Reviving my frozen starter
I seem to go through spurts of feverish obsession with things. Knitting, sewing, bread baking. Actually it goes in cycles, because I always come back to those things, even if it has been so long that you'd assume I had lost interest. Of course, right now I'm all about the bread baking again (even though I always bake bread, the rustic type hasn't been in the forefront lately--till now). After hanging around these boards for a while, I decided I should really get my old frozen sourdough starter out and try baking with it again. I made it in early 2004 following the instructions in the KAF 200th Anniversary book. It's just a plain old flour-and-water starter, no com. yeast in it. It was nice and active and I baked quite a few rustic loaves with it, and even some English muffins (from a great recipe on the Baking Circle board, I will find it and post it later if that doesn't violate any copyright rules). But my husband wasn't into the sourdough flavor, and then my son turned into a toddler, and my interest and time dwindled. So I froze it.
Fast forward to this morning. I took that guy out of the freezer and gave it a good look. I had labeled it with a note that it was 8 oz by weight. I removed the lid (it was in a GladWare container) and it had some ice crystals on the top surface, so I scraped them off. The bottom of the starter looked like it was kind of freezer burned. But I put it in a clean glass bowl and let it thaw. Once it did, I stirred in 8 oz of flour and water (both by weight) and stirred till smooth. Then I put it in a wide-mouthed Mason jar and now it's sitting on the counter.
Several bubbles have developed in the midst of the starter that I can see around the sides of the jar, and it has some bubbles on the top surface as well. It doesn't seem to be rising at all, but I'm thinking that will take a few feedings. Am I right? Is there anything else I need to do with it, or anything in particular that I need to watch for? It smells good and clean and sour, and it's a pleasant color (just like bread dough). I have no idea what the hydration is, other than to say it's almost--but not quite--pourable, and I had to use a spoon to get it from the bowl to the jar. I can't wait to bake with it again! I want to make some pretty boules like these. They're just knockouts!