I am looking for a starter to making authentic San Francisco Sourdough because my husband loves it and says I've never tasted real bread because I've never had it! I realize I need to have the specific culture with the Lactobacillus sanfrancisco. From a search on this site I found Sourdoughs International, a company that sells starters/cultures.
Here's what their website says about their Sourdough starters(under Fermentation Tab):
"the famous San Francisco culture, was extensively studied in an attempt to simplify the sourdough process for commercial bakers. This simplification could not be achieved. There was no way the flavor could be maintained unless the lactobacilli had ample time to multiply and produce flavor compounds and acidity. Some important information did result from this research: it was determined that sourdough cultures are symbiotic and stable. They do not change if taken to another geographical location, nor do they change from contaminates in the air. (This synergism can be destroyed by adding bakers' yeast.)
We are often asked "how much do I get in the package?" This really can't be answered, since what you get are microscopic organisms. The quantity of these organisms, even if it could be measured, is not important, since they are living and multiply after the culture is activated. They are in about an ounce of flour. With proper care, you can bake for years with the contents of one culture package.
Only dry, or primarily dry, cultures can be shipped, as a moist culture would become active, expand and destroy the container. You follow the enclosed directions for activation.
Once the culture is activated and in a liquid form, it is placed in the refrigerator where it will maintain its properties and contamination is no longer a problem. It should be "fed" and proofed every four to six months to keep the organisms viable."
Here's my question:
I've read on other posts that the original culture will be taken over by the wild yeast in your area eventually, which contradicts what Sourdoughs International says about their starter!
So, who's right?