Sourdough Hints Before You Need Them

| 4/9/2014 9:57:00 AM

Tags: sourdough, bread baking, Idaho, Jodi Wise,

sourdough starterBecause I am new to baking, I figured that it is like anything else that you are new at ... you learn the tricks-to-the-trade after you have pulled your hair out.  So I am helping out the new sourdough bakers with some tricks that I have learned from the experts here at Sourdoughs International.

1. A proofing box is a must. This is one of the very few ways to regulate your temperature correctly.  Sourdough like certain temperatures, especially when activating.  On my proofing box, I have pushed a thermometer through the box mid-way.  Then I can read the temperature from the outside without disturbing it.

2. Sourdough cultures will activate and bubble up, then bubble down. Sometimes we miss it and think that it is not activating correctly.  What you do is, clean off part of the inside of the jar, from the top down to the culture.  That way you know for sure if the culture is activating.

3. Jar size. I use a 1 quart (1 liter) wide mouthed canning jar.  The lid is just loosely placed on.  I also put a wipe board piece on top, so that I can see when the last time I fed it was and which culture it is.

4. Washing the culture. So many times cultures get washed when it is not needed.  If a culture needs washing you will know it.  The smell is very, very rank!  There will be no question in your mind that something is wrong.  The smell of each one of our sourdough cultures from Sourdough International smells different.  The smell may not seem normal but trust me it is.

5. When I heard of sourdough, all I could think of is I will have to stay home for the rest of my life to keep this culture going.  That is not the case.  If you are not going to be using your culture for an extended period of time, put it in the fridge.  It can stay there for several months without any attention.  Then when you need it, get it out and re activate it.  I do recommend re activating it every three months if you aren't using it.

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