King arthur flour - sourdough starter tips 1
Last updated 6/12/2012 12:46:15 AM. Recipe ID 6437. Report a problem with this recipe.
Title: King arthur flour - sourdough starter tips 1
Categories: Information, Breads
Yield: 1 Servings
-DEBBIE CARLSON (PHHW01A)
-KING ARTHUR FLOUR HINTS
The following information comes from King Arthur Flour "A Short
Course in Cooking With & Keeping the Elusive Wild Yeast".
What is a Sourdough Starter? "A sourdough starter is a wild yeast
living in a batter of flour and liquid. Yeasts are microscopic fungi
related distantly to mushrooms. There are many varieties of these
tiny organisms around us everywhere. Wild yeasts are rugged
individualists which can withstand the most extreme of circumstances.
Some will make delicious loaves of bread; others will create yogurt
and cheese out of milk; still others will turn the juices of grains
and fruit into beer and wine." "Active dry yeast, the kind we can buy
in packets at our grocer's, is a domesticated descendant of these
wild relatives, one which has been grown for flavor, speed of growth
and predictability. But domestic yeasts are much more fragile and
can't be grown at home without eventually reverting to their original
"If you can imagine a world without any packets of active dry yeast,
you can imagine how important your sourdough starter would be to you.
Without it, you would be doomed to some pretty awful eating. It is no
wonder that sourdough starters were treasured, fought over, and
carried to all ends of the earth. To the early prospectors, it was
such a valued possession (almost more than the gold they were
seeking), that they slept with it on frigid winter nights to keep it
from freezing. (Ironically, freezing won't kill a sourdough starter
although too much heat will.)"
Fermentation (or the Microscopic Magic of Yeast): "As we mentioned
above, yeast is a microscopic fungus. As it feeds on the natural
sugars in grain, it multiplies and gives off carbon dioxide (just as
we do when we breathe). This invisible activity of yeast is called
fermentation. When you make bread with wheat, by kneading the long
elastic strands of wheat protein (called gluten) into an elastic
mesh, you create traps for these carbon dioxide bubbles causing the
dough to expand as if it contained a million tiny balloons."
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