Thursday, June 7, 2012

We're Making Sourdough! Day 4, Or "Why You Should Always Keep Whole Grain Flours Around"

Day 4 (10:45): A decent amount of hooch was on the starter, but the starter had bubbled through the hooch and could be seen looking down through the mouth of the jar. The smell was basically the same, kind of fruity and off. I decided to remove about 100 g (it ended up being about 125) and took much of the hooch with the discarded starter. Then I added 50 g each of water and flour, with the flour being probably about 7% whole grain stuff in probably bleached white flour. I stirred in between the water and flour additions, and scraped the sides down with the trusty spatula to prevent mold.

I took this last night a few hours after putting it back in the warm oven. Bubbles! They exist!

The first thing I really thought about this morning.

Hooch... The bane of my sourdoughs.

See how in the middle, it's lighter? That's the starter shining through the clouds of hooch.

I put a line on the jar to show where the starter started, and to see if it got above the line.

That whole wheat stuff is good for starters, it seems. It's the only change I make, and it makes a drastic difference.
Also, my camera eats batteries. I thought it was just the ones I got in England being terrible, because it lasted months on batteries before that, but oh, no. It went through duracells from 'MERICA in less than a day.
Oh, yes. Waffles. I will tell you about them, I promise.

So, I watched the starter like a hawk, except for when I was grocery shopping. While grocery shopping, I bought rye flour, whole wheat flour, yeast, other real food that I can eat for a few weeks, and the ingredients to make pad thai (according to Emily from Well Fed, Flat Broke's recipe). I also got batteries, as you can see from there being pictures below, although my camera actually accepted the old batteries again. In any case, I have two new kinds of batteries, some "heavy duty" ones and some "high energy" ones. Even if my camera does start the battery-per-day thing, I'll be good for almost five days.
Back to the starter, whose name is Scott. There were no changes in volume all day, which saddened me.

Day 4 (22:10): No change in volume. No bubbles of starter visible through thin layer of hooch. The smell has returned to sickly sweet and unpleasant. I added 25 g tap water and 50 g rye flour, stirring between additions and scraping the sides well. The resulting starter mass has brown flecks and bubbles.
This was sad, especially after the grand success of the morning. By which I mean the small victory.

There were some bubbles, but all on the hooch and none from Scott.

After the addition of about 75 g worth of water and rye flour, I drew a new line.

Scott is so bubbly right after I add flour... I have high hopes for the rye flour.
If this has produced lots of hooch and next to no bubbles, I'm starting over with rye flour. I'll follow Mihl's instructions over Mike's, too.
If that doesn't work, I'll shelve the idea until I wind up at home and then persuade my mom to help me out.

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