Tag Archives: wild yeast

Sourdough Starter, Day Two: Mid-day Surprise

Intro • Day 1[Day 2] • Day 3 • Day 4 • Day 5 • Day 6 • Day 7 • Final Thoughts • Day 15

Day 2:

add . . .
2 T. whole grain flour*
2 T. juice or cider

20090813_Day2A 20090813_Day2B 20090813_Day2C

Other than a slightly lighter/yellower colour and a slight aroma of pineapple in the right hand jar, neither mixtures show any change from how I left them the day before. Even the spatula marks in the goo stayed the same.

(Side note: As with nearly all photos on this blog, you can click on small ones to see them full size.)

I add the rye flour and appropriate liquids to both and set them aside for one more day. We now have 4 Tbsp flour and 4 Tbsp liquid in each jar. The kitchen temp is currently 79ºF/26ºC. We’ve turned the AC on at night.

Tomorrow is our last day to add rye flour and pineapple juice. This second/third day period is typically when “other” bacteria(s) start to perk up and give a rise while our desired yeast is still dormant, waiting for the environment to be just right. Wally’s jar should therefore show activity or a “false rise” which will last a day or two then die out, then not much happening for a few more days before the pH is at the point where the desired yeast decides to wake up. Continue reading

Sourdough Starter, Day Three: Trading Places

Intro • Day 1 • Day 2 [Day 3] • Day 4 • Day 5 • Day 6 • Day 7 • Final Thoughts • Day 15

Day 3:

add . . .
2 T. whole grain flour*
2 T. juice or cider

Peeked in on Walter at about midnight and he seemed to have peaked out pretty much where we last saw him. Here are the boys at feeding time today:

20090814_Start

By the way, Walter still stinks… badly! PJ’s slight bubble production indicates he may be inching (millimetering?) into phase 3 already: developing more acid-tolerant bacteria. Continue reading

Starter from Scratch, Day Four: Going on a New Diet

Intro • Day 1 • Day 2 • Day 3[Day 4] • Day 5 • Day 6 • Day 7 • Final Thoughts • Day 15

Starter from Scratch: Day 4:

(and once daily until it starts to expand and smell yeasty), mix . . .
2 oz. of the starter (1/4 c. after stirring down–discard the rest)
1 oz. flour** (scant 1/4 cup)
1 oz. water (2 tablespoons)

** You can feed the starter/seed culture whatever you would like at this point. White flour, either bread or a strong all-purpose like King Arthur or a Canadian brand will turn it into a general-purpose white sourdough starter. Feed it rye flour if you want a rye sour, or whole wheat, if you want to make 100% whole wheat breads. If you’re new to sourdough, a white starter is probably the best place to start.

Starter Day Four: an Overnight Jump

Yowza!! PJ has expanded a huge amount overnight! Continue reading

Sourdough Starter, Day Five: Waking Up

Intro • Day 1 • Day 2 • Day 3 • Day 4[Day 5] • Day 6 • Day 7 • Final Thoughts • Day 15

Day 5:

2009_08_16-Growth 2009_08_16Cleaned

Overnight activity has been noticed. In fact, at about 1 a.m., PJ had already doubled and was on the way back down so he got a midnight feed. Come feed time again today, he had once more doubled (where the dashed line is) and gone back down. Wally, on the other hand, has developed small bubbles and expanded just a wee bit. He still stinks although not quite the “OMG YUCK!” strength as before, he’s decidedly unpleasant.

Both were reduced to 1/4c of ‘old’ starter and the excess discarded, jars washed and 1 oz each of UAP flour and water added. Continue reading

Sourdough Starter, Day Six: Breakfast of Champions

Intro • Day 1 • Day 2 • Day 3 • Day 4 • Day 5[Day 6] • Day 7 • Final Thoughts • Day 15

Day 6:

2009_08_17BothGrow

After yesterday’s feed. the starters both began to expand (up to the purple line) Wally had a pretty good rise this time, too; he seems to be catching up quite well. We may be just one or two feeds away from finishing the project. PJ is clearly well under way.

Both starters were pretty much done expanding within three or four hours before they started to collapse. This means they went for the remaining 20 or so hours “unfed”. They had, in effect, chomped through whatever food they were going to in rather short order. You can even see in the photo a very slight layer of liquid on top of the starter. This is “hootch” and it’s a normal byproduct of our friend the Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis when a starter is ‘hungry’. The solution? Feed it.

Since the amount of fresh food the starter has been getting is at a ratio of 2:1:1, we know that this is a rather slim buffet. Once again, let’s look at the weight to see what that means. Continue reading

Sourdough Starter, Day Seven: The Kids are All Growed Up

Intro • Day 1 • Day 2 • Day 3 • Day 4 • Day 5 • Day 6[Day 7] • Final Thoughts • Day 15

Here we are at Day Seven, just a tad past 7 a.m., last day of the one week run (although we technically don’t start day 7 until 3pm and we’re therefore in the tail end of day 6) and our starters are hungry.

2009_08_18Morning

After getting fed late last night (1 a.m.) we see they both rose to nearly the same level (blue line) and a bit more than double. At this point they’ve begun to recede so we give them another 1:1:1 [S:W:F] ratio feeding. Continue reading

Starting a Starter: Final Thoughts

Intro • Day 1 • Day 2 • Day 3 • Day 4 • Day 5 • Day 6 • Day 7[Final Thoughts] • Day 15

2009_08_18-3.5AfterWell, it has to happen. You look after them while they are just young and then one day, before you know it, they’re all grown up and ready to go off on their own, do what they are meant to do. Sure, they may not behave perfectly, may disappoint now and again but deep down, you gave them the best start you could and you know with a little care and a good environment, they’ll do great things. And you’ll be proud to say “Those are my babies.”

The main goal of the project was to not only offer a step-by-step of building a sourdough starter but to compare two similar recipes: one using water, the other pineapple juice. Having done just that and getting both starters to the “finish line”, here are some conclusions. Continue reading