Today is Day 2 of my sourdough starter and I’m starting to worry again. I didn’t see any separation or liquid like Sarah’s (from Frühlingskabine Micro-Farm) starter on Day 2. I looked around for recipes, just to see if I was the only one. From the several recipes and how-to’s that I read, it sounds like the liquid forms when the flour-to-water ratio is a bit off (I’m really hoping that’s it! Or that it’s just too cold still). Interestingly, a lot of the recipes I read didn’t call for pouring off any liquid. Instead, they called on discarding half the starter as a way to control the size of the starter. I also found out that temperature affects the growth of the yeast (cold slows it down, heat speeds it up). I’m pretty sure my yeast will be slow-growing, as currently the temperature in the house is around 67 degrees.
Sourdough Starter Day 2
With those tidbits of information in mind, I decided to keep going ahead! I decided to skim off the top layer of my starter. There was no liquid, but the top layer of the dough-like substance seemed a bit darker in comparison with the rest. I think I did it just to be on the safe side and be sure that all I had in my jar was my main mixture as Sarah indicated in her blog post. I fed it, gave it a good stir, covered it with the cheesecloth and, instead of setting it back on my kitchen counter, I placed it on top of the fridge. I’m hoping it will be a tad bit warmer in that spot than on the counter.
Sourdough Starter Day 2
In an unrelated note, it was 50 degrees today. It was so nice outside, sunny and cool instead of frigid cold. Since we have an extra bit of sunshine in the evenings now, I grabbed my sneakers and headed outside for a good 20-minute walk! Have to enjoy it while I can, apparently, we’re expecting snow tomorrow night.
Every once in a while, I see DIY ideas and projects that I
become obsessed just want to try out. Some come out good and others, well, not so good. Through them all, Mr. A is supportive (though sometimes he gives me his very skeptical, ‘are you serious?’ look when I present to him a rather unusual idea) and makes me laugh when my failed experiments bring me down (a certain marshmallow fondant comes to mind). This is another DIY endeavor that made it to my I Must Be Insane Must Try List. I recently found this little blog post while browsing Pinterest and read through all the day-by-day posts. It seemed easy so I said why not? I can totally make my own sourdough starter and bake amazing bread all by myself!
First Sourdough Starter
Friday night I started by mixing the flour and water in a glass jar and covered it with cheesecloth. Simple enough! I can already smell the loaf baking in my oven! Well, come what should have been Day 3 of my sourdough starter and I really didn’t see any separation at all. It had certainly doubled in size and there were bubble pockets everywhere, but no liquid. Mr. A and I must have looked quite comical, both of us staring at this half-gallon sized glass jar, determining whether we should keep going and risk poisoning ourselves (this last part may or may not have been an overreaction in both our minds) or start from scratch. I’m wondering if it was indeed bad or maybe I wasn’t patient enough. Maybe it’s too cold in the kitchen, after all, it was in the 20’s today and there’s still plenty of snow outside. Or maybe it could have been the four layers of cheesecloth I accidentally put on it as I didn’t realize until today that the cheesecloth already came doubled up (I had never even bought cheesecloth before I got the itch to try making my own starter).
Since I have no clue what I’m doing, I decided to start it over again. My sourdough starter has been mixed and is resting in a gallon-sized glass jar (yep, I had just purchased an upgraded jar for my would-be-Day-3 starter as it was rapidly outgrowing the half-gallon jar). This time, only a double-layer of cheesecloth is covering the opening. I didn’t take any pictures of my second attempt, maybe tomorrow I can have Mr. A take a picture of it.
Speaking of do-overs, I’m also re-starting posting in this little blog of mine. Hopefully I’ll be a bit more organized with my crazy life in 2014 and make more time for things I enjoy… like writing. So here’s to a second Day 1, both for this little blog and my sourdough starter!