Author Topic: Malt Extract to Build a Better Sourdough Starter  (Read 9851 times)

Offline skyler

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Malt Extract to Build a Better Sourdough Starter
« on: June 20, 2012, 12:34:01 PM »
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area - in Berkeley, CA. Though there is a renowned bakery just two blocks from my house (Acme Bread Co.) and another less than 2 miles away (Semifreddi's), I have never been successful at getting a sourdough starter going from the wild yeast in my own backyard... until I tried using malt extract.

My technique:

1. Add 1/4 cup of dry malt extract to a solution of 2 cups AP flour and 2 cups water
2. Stir sticky batter together in a large mason jar or other clean glass container - covering with rubber-banded cheesecloth
3. Leave outside in the shade (in my case, under a plum tree full of ripening plums) for 6 hours
4. Bring inside, into kitchen cabinet
5. After active fermentation appears complete (looks a lot like a beer fermenting, only uglier), pour off "beer" that has collected on top, and stir in 1/2 cup AP flour
6. When bubbles have appeared on the surface, remove half of the starter (can be used for bread baking, or just discarded), and replace with 1 cup flour and 1 cup water
7. Starter is now mature. Remove as much as you need for baking and replace with equal parts (by volume) flour and water

I have been using this for extra sour "San Francisco Style" sourdough breads by putting together the dough, giving it 12-24 hours in the fridge, then 12 hours room temperature fermentation, followed by 10-12 kneads, shaping into a boule (the picture shown was today's batch - my first attempt at shaping a bâtard), giving it another 90-120 minutes, before baking in a preheated Dutch Oven (leaving the last 15 minutes for baking uncovered.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Malt Extract to Build a Better Sourdough Starter
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2012, 01:36:03 PM »
Looks mighty tasty skylar. When I was living in the east bay I got a good starter going for a while, then we left it out too long and it turned to nail polish remover  :'(

havn't tried it in Davis yet but given my experiments with capturing wild yeast here I am not hopeful.
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