I have been baking fabulous breads with Dirk, my rye sour, from pure rye flour as well as mixed breads from rye with wheat or oats for years. I can't complain about a lack of diversity. However, I like pizza or rolls best of all from pure wheat. Unfortunately, quick wheat breads made from flour and baker's yeast are not so well tolerated.
A dilemma? But no. A wheat sourdough is needed!
And what better way than with the much vaunted Italian mother yeast. Mother yeast aka Lievito Madre is an easy to make, solid wheat sourdough with extremely strong baking properties.
The wild yeasts and bacteria present in wheat flour are, however, unlike the rye sour, not quite sufficient to give the Lievito Madre enough driving force and therefore need support from a wild yeast-based water. You can easily make this yeast water yourself from an apple and water. You can also use any other starter culture instead, such as kombucha or whey from milk kefir. I like the yeast water from apple best, because the sweetish aroma underlines the Lievito Madre nicely.
INGREDIENTS yeast water
- 1 regional organic apple
- approx. 250ml water
You will also need a glass jar of approx. 0.75 ml with a lid, which should be higher than wide. The most suitable jar is a drop jar, e.g. from Weck.
PREPARATION yeast water
Cut the apple with the peel into rough pieces and cover it with water in the jar. The wild yeasts on the peel are needed for the fermentation process, so it is important that you do not wash off the yeasts, so take an organic apple. Fix the cloth on the jar with the rubber band to keep small critters away from your yeast water. Stir several times a day to keep the rising apple wetted with water and prevent it from becoming moldy. The goal is for the water to become yeasty. This takes 2-3 days and you will recognize success by the sweet and slightly alcoholic smell. At the slightest traces of mold, you dispose of everything and start over. This type of mold is toxic and must be avoided at all costs.
The yeast water is your starter culture, with which you now inoculate the wheat flour.
INGREDIENTS Lievito Madre
- approx. 75 gr. yeast water
- wheat flour 505
PREPARATION Lievito Madre
The most important thing with sourdough is to give it a name so that it works. My Lievito Madre is called Frau Fadiga.
After the naming mix 120 gr. wheat flour and 75 gr. yeast water until a not too liquid dough forms. If you know rye sour, the dough will seem much too solid, but do not be put off, it is meant to be. To get your Lievito Madre warm enough to get going, it's best to put it in the oven and leave the light on. The lid is set loose on the jar.
The next day, the volume of the starter should have approximately doubled and nice bubbles should be visible in the dough. The consistency is tough and rubbery. From now on, refresh your Livieto Madre once a day, preferably always at about the same time. For this you mix
- 80 gr. starter (leavening)
- 80 gr. wheat flour
- 50 gr. lukewarm water
Afterwards, put the jar back in the oven. After 3-4 days, your Lievito Madre should come off really well, so that it no longer needs to be warm in the stove, but can tolerate normal room temperature. Also, it no longer takes 24 hours for the volume to double, but rather 4-5 hours.
How to store and maintain Lievito Madre?
The Lievito Madre can be stored in a jar with a loose lid in the refrigerator between baking. Particularly suitable for this purpose are drop jars with the lid on, without seal. It will keep in the refrigerator for about a week. After that you need to refresh it again. This means that you have to mix 80 gr. of the starter with 80 gr. of wheat flour and 50 gr. of lukewarm water in a fresh jar. Put the lid on the jar and let the starter rise at room temperature for 8-10 hours, until the volume of the dough has increased significantly. When refreshing, the batch does not need to be as warm as when it was first made. When your Lievito Madre has risen and you can see many bubbles in the dough, you can put it back in the refrigerator for storage.
Before you bake a bread, you need a strong, active starter. So it makes sense to have refreshed the Lievito Madre beforehand.