Sourdough Starter 2.0: Sourdough Beginner’s Tale Continues

Discussion in 'Bread' started by J13, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. J13

    J13 Well-Known Member

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    Given that your starter lives in the refrigerator...a few questions. Okay, so assuming all is good with my starter and I finally make bread with it...I scoop out the required amount of starter, I make the levain, then I feed the starter fresh flour and water...then what? Do I wait till it foams up or do I just put the mixture in the refrigerator at that point to hibernate till I want to make bread again?

    And you say you keep a lid on yours—a tight lid or a loose lid?
     
    J13, Jun 13, 2019
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  2. J13

    J13 Well-Known Member

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    WHOO-HOO! Day 8! Depending on how you look at it, we've either reached Mt. Doom and are going to toss in the ring...or we're about to cross the finish line in an Olympic Marathon. :cool: Okay, maybe that's a bit dramatic. ;) To whit: come tomorrow, the starter can (1) make bread and/or (2) go into the refrigerator.

    And yes, the starter is still doubling up. The change in percentages has made it way thicker, like peanut butter. But it's still foaming and bubbling and smelling sour-toasty.

    I could not have made it to this point without all of you cheering me on. THANK YOU! :D
     
    J13, Jun 14, 2019
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  3. J13

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I’m so happy to hear things have roared to life! :D Looking forward to hearing all about your sourdough bread adventures!!!
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jun 14, 2019
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  4. J13

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    King Arthur flour has a recall for E. coli. I posted the recall lot numbers on a separate thread. Check your bags of flour. Hopefully your starter is not from a recall flour.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jun 14, 2019
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  5. J13

    J13 Well-Known Member

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    Luckily not my bags of flour, but...:eek: Ack! How awful! Thank *SO MUCH* for that alert. I'd hate to go forward only to find I'd been using contaminated flour. Poor King Arthur. No business wants to hear that, but they work so hard to be a mindful and careful company...

    I hope this doesn't have the same result as that E. Coli scare with romaine lettuce...suddenly all the Caesar salads in restaurants were being made with kale :p I really don't want all restaurant to use this to jump on the gluten-free bandwagon. :rolleyes:
     
    J13, Jun 15, 2019
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  6. J13

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I’m so glad your bags of flour are not from the recall lots. I have two unopened bags of KAF in the pantry.

    It’s interesting that it took celebrities gluten-free lifestyle choices to get restaurants to offer gluten-free options. When I was diagnosed 10 years ago with celiac diseases I couldn’t eat out. I couldn’t even find support services from my doctors. There wasn’t the same nutritional support like there is for diabetics because celiacs was so under diagnosed there simply wasn’t a demand for services. My doctor just instructed me never to eat gluten. Since gluten can be hidden I was terrified to eat. People wonder how I can bake so much and not eat what I bake. The only other person I’ve ever heard of who is gluten-free but never gave up their passion for baking is Elizabeth Pruitt of Tartine.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jun 15, 2019
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  7. J13

    J13 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I remember staying at a friend's place, and the friend-of-a-friend was there. We asked if she wanted to join us for dinner, and found she couldn't because she had celiac disease and had to remain gluten free, no other option than to cook all her own food.

    I certainly appreciate the multitude of alternative grain options that the gluten-free movement has unleashed. It's exciting to see coconut and hazelnut flour, teff and buckwheat (teff is really exciting as now I can try my hand at more authentic, Ethiopian injera). These were flours and grains that, just five years ago, would hav never been on the shelves of a regular supermarket. Heck, they were hard to find even in the health food markets.

    And I also appreciate that we're seeing more gluten free bakeries and/or bakers offering gluten free options. I like that there is that choice out there whether a person needs to go gluten free (like you) or wants to for whatever other reason. I just don't want every bread and dessert in restaurants to go gluten free like they all seemed to go lettuce free in their salads, replacing them with raw kale, which, point in fact, my doctor told me I couldn't eat because I have hypothyroid, and for someone like me, raw kale wouldn't be good. That's alright with me, as I don't much like kale...but I do like salads...so... :rolleyes:

    And speaking of gluten free baking...have you go this recipe for chocolate buckwheat cookies? https://food52.com/recipes/76919-salted-chocolate-buckwheat-cookie
     
    J13, Jun 16, 2019
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  8. J13

    Becky Well-Known Member

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    Looks like it's going great now! :D
     
    Becky, Jun 17, 2019
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  9. J13

    J13 Well-Known Member

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    :D Exciting Update on the starter! Excuse the long explanation, but I hope this may help someone else if they run into the same issue.

    So, last Saturday night, following the instructions on the Perfect Loaf website about what to do before you refrigerate your starter, I fed it a small percentage of my starter with an all-purpose/wheat mix and not so much water. I left it out for an hour, then into the refrigerator. The idea is to make the starter thick, so the hungry yeast doesn’t (essentially) starve in the refrigerator. Deciding to try making bread again, I took out the starter on Thursday morning. :confused: It ididn’t look so good. Like a dry, thick paste. I gave it the feed advised by Perfect Loaf with a little extra water.

    Thursday evening, 2nd feeding time, and it still looked like sludge.

    I realize now I ought to have been more patient. After all, it has only had one feeding, right? But I immediately flashed back to the failure of starter 1.0. This starter didn’t look like it was ever going to ever bubble again. So I checked out websites with starter troubleshooting advice. Several warned: “don’t switch flours too quickly, starters are picky eaters!” Oh, dear. Was that switch from rye/all purpose to wheat/all purpose a mistake? :oops:

    So, I went back to the original feed (all purpose/rye), but fed it the amounts advised by Perfect Loaf.

    Friday morning, 3rd feeding time, and the starter had finally had loosened up a bit. But still no activity. A hint of popped bubble here and there. Perfect Loaf asserts that you can take it out of the refrigerator on Thursday, and it should be ready to make bread by Saturday...and some websites assert you can take it out and pretty much have it ready to go after an hour or so on the counter (Bake with Jack). This starter was sinking in water and no way was it going to make bread. Did my particular it need more time...or was this a repeat of 1.0? That was the question.

    Determined to bring my starter back to life, I went back to the original formula: 1:1:1 of starter, rye/all purpose and water. That was Friday morning. Guess what? It not only came back to life, but by Friday night it was roaring back to life. Bubbling and smelling wonderful...and it passed the float test! Woo-hoo! :cool: Photo below.

    I spread out the discard on a parchment lined cookie sheet and intend to keep the dehydrated starter in case I ever need to re-create it. We’ll see how bread making goes today, but I’m so happy to know my starter is alive and healthy. And that maybe all it needed to wake up was familiar food and amounts.

    Just had to share!
     

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    J13, Jun 22, 2019
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  10. J13

    Becky Well-Known Member

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    It's looking great @J13! I'm so pleased it's going well this time :D
     
    Becky, Jun 25, 2019
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  11. J13

    J13 Well-Known Member

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    Well, the starter is going well. Like gangbusters (hooray!). The bread not-so-much. But half the battle is not having to worry about that starter. And I'm especially glad that I took the time to dehydrate some. Now, if I have to rebuild, I can fairly easily and quickly. That's a load off my mind.

    I'm going to try-try-again this week. I'll update here on how fast the starter comes back to life this time.
     
    J13, Jun 25, 2019
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