I give up

Discussion in 'Breads' started by joshs, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. Tried it last year nothing. I tryed to make starter with water and flower, nothing. I tryed with yeast, nothing. The one with yeast wouldn't even rise. What the heck. The yeast might have been old. I put it together the yeast one started to rise. then it went flat. Guess I will have to stick to buying mine.     
  2. Hey Josh,

    Slow down and take a deep breath..., now tell us what recipe you are using, what kind of bread are you trying to  make?

    What temperature is the water you are adding to the yeast, too cold and it won't grow, too hot and you will kill it, I use my Thermapen to determine water temperature and I use water at 115° for bread making.

    We need more info, I'm just a novice, but there are some very good bread makers here that can help you.

    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  3. Double post.

    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  4. boykjo

    boykjo SAUSAGE MAKER Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hey josh, as gene said hang in there. Maybe I'll learn something too here............
  5. X2!

    Solutions require details!

    For sourdough:

    Visit Sourdoughhome.com, and learn some fun tips. I've been working with starter for the past nine years and learned stuff from that guy!

    For conventional yeat breads:

    Gene's hit the nail on the head! Water temp is always the first killer of breads in the making. The second is time. If the yeast is old, they won't rise, if your slurry's too young, you'll have a difficult time getting the rise needed, and if the slurry or sponge has been around for too long, then you have geriatric yeast.

    Ambient temps are key too, hot weather will encourage a quick initial rise, but the yeast will eat themselves out of house and home before you develop enough flavor and gluten, colder days will require more rise-time.

    How much yeast is being used, and what kind of yeast? Baker's yeast is a live culture, and has the shortest lifespan, active-dry takes the longest to revive from "cryo-sleep"; instant is the best place to start, because they will revive in minutes. For beginners, the best yeast says "for bread-machines" on the label, because they're instant yeast cultures in smaller pellets, which means they rise the fastest.

    How much salt are you using? Too much salk will kill off major populations of your yeast, too little, and they will grow exponentially, uncontrolled until the dough takes over your kitchen, and they devour themselves out of a food supply.

    Are you adding sugar to the warm water? Always add a bit of sugar to your yeast, and a bit of flour, they need something to eat when they revive: breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

    Finally, make sure you get at least three proofs:

    1. the yeast stirred into the warm water/sugar/flour slurry.

    2. the first proof after mixing

    3. bench proofing after kneading and before baking.

    I usually get about 6 proofs out of a batch of dough, but three is the minumum to a solid texture.

    Another neat trick is that I mix about 1 teaspoon of yeast per batch of dough into the flour, that way you get a second culture acting as reinforcements, it works especially well if you're in a hurry, or, if you're like me, and ferment the sponge overnight in the fridge.

    Good Luck, and "Never give up, never surrender!"

  6. alblancher

    alblancher Group Lead OTBS Member

    I is a Moose

    Hope you don't mind, I saved your tips for reference.  Good post, thanks

  7. I'm flattered, thanks!
  8. bassman

    bassman OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Don't give up yet, Josh.  I can send you another starter if you'd like.  Once you get the hang of it, you won't be sorry.  Let me know if you want to try mine again as I have some dried and ready to go.
  9. You can get a free sourdough starter that began life in 1847 on the Oregan Trail and is still going strong.  All you have to do is send them a self addressed stamped envelope:


    It comes with instructions on how to activate it, etc.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2011
  10. Can you just post the address so we don't have to sign up?
  11. I couldn't have said it better myself.
  12. scarbelly

    scarbelly OTBS Member

    We did this with our 4H kids and it is a good starter. Keith's is really good too. We have both going. One item no one has mentioned so far is not the temp of the water but the water itself. Our water here had too much chlorine to make bread. We use bottled water and it solved all our issues.  Dont give up - the rewards are just amazing.
  13. scarbelly

    scarbelly OTBS Member

    Looks like their website has been hijacked - I will see if I can find the address when I get back to my home PC
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2011
  14. it looks like their website is simply down. It was up about a month ago, weird.
  15. Hah, I can give back something.  If you're talking about the Oregon Trail Starter, here you go:

    Oregon Trail Sourdough

    P.O. Box 321

    Jefferson, MD  21755

    All they need is a stamped envelope with your address on it.  The envelope is a business one, 9 1/2 inches long. 

    Mine are going nice and strong.

  16. scarbelly

    scarbelly OTBS Member

    Thanks Dave

  17. Thanks

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