As opposed to fresh yeast, Sourdough is a biologically complex system in which they coexist:
- Lactic Bacteria: so-called because they produce lactic acid, acetic acid, and carbon dioxide due to the fermentation of sugars.
- Yeasts (Saccharomyces Exiguus, Cerevisiae, and many others): They feed on sugars (such as glucose and fructose) and transform them into ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2). Moreover, they can produce other substances necessary for the color and the aromatic note of the baked product.
VARIOUS WAYS TO PRESERVE SOURDOUGH
TIED UP SOURDOUGH
This is undoubtedly the most widespread method, originating in the Milan area (Italy) and still very common in the bakery sector.
Its preservation is done through regular cycles that consist of the Sourdough’s soaking and the subsequent feeding with water and flour. After the refreshment, the yeast is wrapped in a heavy cloth and tied with a string or a rope to contain gas development until the next refreshment (typically after 16 hours).
According to my experience, this method is more challenging to manage at home than the one in water that I will explain in a moment. This is because it requires a good experience in knowing how to read the “signals” to maintain a correct acidity.
SOURDOUGH STORED IN WATER
Preserving Sourdough in water is a method that originated in the Piedmont area (north of Italy). It is definitely the method I would recommend to you!
According to this method, storage between one refreshment and is done by soaking the Sourdough in water.
I recommend following this method because:
- It is Easy to Manage;
- The aqueous environment ensures a Control of the Acidity;
- The result is a less acidic sourdough, more suitable for the production of pastries.
Even if up to now you have managed your sourdough starter with a different method, you can easily switch to keeping it in water without any problem. In this case, allow about 1 week to adapt to the new “environment” before using the Sourdough for your recipes.