But that's different.
September 10, 2006 4:03 PM   Subscribe

Some sourdough recipes advise against using metal utensils and bowls. Why? And then why do these same sources turn around and tell you to put the dough in the (metal) workbowl of your stand mixer?
posted by ilsa to Food & Drink (6 answers total)
Best answer: A good sourdough will be swimming in lactic acid. It's possible (though unlikely, imho) that the acid could leech compunds from the vessel, lending a metallic taste. If you're using stainless steel bowls and utensils, don't worry about it.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:18 PM on September 10, 2006

I think it's really just the sourdough starter that you want to keep away from metal bowls and utensils. It's acidic, and therefore will dossolve a little bit of the metal, and who wants metal in their bread? Once you actually begin to mix up the dough, the short time that it's in your metal mixing bowl doesn't make too much of a difference.
posted by amro at 4:19 PM on September 10, 2006

posted by amro at 4:19 PM on September 10, 2006

You could get glass mixing bowls. I ordered mine as (not really) replacement parts for the counter top mixer my mom has used forever because it has exactly what I wanted: high and nearly vertical walls, and a generous size.
posted by NortonDC at 4:24 PM on September 10, 2006

Best answer: Some sourdough starter recipes call for vinegar in order to make the batter acidic so as to prevent bakers' yeast from getting a start and selecting in favor of Saccharomyces exiguus, a flavorful, common bacillus in most sourdough cultures. Accordingly, the acidic starter would have a tendency to dissolve tin plate and other metals, that would "poison" such starters, and perhaps change their taste notably. But a lot of old time trailhands carried a "sourdough tin" as their pack starter for biscuits, and just greased the inside of the tin liberally each time they divided starter and fed it again. The coat of grease was sufficient to protect the metal can from the sourdough, and it went right on, sometimes for years. A lot of starters that are heavily wild yeast aren't very acidic at all, and they hardly need such protection from metal, though it may be customary. See the FAQ from rec.food.sourdough for many good starter tips and recipes.

I don't carry starter over a summer, but it's about time to start some up again for winter baking; thanks for reminding me.
posted by paulsc at 4:36 PM on September 10, 2006

Word to the wise: using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer for sourdough recipes might discolor it. It won't hurt anything, since it won't be in contact long enough to impart a metallic taste to the dough, but the paddle won't be as pretty afterwards.
posted by Addlepated at 5:03 PM on September 10, 2006

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