Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Fierce Denver sourdough starter

This is an entirely different subject. This is completely different from the post about a volunteer yeast culture derived from ordinary flour. This culture started with that but was then subjected to harsh weather conditions for over a week. This culture was rained on several times during the collection period. Whatever landed into the bowl of slurry overtook whatever culture that was already on the all purpose flour and completely kicked its butt like Viking invaders. 


A long time ago, active starter was spread across plastic on a baking sheet and left to dry for a day, in order to save some by freezing.  Things like this dry quickly in Denver. The flakes are broken to bits and saved. For two years, I think. (The whole thing can be processed to powder.)


One teaspoon dissolved into 1/2 cup of water and mixed with 1/2 cup flour.

The rubber band indicates the starting level. 


Nothing observable happened at room temperature for six hours.

In reality the chunks were dissolving in there, coming alive, feeding and multiplying and slowly spreading across he whole thing. 

Somewhat discouraged, I put the closed jar inside the closed machine mixing bowl, with a 100W lamp aiming at it. A towel is placed over the shade of the photographer's lamp to form a kind of cloth tunnel draped across the gap and over the mixing bowl lid. It raises the ambient temperature inside there to about 100℉, slightly warmer than your own body temperature.

The setup is checked repeatedly to assure the towel is not burning and the yeast sponge does not actually cook. For 12 hours. 


When the jar is opened it goes, "pooooooft' and you know that it has build up C02.



1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water foamed all the way to the top of a pint jar, that's 2 cups. 

If you start out with the heat of a lamp then you can reactivate this yeast to full blast in less than 24 hours. 

Then do with this starter whatever you like.

I want to make a good standard long loaf of bread.

* This starter was dumped into the mixer's large bowl. (There are two such mixer bowls. One is already holding sourdough batch from yesterday, on the terrace fermenting in the cool for three days. This is the yeast culture from the flour itself, not the Fierce Denver sourdough being discussed now.) 

* Two cups of warm water are added to the mixing bowl

* Four level cups of flour are added to the mixing bowl

* Two teaspoons of salt are added to the bowl

The machine is run to mix the ingredients and allowed to rest for twenty minutes to absorb the water and to begin breaking down by enzymes. After awhile all by itself the fough feels a lot softer, easier to stretch, and more manageable and readily able to make  protein connections. The machine runs for about eight to ten minutes on low. It's basically pushing the dough around. 

The whole bowl gets  the heat treatment by the same lamp until it approaches peak activity and then abruptly set outside on the terrace covered in the cold air.  This Denver sourdough is not so easily discouraged. It will continue to grow in the cold, but only more slowly. In three days it will be brought back in and given the heat treatment again to shock it back to full activity, and abruptly baked. The yeast culture pervading the dough is totally manipulated by temperature. 

I can send you a teaspoon of this culture if you like. Just like the volunteers do with the 1847 Oregon Trail sourdough starter. You see, it's what Carl Griffith wanted. Carl gave his starter to anyone who asked for it and people appreciated that. To show their appreciation they took up Carl's project and give the starter to anyone who asks. 

And it's a very good starter. A fine starter indeed.

But mine is better. 

Yeah, I said it. Mine is better than 1847 Oregon Trail. Mine is more fierce. Mine is more robust, and it's faster. Mine is more responsive. Mine is tastier and mine is more fun.

You won't even have to do the SASE thing, no donation involved. If you'd like to try your hand at this then tell me your mailing address and I'll send you teaspoon of powder to reactivate like this overnight with the heat of a lamp.

5 comments:

AprilApple said...

If you're not careful, you're going to discover a new form of antibiotic & save mankind.

Faster please.

(*I've been watching some scientific shows on Amazon streaming about early medicine and the origins of)

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

My wife sautés vegetables and always turns them to mush.

My wife grills marinated, boneless chicken breasts and always turns then to shoe leather.

I recently attempted to compliment my wife's turkey meatloaf by saying that it was nicely cohesive, unlike her regular meatloaf which is always a loose, sloppy mess.

That was a tactical error on my part.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

My mother-in-law burns the bottoms of biscuits. Always.

My mother-in-law burns the bottoms of cookies. Always.

My mother-in-law has said out loud that she suspects there's something wrong with her oven.

I have, so far, been able to keep my mouth shut.

Chip Ahoy said...

I notice that some people do not use mistakes as learning opportunities.

Synova said...

I would like a packet of Fierce Denver sourdough starter. My mail goes to twelve Jennifer drive in Sandia Park New Mexico 87047. We had a family reunion and the fellow managing it managed to add an additional child to my family, Jennifer who was 12. That was funny. Also, my name is Julie Pascal.

I'm still nursing along my attempt for a Sandia starter. That was collected in the rain and snow as well. It's alive. It smells properly sour. I'm going to try to add some heat to it to see if I get more bubbles. I might be making the slurry too thin so the bubbles just pop and I never see them so I made it a little thicker.

That book from Sourdough International has directions for a Styrofoam heat box but putting the jar in a big bowl seems like a good idea. I don't have a light, but I have a heating pad I could wrap around the bowl. That would probably be warm enough without a cover.