Tuesday, November 02, 2010

First Loaves With New Sourdough Starter

Not perfect, but I'm slowly remembering what I learned last time around. The starter needs to keep being used for a while to strengthen it, so I'm afraid it will be all-sourdough-all-the-time for a bit. It really smells wonderful. I'm keeping it on the counter, and doing 2x a day feedings, but i plan to bake daily. For longer storage, it can go in the fridge. I', keeping it at 100% hydration, though I might change that over time. It began as a rye starter, but I had no difficulty changing it over to white. In the past, I've used really expensive flours like first clear to feed my starter. This time around, I'm using Hy-Vee brand AP flour that I stocked-up on for .99 a bag. No difference as far as I can tell.

Honestly, I had no intention of growing another starter. After my last one met an untimely demise in the 2008 tornado, I was kind of relieved to bake regular old yeasted breads. This starter came about as I was making a 3 day starter for a sourdough rye. Normally, all of it is used in the loaves, and that's that. This time, I was feeling ill, and let the starter go five days before I remembered it. I didn't expect it to work, but I fed it to see what might happen. I was stunned by the results, and now I have a healthy, strong starter.

Sourdough breads take longer to rise, so there's abit of planning involved in baking them, but this might be a nice way to experiment with different breads. True, sourdough boules make lousy French toast, so I'll still need to make a white sandwich loaf once a week, but otherwise, I think the boys are happy enough to eat anything I put in front of them.

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