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Goldie Sourhouse Assessment

Not way back, I wrote a review of the Brod & Taylor Sourdough Home, a micro-fridge for proofing and storing a sourdough starter (or a set of them). I’ll allow you to learn that put up for the small print on the hows-and-whys of sourdough starter upkeep, and why I feel the Sourdough House is such a great tool for house bread bakers.


Sourhouse


Right now I would like to try a competitor on this planet of small starter proofers: the Goldie, from Sourhouse. The Goldie has a smaller footprint than the Dwelling (a cylinder 9 inches tall and 5 inches vast, in comparison with the Dwelling’s 11- by 10- by 8-inch field) and a barely increased sticker worth ($129, versus $99 for the Dwelling). The design of the 2 may be very completely different too: Whereas the House is actually a tiny, boxy fridge with insulated partitions and a door, the Goldie consists of a plastic heater base with an upside-down-mug-shaped bell jar that collectively type a house for the sourdough starter inside.

However a very powerful distinction between the 2 units is that the Goldie is far more restricted in scope and performance. Whereas the Dwelling can each heat and cool a starter (from 41-122˚F, or 5-50˚C), the Goldie does one factor and one factor solely: heat a (cooler) starter to its “very best” temperature zone (round 78˚F or 25˚C) and maintain it there.

Severe Eats / Andrew Janjigian


Proper from the beginning, I’ll say that Goldie does this job very effectively. I used it to proof my starter for a number of weeks straight and set a temperature probe in it the complete time so I might preserve a exact eye on what it was doing. The temperatures contained in the Goldie held at a gradual 78 to 80˚F, regardless of ambient temperatures on the far facet of the bell jar being nearer to 68˚F, the temperature I preserve my kitchen thermostat on when it’s colder outdoors. And the starter proofed splendidly, simply as you’d anticipate. It’s giant sufficient to carry a container as much as one quart in quantity, which is loads of room for the typical house sourdough baker more often than not. And, not like the Sourdough Dwelling, the clear glass cloche allows you to regulate the state of the starter within it, which is sweet.

Severe Eats / Andrew Janjigian


The Goldie is exceedingly easy to make use of: You plug it in by way of the hooked up USB wire (although you’ll want to produce your personal energy brick), flip the swap on the rear of the bottom, and it begins to heat up. The bottom has a heater constructed into its high floor and a thermostat that screens its temperature, turning the heater on or off as wanted to take care of that “just-right” temp. (Goldie is brief for “Goldilocks,” a nod to that youngsters’s story character’s need for a porridge neither too scorching nor too chilly.) On its entrance, the bottom has two small LED lights: A bigger one which lights blue when the bottom is under the goal temp, yellow when it’s on the goal temp, and purple when it’s too scorching. A smaller gentle simply beneath it illuminates yellow when the system is heating and goes darkish when not, so you may see when it’s energetic.

The Goldie solely works in a single temperature route (up), so what are you to do when the highest gentle turns purple? Not like the Sourdough Dwelling, which each heats and chills as wanted, the Goldie as an alternative comes with a gel-filled puck that you simply retailer in your freezer when not in use, and set atop your starter jar, to chill it down from above whereas the Goldie warms it up from under. This works, however the puck is barely efficient so long as it stays colder than 78-80˚F. In my testing, it took slightly greater than 4 hours at a not-all-that-hot 82˚F for the puck to heat up past 80˚F, and it’s not unusual for starters to proof for 12 hours or extra. When ambient temperatures are a lot increased than 82˚F, the puck will lose its chill much more rapidly. (I suppose you would buy additional pucks and swap them out as wanted.)

One other limitation to the Goldie is that it’s actually an on-or-off type of system: Past having any actual approach to cool a starter down, there’s additionally no approach to modify the “very best” temperature increased or decrease. Whereas 78-80˚F is right for proofing most sourdough starters more often than not, there are cases if you would possibly wish to use a better or decrease goal temperature—many rye starters must be proofed at round 85˚F, for instance—and it could be good for those who might change this setting in some way.

When you have air-con in your kitchen or dwell someplace the place ambient temps not often exceed 78˚F, the Goldie might very effectively be the “good” house in your sourdough starter, and it does work as marketed. However for those who—like me—generally run up in opposition to temperatures increased than 78˚F, or for those who ever have cause to proof (or retailer) your starter at one other temperature (additionally like me), I feel the Sourdough Home is the higher alternative, even earlier than you think about the extra enticing sticker worth.

FAQs

How do I do know if I killed my sourdough starter? 

Sourdough starters are literally fairly arduous to kill, so long as you refresh them frequently and retailer them on the correct temperature between refreshments! In the event you refresh it—that means take a small quantity of the outdated tradition and add it to recent flour and water—the combination ought to start to develop with exercise inside a number of hours; a really weak one would possibly want 12 to 24 hours to get up. If it doesn’t present exercise after 24 hours, it means it’s worthwhile to begin (or discover) a brand new one.

Ought to a sourdough starter be within the solar or darkish? 

Sourdough starters aren’t actually delicate to gentle, so it’s high quality to reveal one to daylight. However watch out the sunshine isn’t too intense, as a result of they are temperature-sensitive, and also you don’t need it to overheat!

What’s the finest temperature to maintain a sourdough starter? 

This all depends upon how typically you refresh it. In the event you refresh it a couple of times every day, as most bakeries do, it ought to stay at “room” temperature on a regular basis, that means someplace between 70˚F and 80˚F. In the event you don’t use or refresh your starter that always, it needs to be saved within the fridge in between refreshments; lengthy durations at room temperature with out refreshments will result in over-acidification and its eventual demise.

Why We are the Consultants

  • Andrew Janjigian is a baking professional and Severe Eats contributor.
  • He labored for Cook dinner’s Illustrated for a number of years and is a baking teacher. He is at the moment engaged on a cookbook.
  • Andrew examined the Sourhouse for a number of weeks to totally consider it.

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