New Spelt Sourdough starter smell

New Spelt Sourdough starter smell

Submitted by flouryhands on October 18, 2017 - 3:21pm.


A 2 day old starter I made using 100g filtered water and 50g spelt was very much alive but the smell took me by surprise - it was similar to smoked mackerel but sweeter and a bit sickly - a bit off-putting to be honest so I threw it away just in case it had picked up something bad.

For the next batch I used a brand new bag of spelt and a clean sterilised container and made up 50g spelt with 50g filtered water and 2 days on it's alive but has a similar but milder version of the smell of the first batch.

Is this sweet/smokey smell just characteristic of a spelt starter?  For my next "feed" I'll add white flour to see if this changes the character.






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New Member--looking for help baking with home mill flour

New Member--looking for help baking with home mill flour

Submitted by SewShine on October 18, 2017 - 2:43pm.


I have been baking bread with my home mill flour for some time and have good success.  My challenge is baking cakes and such.  I use soft white and sift out the bran.  I just can't replicate the soft fluffy cakes that you get with pastry flour. I just ordered spelt to try that as was recommended on another site.  Anybody here have sage advice for me?  I love my home milled flour and will not go back to store bought.  I'm just hoping I can find a solution to my cake predicament!

Thanks so much!

Rebekah Twitter Facebook StumbleUpon

need help with measurements for this cookie recipe!

need help with measurements for this cookie recipe!

Submitted by ittehbittehkitteh on October 18, 2017 - 1:10pm.

I hate recipes that use volume measurements, because volume measurements aren't accurate; they're fine for measuring liquid ingredients but are extremely inaccurate to measure dry ingredients, because dry ingredients are BY WEIGHT and every dry ingredient measures/weighs differently.

 I found a recipe for a maple cutout cookie, unfortunately the measurements are in volume.  Below is the link for the cookie recipe:

I can't find a similar recipe to the one I found, that has the measurements in ounces and/or grams.

Yes I can use a converter but this further complicates things because depending on which site I go to to convert from volume measurements to metric/weight measurements I get different measurements in grams for the same ingredient.

This is what I mean (by what I just described above):

King Arthur Flour (1 cup all-purpose flour is 4-1/4 ounces or 120 grams)  I type in 'all-purpose flour, U.S., sifted' as the ingredient and when I type in 120 grams and/or 4-1/4 ounces, I get 1.20 cups which is 3 Tablespoons more than a cup.

I  realize that 3 tablespoons is not big of a deal, but you have to be accurate with measurements in baking, and since every site I go to tells me different measurements for the same ingredient when I convert to grams and/or weight measurements (e.g. ounces) HOW do I know which measurement is the most accurate and correct one to use?


How do I know which site has the most accurate weight/metric measurement?
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what makes the best roll for a sandwich - i need to make some

what makes the best roll for a sandwich - i need to make some

Submitted by mutantspace on October 18, 2017 - 11:37am.

just throwing it out there - ive been asked to come up with a roll for a small salad bar a friend of mine runs. He currently gets ice soft white rolls from a bakery but i wanted to give hm something a little more. Any thoughts? Because its primarily vegetarian and the veggies and leaves are dressed the bread needs to be able to soak up juices without breaking up. As i love slow fermenting I was going to make up a poolish with 95% white flour, 5% rye and a little rye starter, leave it for 12 hours or so, then make up final dough, ferment, shape, brush with butter to give soft crusts and bake....

should give a nice chew, good flavour - with that added complexity to the white flour - and have enough body to withstand salad oils, leaves, veggies and other condiments....anyone any other ideas, or anyone made or eaten the perfect roll? Twitter Facebook StumbleUpon

Getting more "Sour" in my pizza

Getting more "Sour" in my pizza

Submitted by hotsawce on October 18, 2017 - 11:11am.

Based on the help of the forum, I finally got a starter going and have successfully used it in pizza.

I made a naturally leavened pizza with about 13% starter fed 1-1-1 seed-starter-water-flour, let it mature, and used in the final mix. Bulked at room temp for no more than 2 hours, into the fridge overnight, then balled. There was a little bit of rye/whole wheat in the starter.

Used a couple balls that evening and barely got any tang. The next day, to my surprise, there was a bit more but I still want more tang/sour.


Any suggestions on getting more tang or sourdough flavor in the finished dough? I would think more starter would contribute to flavor, but I am concerned about it fermenting the dough too quickly and giving it a shorter useable life. I tried a batch where I let it bulk ferment at room temp until a 3x increase in size, but using the balls the next day I had no noticeable flavor increase.


Any suggestions to get a more pronounced flavor in the dough would be greatly appreciated. Because the pizza dough is relatively thin and covered in toppings, the flavor of the dough needs to be bold to standup. Twitter Facebook StumbleUpon

long time yeast baker about to try my first SourDough - Clueless!

long time yeast baker about to try my first SourDough - Clueless!

Submitted by AndyPanda on October 17, 2017 - 7:13pm.

I was visiting my grandchildren in Santa Cruz yesterday.  I have been teaching their parents (my son and his wife) to bake bread and got them a grinder and a Bosch and 50 pounds of Montana Prairie Gold wheat and SAF yeast.  They've been baking a couple times a week and loving it  - and say they all feel healthier too :)   

But yesterday, my son told me he has this ancient sourdough starter that someone gave him - and he needed to get rid of half of it so sent me home with some. He left me with the impression that people have been dividing and feeding this same starter from generation to generation for hundreds of years  :)     

Of course it is the Carl's 1847 which I'd never heard of but spent some time googling.   From what I read - I am under the impression that it is mild and not as sour as other starters. And that it's pretty easy to use and resilient.  And the starter didn't have much of a smell from what I could tell (they had it in the fridge) - and I like my sourdough as sour as I can get it (Google told me King Arthur classic starter might be for me).

I pretty quickly got overwhelmed with information and was getting confused (three step process - what's that?) ... so I decided to just wing it (this is my typical style to learn anything new) .... so I put the starter in a warm place overnight and this morning it was all bubbly.  I fed it warm water and flour and a little sugar (was the sugar a mistake?) and let it continue to bubble for several hours.  Then I split it in half and put half in the fridge and with the other half I made a wet batter with a small potato mashed up and the water I boiled the potato in and some King Arthur bread flour.   I let that sit in a warm place --- and meanwhile I ground some Prairie Gold wheat (very fine) and screened out all the bran.  Then I made a bread dough (everything I normally do except no yeast) with the flour, water, salt, malt, milk powder, brown sugar and a little Bragg's apple cider vinegar.  And kneaded it in the machine and then let it rest. 

Then I took the bubbling sourdough batter and the wheat dough and kneaded them together and did a number of Stretch/Folds and let rest.   (Now I have no idea what I'm doing here - I'm just making this up as I go).  And finally the dough has a really strong smell very much like the sourdough I normally buy at the store (I'm in the SF Bay area and Safeway bakery is pretty decent sourdough - but I'm no connoisseur, haha) .  So I'm starting to get hopeful that this might actually turn out.

I don't know much about the history of the starter (not sure how recently my son had put it in the fridge or when he fed it last etc.) .... but it's been about 24 hours since I first started waking it up in a warm oven (light on) ... and it's been bubbling quite well.   I'm not really set up (yet) to do it free form on a stone --- so I shaped it into a loaf and put it in a loaf pan and it's rising - slower than my yeast bread, but faster than I expected.    (I only made one small loaf - haha - with about a cup of starter, so it's pretty strong on the starter to dough ratio).  

At the rate it's rising, I'm thinking I could heat up the oven and bake it tonight --- or I could put it in the fridge overnight and warm it up tomorrow.  Not really sure what I ought to do at this point.   (note: while I was typing this, it's been rising and it's already doubled in the loaf pan)

I've read a few posts here where people said three day process.  And I've read that rye (don't have any) would help me get a more sour flavor -- but the smell (and my hands still have that smell, long after handling the dough and washing several times) is pretty strong with just the kind of sourdough I was hoping for.   

I'm just rambling now ... sorry ... but any suggestions are welcome.     Even if you just want to laugh at my haphazard experiment, that's OK too!

Thanks in advance! Twitter Facebook StumbleUpon

Stiff starter has no life

Stiff starter has no life

Submitted by All rise on October 17, 2017 - 4:41pm.

 I've been following this forum for about 5 months now and appreciate all the good information available here. About 4 weeks ago I converted my 100% hydration starter 50/50 rye and bread flour to a 50% hydration starter. My goal is to make a more sour loaf of bread. I took 67 grams of the ripe starter and added 33 grams of flour 1/2 rye 1/2 bread flour, mixed and let it rise about 25%. I placed it in a container with plastic wrap and a lid then into the fridge. After 2 weeks I removed 5 grams and refreshed it 1:3:3 along with my 100% hydration starter. After 8 hours the 100% starer more than doubled while the stiff starter only made it to about a 75% rise. I repeated the refreshment with the same ratios and after 8 hours the 100% starter tripled and the stiff starter made it to double. I bake a loaf with both starters, same recipe. The stiff starter loaf did not rise as much as the other loaf but close. There was a very slight difference in flavor. 2 weeks later I attempted to repeat the same task. this time when I remove the stiff starter from the fridge it had a very sour smell to it, like vinegar, which initially I was excited about but when when I refreshed it 1:3:3 the mixture did not rise at all. I repeated with another piece of stiff starter and had the same results. Both starters are kept in the same fridge which is not used much so there is very little of opening and closing of the door. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.                                                                   

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Another 20% Whole Grain SF Sourdough Style Bread

Another 20% Whole Grain SF Sourdough Style Bread

Submitted by dabrownman on October 17, 2017 - 2:58pm.

The 2nd bread back from no bread for months, is similar to the one 2 weeks ago but the 20% whole grains were made up of only 7 different grains, the hydration was up a bit to 80% and we retarded it for 12 hours with no autolyse but did put the Pink Himalayan in the mix instead of on top of the autolyse.  We dropped the Emmer and Einkorn because Lucy said E’s are no longer the it in breadmaking anymore-  plus the pooches pantry was bare for them.

Lucy brought this recipe back from her 2 week trip to Meta Verse 1.0.  She has been in a funk since she got back but did say she loved it even with its flaws.  So…… I thought it was a good time to get her shots and teeth cleaned before the wedding - shots are done but teeth are next week.  The only one she hates more than bad pumpernickel bread or me is the Vet.


All I have to do is say let’s go to the Vet and she does a nose rip on me.  She is still too fast for me at 13 but she will get it back in spades when they clean her teeth.  She won’t let anyone brush her teeth and bites anyone who tries.  This is what she gets as a result - 500 bucks of pure hell.  At least they knock her out so she doesn’t remember too much if it.  It is fun messing with her while she is still loopy.

Short Ribs on butternut squash, carrot and sweet potato mash and St Louis Ribs

The 100% hydration levain contained all the whole grains and was single stage, stirred twice, over 16 hours.  It had more than peeked when it hit the mix.  3 sets of slap and folds over 1.5 hours and 2 hours of bulk were perfect before shaping and placing it in the rice floured basket.  Then in the fridge it went for the snooze. 

Green Chili Pork Stew and never eat soup out of can or Ramen when you can male your own chicken noodle soup from scratch

It looked a little low so t sat in the counter to puff itself up before unmolding, slashing and going into the 500 F DO for 20 minutes of stream.  Then it got 16 minutes of dry fan heat at 425F when it read 209.5 F and deemed done by Lucy.  It was a bit bolder than usual but we like it bolder.

It blistered, Sprang and bloomed well and it is nice looking loaf for sure.  We wrapped it in plastic after it cooled and let it sit till the next morning because SD always tastes better the next day and toasted.  This is about as good a SFSD you will ever eat and we like it a lot. 

The crust is the best but the crumb is tasty, soft and moist too. Made a great open face, breakfast sandwich toasted with butter, homemade jam, melted Colby cheese, hot Smithfield breakfast sausage and an egg on top.  Just delicious and way better than anything you can buy at Mickey D’s.  Had a P & J for lunch.

And Lucy reminds us all to never, ever forget the salads Twitter Facebook StumbleUpon