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raisdbywolvz

Well, it's day 6 and I have no idea what's going on with my little buckaroo. I stir it up, dump all but 1/4 cup, add 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water, stir it up again, and all it does is make a layer of hooch after a few hours. I could swear that it grew to about 3 times its size on day 4, but I'm basing that on the residue on the sides of the container. I never actually saw it grow. I've kept a closer eye on it since then, and all it does is bubble some -- not a lot -- and form a layer of hooch. If it grows, it does it in the 10 minutes I'm not looking. I believe it's not growing at all.

I have no idea why it won't show more activity. I started out following S. John Ross' instructions, feeding once a day. On day 4 I switched from rye flour to KA AP flour. That may have been a mistake. I also upped the feeding from once a day to twice a day, and now I just get hooch quicker than I did before.

I'm going to continue journaling about this in just this one blog entry, using the comments below to update it. The performance isn't worth a new blog entry every day.

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raisdbywolvz

3/11/08 - 9:30 pm -- My little buckaroo didn't do much after last night's feeding -- he grew a tiny little bit for a little while, then went back to his original size. When I went to feed him tonight, he had a gajillion itty bitty bubbles all through him. The growth and the bubbles were actually more than I expected since I've read that after the early bacterial activity, the starter might go flat and do nothing for a couple of days. So happy to see activity. Stirred him up, dumped all but 1/4 cup, then fed with 1/2 c each of KA AP flour and water.

He smells more starter-like than he did just yesterday. I hope that means there are some yeasties growing.

 

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raisdbywolvz

3/10/08 - 9:30 pm (at the 48 hour mark) -- Had a little bit of excitement this morning, but I believe my little buckaroo was just having some bacteria activity. At tonight's feeding, he was still bubbly, but had long since fallen back to his original size. No yeasty smell yet. Nor should I expect one yet, it's just too early. So I dumped out all but a quarter of a cup and added another 1/2 cup of rye flour and 5 oz of water. Stirred it up well and will check on it in about an hour as I suspect he'll need more water.

10:30 pm -- Added another ounce of water, for 6oz total. Nice and batter-y. Marked the side of the container, just in case.

Here's to you, my little buckaroo!

 

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raisdbywolvz

3/10/08 - 8:30 am -- The starter was all bubbly and had puffed up to twice its original size! I'm so glad I marked the container last night. It hasn't even been 48 hours yet, right? Let's see... I started it at 9:30 pm Saturday night (the 8th), and fed it once last night (the 9th) at 9:30 pm. That's 24 hours. Gave it the extra shot of water about 3 hours later, and 8 hours after adding the water, it was doubled in size and all bubbly. That's about 35 hours. Now (2:30 pm, 41 hours into it), it's back down to its original size and covered with a layer of foamy bubbles on top.

Who knew it would work that quickly? I expected to be watching it sit there for days and days before seeing any real activity. Especially considering that we had temps in the 70s and 80s for a good week, if not more, and the day I decide to start, the temps drop into the 30s at night and 50s during the day, and my hacienda is rather on the cool side. I expected some bubbling from the bacteria, but my understanding is, the rising and the foam is yeasties, not bacteria. Or does the bacteria make it rise and foam, too? I gave it the ol' sniff test, but thanks to all the allergens in the air, I can't really smell much right now, which is a real bummer -- I baked two loaves of bread last night (yeasted, not SD), and couldn't smell it baking. I hate it when that happens!

So now... What to do, what to do? Shall I feed it now, or wait until tonight? Guess I'll go read through the discussions again.

 

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raisdbywolvz

3/9/08 - 9:30 pm

Dumped half, added 1/2 c rye flour and 2/3 c of water, stirred the dickens out of it. Now it's back on top of the fridge with a double layer of cheesecloth over it.

Increased the amount of water because the rye flour really sucks it up and, before dumping half, was more of a gloppy paste than a batter consistency.

EDIT:  About 3 hours later, checked on my little buckaroo and he was all stiff, not batter-y, so I stirred in 3 more ounces of water.  Marked his level on the side of the container.  Probably too early to do that, but oh well.

 

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raisdbywolvz

Ok, I give in. Everywhere I turn, I encounter a discussion on how easy it is to make your own sourdough starter, especially using rye flour. I happen to have a new bag of stone ground rye flour. So, with a good rye and some tepid bottled water as the bait, I'm going to cleverly lure the elusive wild South Texas yeasties into my magic bowl and create my very own sourdough starter.

Seeing as how I've successfully reactivated a dried starter sent to me through the mail, made several loaves of bread with it, and am familiar with how it should behave, I'm confident that, as long as I can lure the yeasties in, I can create my own starter.

So here's how the starter is starting:

3/8/2009, 9:30 pm -Mixed 1/2 c rye flour & 1/2 c water in container, stirred it up real good, then put it on top of the fridge. The plan is, every 24 hours dump 1/2 and feed another 1/2 c flour and 1/2 c water until it's frothy. The alarm on my phone has been set.

Here's to frothy wild yeast!

 

 

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raisdbywolvz

kalamata olive bread and pain d'epi

This is from yesterday's baking session using the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes recipes -- an epi and 2 small loaves of olive bread using some totally delicious kalamata olives I had to scour the city to find. What's wrong with these grocers? The dough for the olive bread was 11 days old. Great oven spring!

First, the olive bread. I made a loaf on Tuesday following the directions in the book (roll out the dough, cover with olives, roll up like a jelly roll, then form into a ball). Well, the forming into a ball part did a job on the olives, and when the bread was baked, there were olives on the top and on one side and that was it. The rest of the loaf, probably 90 to 95% of it, was just bread. In making it the second time, I stopped after rolling it up like a jelly roll, and just tucked the ends under and baked it on parchment paper. Big difference. The olives went all the way through it and it was delicious and beautiful.

This was my second attempt at an epi. The first one had a very hard crust and had to be cut apart. On this one, I brushed olive oil liberally on the loaf just prior to cutting and baking, and the crust came out thin and crispy, but not so "crusty", if that makes sense. In other words, when you bite into it, the crust doesn't go everywhere. The pieces pulled apart beautifully. I'm actually looking for an even softer crust for that "pull-apart-roll" feel. While my friends are enjoying the crispy crusts, they still want what they want, and I can see their logic, especially in this bread.

I have to be careful now that I have the large pastry board. It's larger than my oven stone. I almost overshot the stone when making the epi. It hung over the stone about 1/2 an inch on each end, but the parchment paper held it up ok.

Picked up a yard of cotton canvas at the store the other day. A friend with a sewing machine cut it into two nice couche-sized pieces and hemmed them up on the edges. Today I'll run them through the washer and dryer, then flour them and see how much fun they are to use. Total cost for 2 couches, $4.74 plus tax. Nice. Methinks my friend with a sewing machine could use a beautiful loaf of bread for her efforts.

 

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