Monday, March 16, 2009

Sourdough Bread Diary Day 1 & 2

Yesterday, I boiled 1 cup water from my Brita and let it cool down until I could stick my finger inside it and poured it over 1 cup whole wheat flour inside a glass bowl. I stirred it with some wooden chopsticks and poured it into a glass jar. I put a cloth over the top and let it sit on the upper deck of my book shelf overnight. In the morning there was a dark layer of liquid on top. This looks like 'hooch' but I'm wondering if everything is OK because 'hooch' is something that's supposed to appear later on in this process.

In either case, something is happening inside my glass jar and I'm going to go get more whole wheat flour or unbleached flour so I can feed the jar at around 17:00 - 18:00 today.

In case you're wondering. I'm trying to make a 'starter' so I can eventually bake sourdough bread. I've followed the instructions on this page. S. John Ross is a writer for role playing games, but he has also written a step-by-step guide on how to grow your own yeast from scratch and I'm hoping the mild climate in Andalucia will help my new colony of yeast thrive.


Elra said...

I have my starter for quite a while now, maybe it's already 5 or 6 month old, it's still alive and healthy. I highly recommend you to visit Susan (this is where I got my sourdough starter) just copy paste this link

Her recipes are excellent, I never failed them so far. After trying so many sourdough starter form cookbooks (some are from the master bread baker), they all failed. Then I found her, first trial was successful, her step by step was easy to follow. So, all of my bread that I've posted on elrasbaking, almost 80% come from hers. I don't know her personally, but her instruction on how to make a starter was the best, beyond famous author out there. I have 3 friends that starting using her recipe for her starter, they all successful. Just try to look at her blog, hopefully you'll find some inspiration and some valuable tutoring there.
Good luck.

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Thanks for the link, Elra.

I can't get any rye flour though so will have to try with whole wheat flour.

Will go through with this batch to see what happens since it's done a bit differently from Susan's.

If it fails I'll try her method. :)

Natashya said...

What an exciting adventure!
You can also get lots of great tips and advice from The Fresh Loaf forum and website.
Don't worry if it doesn't behave exactly like the books, it is a living thing and living things only tend to follow the same patterns.
Looking forward to seeing how it turns out!

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Natasha: Thank you very much for the link. :)

This is what I love about the food blog community. You're all so helpful and encouraging when people are trying out new things. ;)

I'll also be looking for recipes on the actual bread making once I'm done with this stage - so I'm bookmarking this too!

Trish said...

oh my...I did not realize that I was doing the VERY SAME thing as you have been the past few days. Grin...I am posting my sourdough starter later this week. It has been 'growing' for three days now and I think the french bread loaf will be my first start later this week. I'll check in to see how you are doing. I must check out the wildyeast blog wonder if it is the same as mine. Oh too cooooool. We are doing the same stuff. I like it.

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Trish: When I was mixing my starter for some reason the phrase 'mad chemist' kept going through my mind like a broken record. :p