Monday, November 17, 2014

Sourdough Starter Part 3

Sunday, Nov. 16, 4 pm -  1 cm rise
I'm getting excited about this batch of starter. I have a feeling it's going to work this time. There's lots of bubbling going on and it's starting to rise a little within 6-12 hours after each feeding. It is even starting to smell "yeasty".

I've been following the instructions on a couple different websites (The Fresh Loaf and FoodTravelThought) and so I have varied what I've done a few times, but the starter is definitely bubbling and rising.

Last night it had risen about 1 cm (see photo) from the day before so I stirred it down, kept 100 grams, and fed it fresh rye flour and warm water.  This morning, it had risen 1 cm again so I decided to start feeding it twice a day - morning and evening.  By the time I got home from work, it had risen again, so I decided to set up two jars this time, one fed with dark rye flour and one fed with unbleached white flour.

I was reading about the 100% hydration method on the Fresh Loaf site, which means you add equal parts of flour and water by weight (not volume). Because I'm using dark rye flour and because it's very dry here, I have to use less flour so it's about 100/80 water/flour. That site recommends using 1:2:2 (starter:flour:water) which was different than the 1:1:1 that I was doing before. Anyway, tonight I thought I'd try it that way instead. I had quite a bit of starter to I split it into two jars and still had to throw some away.

Jar 1 - 50 grams starter, 100 grams warm water, 80 grams dark rye flour (this was still too thick in my opinion so I may use less flour tomorrow).

Jar 2 - 50 grams starter, 100 grams warm water, 80 grams unbleached white flour. (This was runnier than the rye flour batch. I think it seems better, but it'll be interesting to see which one works better.)

So now I'm curious to see what happens.  They should be showing some bubbling before I go to bed, and for sure by morning.  My goal is for the starter to double in size before I try making bread with it.

Below are the two jars right after feeding. You can see how thick the rye flour one it on the right.  There are air pockets and the top isn't level.  The white flour on the left poured in to the jar easier.  I'm not sure if one is better than the other though.  Some people even make a super thick starter that is more like dough. We'll see I guess.

Enriched White Flour (left) and Dark Rye Flour (right)

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