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La Cucina Italiana – Lievito madre: prepararlo in casa

with 7 comments

On the site of food magazine ‘La Cucina Italiana’ two lengthy videos about making a wheat-based sourdough, the lievito naturale, might be of interest:

Video 1 (parte prima)
Video 2 (parte seconda)

(Recipes on the corresponding pages, parte prima, and parte seconda)

The second video shows that the baker apparently ‘washes’ the starter by putting pieces of it into a bowl of water, like mozzarella balls. I am puzzled as to what might be the purpose of that handling.

Written by theinversecook

26 December 2009 at 14:44

7 Responses

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  1. I have a relative who owns a factory which makes panettoni. They only use lievito madre (sourdough) and I remember that they also “wash” their lievito regularly. Do not know why.

    Massimo

    27 December 2009 at 15:44

    • That’s indeed interesting to learn. It seems to me a tedious work to wash it out before any further usage, perhaps too much work to be ‘only’ a tradition.

      theinversecook

      28 December 2009 at 02:25

  2. Great!
    Going to try this out. Did you try it?

    villainumbria

    2 January 2010 at 14:04

    • I haven’t. Don’t know what to look for, to be honest. Is it done, perhaps, to get rid of any dried pieces on the surface? But the different stages (I usually onle use a 1-stage-leavin) are probably important here, too.

      theinversecook

      3 January 2010 at 17:32

  3. many people in italy use this method. They say it lowers the acidity of the sourdough while making the yeasts stronger at the same time. I suspect it is just a superstition tough, since you can get good results even without “washing” the sourdough.

    fame

    21 January 2010 at 19:30

    • Hi, fame, thanks for the pointer. That could be it, although I don’t quite understand it either. One would have to try it out, I guess.

      theinversecook

      21 January 2010 at 22:55

  4. Might also be that this way the dough is strengthened. If you take dough and wash it out, eventually what will be left is the gluten.

    theinversecook

    29 January 2010 at 17:53


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