Lactobacillus' Diary - My First Sourdough Starter

I will never get tired to repeat - making your own bread gives a great deal of satisfaction.   Nothing beats fresh bread just out of the oven, eaten still hot with the butter melting on the top of it... hummmm And I not even mentioned the pleasure of torturing my neighbors with the delicious smell that comes from my place at least twice a week.

First Bread Baked with "SHE"
My first adventures with Bread started when I was just a kid and used to help my grandmother to make home made bread.    Until very recently everything I knew about making it I had learned with my Nana.

A couple of weeks ago I decided it was time to "grow up" and explore new horizons :-)  After a fair bit of research I decided to give a go to King Arthur Sourdough starter recipe.

It was a hot Sunday here in Queensland (just for a change).  Perfect for some "fermentation" action :-)   The procedure was very simple 1/2 cup of mineral water + 1 cup of Rye bread to start.  

I though the Mixture was a bit to thick and wasn't very sure it would work. Basically one of those things in the kitchen that require a bit of faith.

After 24 hours was time to feed it again - I discarded 1/2 of cup, fed it with 1 cup of white flour and 1/2 cup of water.   I though I could see little bubbles there...  This is how it was looking like (can you see the little bubbles?).

Third day my little Babies (yes, I was calling my lovely Lactobacillus my Babies :-P) were all grown up! Practically little toddlers!  Time to start feeding it twice a day... and here it goes: I discarded 1/2 of cup, fed it with 1 cup of white flour and 1/2 cup of water.   I was celebrating could already smell the yeast!

Forth day... I realized my little Baby was growing in volume bit too fast but it was not very bubbly  and decided to check the recipe.  Ooooppppsssss Wrong... very wrong..   Recipe was saying, discard everything BUT 1/4 and not the other way around.

Good outcome was to use all discarded unfed started to make some

At this point I  had so much starter that I decided to make a "sub-experiment" - I used some of the unfed starter to make some lovely Buttery Sourdough Buns. and divided the rest in three different cultures - one was fed with a mixture of white flour and 1 tablespoon of Rye, one was fed with white flour but with unsweetened pineapple juice and one was fed as per Kings Arthur Recipe.

I found out pretty quick that my fussy Baby didn't like the pineapple juice and loved Rye.   I kept the starter fed with Rye and started adding in every feed a tablespoon of Rye.

For three more days my morning and evening routine was feed the cat, feed the fish, feed the lactobacillus, feed the Hubby (exactly in this order - a matter of priorities :-)).    My Baby had good bubbly days and grey cold days when i observed her go quiet and sad.

As a One week birthday present I bought her a new and fancy home - a Chemist Glass Canister found in an Antique Shop.    She really appreciated her new home: after 6 hours Baby had double her volume, 12 hours later tripled!

My Baby was already a little Lady, ready for baking!!!   Now she only needs a name...

The Untamed Cook

Rachel Elich is a globetrotting, computer engineer, project manager, designer, untamed cook extraordinaire who backpacks around the world. Along the way on adventures, Rachel has adopted and incorporated international influences into all aspects of her creative work endeavours.

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