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Vasaris, the Fuzzy Dragon
vasaris
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March 2014
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Vasaris, the Fuzzy Dragon [userpic]
Tales of the Sourdough Starter

Sometimes I make bread.

Anyway, ever since I read a fairly simple recipe/method for creating sourdough starter from scratch, I wanted to try it. In fact, Mom and I had been talking about it right before she died. I lamented that I kept forgetting to start working on it at a convenient time, because feeding the silly thing every twelve hours is kind of a pain. We laughed about it a bit and I said maybe I'd remember to start working on it so that the starter would actually be ready for breadmaking on my days off.

So, a couple of weeks ago I did, indeed, start following the instructions, which basically work out to "flour, water, some air exposure, and time."

The end result is supposed to be "very bubbly and loose."

In theory, this is supposed to take three days.

Three days later I had something sorta bubbly so I tried to make bread with it.

I made only slightly levened bricks.

I kept feeding the starter. And feeding it. And feeding it. And feeding it some more.

And being puzzled because it wasn't bubbling much, wasn't particularly loose, and could probably be used as mortar it was so sticky.

As 1/2 cup flour to 1/4 cup water becomes quite a lot of stuff over time, I attempted to make bread again.

More ever-so-slightly levened bricks. Good sliced lengthwise and toasted with slices of sharp cheddar, but still not precicely what I was after. The starter was very thick and I thought... maybe it needs more water or something... so I added extra water, which thinned it down some.

So I fed the starter again. And again. And again. And decided, what the hell, I'll make more and add a teensy bit of regular yeast. While the bread dough was left to rise, I fed the starter... only this time I used water just a bit cooler than that I would use to dissolve yeast.

Well those loaves rose. And taste more yeasty than sourdoughy. Still good as toast with cheese.

The starter seemed perhaps a tad more bubbly, but nothing to write home about.

Sighing, I once again fed the starter while munching on fresh bread with butter (yum!). I once again used water only slightly cooler than what I would use to dissolve yeast.

Then I went to work.

You must understand, when I left for work, the starter took up just less than half of the large bowl it was in.

When I came home, the bloody thing had risen to the top and was attacking the plastic the bowl was wrapped in.

Bubbly. Very, VERY, bubbly stuff, only a bit thicker than water.

This stuff was a somewhat heavy paste when I left for work.

I'm thinking that this is what it was supposed to be looking like. Only I've got a loaf and a half of the bread I baked yesterday to go through before I feel comfortable actually trying to use it.

...so let that be a lesson to ya. When making sourdough starter, do not believe the Joy of Cooking when it says three days. I'd love to know what their definition of room temperature is, as I'm fairly certain the problem has been the ambient temperature and the temperature of the water.

Go fig.

So now I have two bowls of starter and am thinking I need to buy more flour. And give bread away to people, or something.

*laughs*

Comments
*looks hopeful*

You know, I could use some sourdough starter....

Since you made your own starter: Bake the bread, slice what you won't eat fresh, freeze the rest. Makes *amazing* toast.

I don't know if you can get starter enzymes for yoghurt in this country, but that would be the next fun thing to try out *g*

Homemade bread, yummy!

I lived next to a bakery as a child and the smell of freshly baking bread is one of my favorite memories. My Mom always made homemade bread too and oh what a treat!

Enjoy!

Christina