Part 2 of the Sourdough Starter saga begins with hope but ends with possible tragedy. Sounds exciting, no? Well, let’s get to it.
If you remember, we left off the story at 3.5 days, after the first feeding. At the end of the 4th day, I fed the starter again, switching to white bread flour this time. I’ve found what works best for me is to first pour all of the starter out into a bowl, which then allows me to rinse off the starter jar well with hot water (to semi-sterilize it) followed by a quick, cool rinse (since we don’t want to kill the yeast). Next, I add in 1/4 cup of the old starter and 1/2 cup of lukewarm water, stir it well with a wooden spoon, dump in about 2/3 cups of bread flour, and stir until the whole thing looks like thick pancake batter. I use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the jar, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and leave the whole thing out on the counter.
After a feeding, the starter doesn’t look all that interesting. But 12 hours after/the next morning (4.5 days), I started to see some activity! That same night (5 days), the starter even doubled itself — definitely a good sign, I think! From the closeup, you can see how bubbly and frothy the whole thing got.
Since I’m roughly following the instructions from the Cheeseboard Cookbook, I’ve been scheduling the feedings 2 days apart. Right before the next feeding (after 6 days), the starter had fallen back to about its original volume after being crazy frothy just 24 hours ago. I stuck my nose over the top of the jar and instead of just doughy smells, I started detecting hints of sourness. Woo!
After 6 days, the starter got treated to another feeding and 12 hours later (6.5 days), it was happy and bubbly/puffy/frothy again! Peeking over the top of the jar, I even saw big ol’ bubbles on the surface. Seems like we’re well on our way…
Things looked pretty much the same for the next couple of days. At 7.5 days (roughly 36 hours after the last feeding), the starter had finished rising and had fallen down again. At 8 days, it got fed again and 12 hours after that (8.5 days), more bubbliness!
Now, here is where I have to confess. As you can see, I missed a photo of day 9 but I can tell you that it looked pretty similar to the 7.5 days one. Even worse than slacking with the documentation, though, was slacking off with the feeding. Nathan’s thesis talk celebration coincided with the day 10 feeding, i.e. I got home too late to want to deal with feeding the starter. So I thought to myself, I’m sure it’s ok to wait until morning…which is what I did. I know, shame on me! Will this be the demise of the starter? *cue ominous music*
(To be continued…)