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Posted: 21 February 2011 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I have not made my own starter, but I did purchase some from KAF some time back, but I get turned off by the strong smell of the starter and decided to not use it.  My question is, can you get the similar result from using a Sponge or something not so strong?  Thank you for any help, as I would love to make some good Artisian bread.

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Posted: 21 February 2011 03:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Leamlass - 21 February 2011 07:34 PM

I have not made my own starter, but I did purchase some from KAF some time back, but I get turned off by the strong smell of the starter and decided to not use it.  My question is, can you get the similar result from using a Sponge or something not so strong?  Thank you for any help, as I would love to make some good Artisian bread.

If you want to make sourdough or sourdough-ish bread, you need a starter.  While various preferments will increase the acidity of the dough like a starter will, you won’t get anywhere close to the tang.  But you certainly don’t need a starter for many or even most artisan-type loaves.

You shouldn’t allow the odor of a starter be a turnoff.  Many of the ingredients we use in baked products don’t have a pleasant odor before they’re incorporated into a dough; even raw flour doesn’t smell that great.  The starter will be quite diluted by the time your final dough is prepared.  That said, a properly refreshed starter generally has a pleasant, slightly sour odor.  If yours has a strong, unpleasant one, perhaps you haven’t refreshed it recently enough.

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Posted: 21 February 2011 04:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thank you so much for the help and information.  I may try it again sometime.

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