Wild yeast starter is the same name as a sourdough starter. I’ve begun to refer to it this year as a wild yeast starter because of my deliberate changes (listed below) to arrive at a levain with a less sour taste.
For years I fed a “plain” sourdough starter. Gradually our mature starter accepted the additions of any fresh vegetables on the farm. Although vegetables were added to our starter beginning in 2015, we became increasing unhappy with the starter’s sour acidic flavor. Time for a change!
Now in 2017, our starter gets fed with not only flours but also leftover cereals and the wheat and oat pulp strained from making wheat and oat milk. Our starter rarely gets a plain drink of water because there is always sweet and white potato water. We’ve eliminated the onion and kale from our 2015 starter and add this year our green beans, our sweet potatoes, our cucumbers, and organic carrots.
To summarize, we’ve arrived at a less sour and more yeasty flavor and odor by following three daily steps:
- I feed our starter with a variety of flours and cooked grains.
- I feed and water it twice a day.
- I keep it in a cooler (sold for beverages) running around 50-55 degrees instead of the colder temperatures of the refrigerator.
These maintenance changes successfully created a boozy smelling starter. I rarely have to deal with a sharp acid flavor. I find that the starter does fluctuate a bit in flavor and odor, but usually only when I neglect following one or more of the above steps!
Don’t have time to make bread and want to whip up some quick waffles in the morning? It’s easier than you think ! Check out our process on the “Sourdough Waffles” post.