast and
lactobacteria -- and perhaps with more than one species
of each -- is probably much more sensitive to temperature than
a yeast-only bread.

Does that make sense?

Fred
www.pobox.com/~hapgood



Wed, 12 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 starter for dummies

?>
?>I have done precisely that experiment. Mixed up a batch of dough,
?>divided it in half, let one half rise to double twice at 80
?>degrees F, let the other half rise to double twice at 60 degrees
?>F. Prepared loaves, let them rise to double at their respective
?>temperatures, and finally, baked 'em at 450 with steam for ten
?>minutes.
?
?
?Interesting.  These results certainly differ from mine. I suspect
?that the reason is that up until now my breads have been yeast-only.
?The sourdough culture, balanced as it is between yeast and
?lactobacteria -- and perhaps with more than one species
?of each -- is probably much more sensitive to temperature than
?a yeast-only bread.
?
?Does that make sense?
?
Well, I don't know... I have little understanding of the "why"
and was commenting only on the "what." BTW, my little experiment
has produced the same results with yeast and with sourdough.

Have fun with it!

--
-Kenneth

If you email please remove the "SPAMLESS."



Wed, 12 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 starter for dummies

Fred,

   Yeast only breads also benefit dramatically from a cooler-slower rise.

--
Liz community assistant
http://forums.msn.com/parenting/
My posts reflect my personal opinions and have nothing to do with MSN.

Quote:

>>I have done precisely that experiment. Mixed up a batch of dough,
>>divided it in half, let one half rise to double twice at 80
>>degrees F, let the other half rise to double twice at 60 degrees
>>F. Prepared loaves, let them rise to double at their respective
>>temperatures, and finally, baked 'em at 450 with steam for ten
>>minutes.

>Interesting.  These results certainly differ from mine. I suspect
>that the reason is that up until now my breads have been yeast-only.
>The sourdough culture, balanced as it is between yeast and
>lactobacteria -- and perhaps with more than one species
>of each -- is probably much more sensitive to temperature than
>a yeast-only bread.

>Does that make sense?

>Fred
>www.pobox.com/~hapgood



Wed, 12 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 starter for dummies

Quote:

>Say, Fred, would you agree that dough that doubles (presumably in
>volume)

What? As opposed to weight????  

Quote:
>in T hours at 80 degrees F. and in 2T hours at 60 degrees
>F, would probably double in 4T hours at 40 degrees F.?

Probably.  I'm no expert on temperate zone microflora, but the
little I do know inclines me towards the picture of a relatively
temperature-resistant activity profile.  Within reason.

Quote:
>The five jars, labeled as to the contents of each, and covered
>tightly, were set in the 95 degree (thermostated) incubator.  This
>morning, at 8 PM, I observed that the contents of all five jars
>were foaming very actively.

>How would you interpret this result, and how do you think I should
>proceed?

My own suggestion is that you should proceed by stating whatever point
you have in mind clearly and concisely.  At least that's what I would
try to do.  

Fred

www.pobox.com/~hapgood



Wed, 12 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 
 [ 11 post ] 

 Relevant Pages 

1. Detmold 3-stage Starter table for dummies

2. "Vegetable Gardening for Dummies"

3. "Tea for Dummies"

4. Tea dummy has a question

5. Tea dummy has another question...

6. "Cocktail Parties For Dummies"

7. Grilling For Dummies: Author Chat

8. "Tea for Dummies"

9. Travel Planning Online for Dummies

10. Beer For Dummies

11. Dummies Guide to Beer

12. Beer for Dummies


 
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software