Your Questions About Sourdough Starter Crock

Lisa asks…

Hi guys, can anyone tell me what a bread crock is used for?

sourdough answers:

I think – if it is like a bowl with a fitted lid – then it is something where you put raw sourdough bread mix. Sourdough is not made a batch at a time. You start off with a yeast dough and only use part of it. Leave the rest in the bread crock. When you make some more bread, you use a glob from the “starter” dough instead of fresh yeast for rising. You then replace some flour and water in the starter and it “ferments” or whatever yeast does so you can use more next time. It was used in pioneer days because the farm wives could not go to town to get fresh yeast. When yeast gets old, the bread will not rise. This sourdough starter mix can last forever if you do it right, and very seldom have to re-do it with fresh yeast.

Chris asks…

I need ingredients for sour dough starter?

starter is essential to make the loaf rise I lost my recipe. help?

sourdough answers:

SOURDOUGH STARTER

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
3/4 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour (do not use self-rising flour)

Dissolve yeast in warm water in 3-quart glass bowl. Stir in milk. Stir in flour gradually. Beat until smooth. Cover with towel or cheesecloth; let stand in warm, draft-free place until starter begins to ferment, aout 24 hours (bubbles will appear on surface of starter). If starteer has not begun fermentation after 24 hours, discard and begin again. If fermentation has begun, stir well; cover tightly with plastic wrap and return to warm, draft-free place. Let stand until foamy, 2 to 3 days.

When starter has become foamy, stir well; pour into 1-quart crock or glass jar with tightly fitting cover. Store in refridgerator. Starter is readty to use when a clear liquid has risen to top. Stir before using. Use 1 cup starter in recipe; reserve remaining starter. Add 3/4 cup milk and 3/4 cup flour to reserved starter. Store covered at room temperature until bubbles appear, about 12 hours; refrigerate.

Use starter regularly, every week to 10 days. If the volume of the breads you bake begins to decrease, dissolve1 teaspoon active dry yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Stir in 1/2 cup milk, 3/4 cup flour and the remaining starter.

Paul asks…

I have an old recipe for sourdough starter- what is the dry package yeast equivalent to 1 cake of yeast?

sourdough answers:

It’s 2 1/4 tsp. If you’ve never done sourdough before be sure your crock or whatever you do it in is big enough for your sponge to grow, and is NOT sealed airtight.. I had one get out of control and it sourdoughed my whole kitchen.

David asks…

How to make you own pickles.?

I’m starting to grow my own pickles and I’ve made a batch but they were soft. How can I make some really good crunchy pickles. Preferably dill or just Burger slices

sourdough answers:

Lacto fermented pickles simply requires salt, sugar and water ( spices like dill, garlic, or chilli peppers are added for flavor ). The sour taste is from lactic acid produced by lacto bacillus bacteria. The salt reduces the population of most of the microbes except lacto bacillus and yeast which are both tolerant of salt and acidic environments. The yeast will grow first, consuming all of the oxygen and producing CO? Which is heavier than oxygen so an anaerobic environment would be established killing the aerobic bacterias and molds. The lacto bacillus bacteria produces lactic acid and the acidic environment kills off most of the other bacteria except for itself thereby preserving the vegetable. The lacto bacillus bacteria also produces numerous vitamins and helps with our digestion when our intestines are colonized with them.

Vinegar only started to be used with canning because the canning process attempts to kill all bacteria including lacto bacillus therefore an artificially acidic environment had to be produced.

Natural lacto fermented pickles are much better tasting and better for you than the commercial vinegar pickles.

Traditional pickling jars and crocks have a trough around their mouth which you fill with water and then a bowl is placed upside down with the rim in the water thereby providing an airtight seal that lets out any of the excess gasses created by the yeast. A photo of such a jar is in the link below. You can still buy lacto fermented products packed in such jars and sealed with paraffin wax in the trough, at asian grocery stores. You can also buy inexpensive pickling crocks at the asian stores or you can buy expensive German Sauerkraut crocks.

Keep the pickling jars out of sunlight but at room temperature or even a little warm ( 90 to 110 ? Is ideal for lacto bacillus ) for the first four days and then keep it cool, perhaps in the refrigerator but again out of sunlight.

Other lacto-fermented products to look at are yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Indeed, the eaiest way to assure a good batch is to add a few tablespoons of the whey from yogurt ( the clear liquid ) thereby ensuring the right bacteria dominates the jar. You can also use a few tablespoons of a previous successful pickling run or even some pieces of a sourdough starter that you may have ( same bacteria gives sourdough it’s sour taste ). Kimchi liquid works but has a lot of chilli pepper in it which you may or may not want. Adding beet gives everything a pink red color which is sometimes a desired trait in pickled eggs and Lebanese pickled turnips and cauliflower. Red cabbage is the dye used in litmus paper so as the liquid acidifies, red cabbage should turn redder. You want the ph to be 4.5 or lower which means purple or red for red cabbage.

Robert asks…

where did sour dough originate?

I’m doing an assignment for Food Tech. and I need to know where it originated, and i can’t find the answer anywhere.

sourdough answers:

A: According to “Sourdough Cookery”: The Sourdough Cookbook by Rita Davenport, sourdough has been around for 5,000 years or so. She writes, “An Egyptian noticed that some flour he had left out in the open had become wet. Bubbles had formed mysteriously in the mixture. When baked into bread, the mixture had a lighter texture and a superior, tantalizing taste. Today we know that wild airborne yeast fell into the open container of flour and water, causing fermentation. These yeasts are bacteria, similar to bacteria in sour milk or other soured foods, composed of billions of tiny microscopic plants like the organisms found in commercial yeast.” Flash forward a few thousand years. In frontier days, Davenport says, “miners and trappers carried a pot or crock of sourdough starter with them. The fresh yeast that was available at that time spoiled easily, so sourdough that could be replenished was a valued possession. Some starters became famous for their exceptionally good flavor and were passed down from generation to generation and shared with friends.”

That’s how The Food Channel editor got her starter—it was given to her by a co-worker more than 10 years ago, and she has been making sourdough bread at least monthly ever since. Sourdough has the advantage in today’s world of being natural, with no perservatives. Sourdough starter is kept alive and is fed and used again for each new batch of dough.

To start your own starter, try this recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon dry yeast

2 cups lukewarm water

With a wooden spoon, stir dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and gradually add lukewarm water. Stir until mixture resembles a smooth paste. Cover with a towel or cheesecloth and set in a warm place to sour. Stir mixture several times a day. In 2-3 days sourdough will be ready. Store in a heavy plastic container, with a hole punched in lid to allow gases to escape

o use the starter, try this recipe

Tips

Sourdough should be mixed in glass, stoneware or plastic. Do not use metal since it can reduce the purity and change the flavor of the sourdough.
Store your sourdough in a container with enough head room to allow for expansion.
Remember that sourdough may double in volume before baking, and again while you bake it, so choose pans of sufficient size for the growth.

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