About to give up and/or sit down and cry!
I seem to be destined to never make my own starter ! My first attempt was Peter Reinhart's formula from BBA. That just sat there , was very runny and did nothing. ( for days!) Next I went to my Tartine book and tried Chad Robertson's method. This resulted in it separating and forming a nasty black skin - never did bubble up or look anything like the pictures. Now , having read many posts here on TFL I am about to toss out my third attempt - PR's method from Artisan Breads Every Day with pinapple juice. I used a 50/50 blend of bread flour and WW flour. ( because Chad Robertson made me mix up 5lbs of it ! ) This attempt looked promising - a few tiny bubbles on day 3 - so I added flour and juice as per instructions and waited.....I stirred as instructed and waited......still no bubbling. When stirred there were bubbles inside but it did not appear " active and bubbly " on the top. Day 7 came and went. I then decided to go ahead anyway just to see what would happen. Converting it to a Mother starter looked good. I formed a nice ball and followed PR's instructions to the letter, loosely covering it with plastic wrap. It could have doubled in 4 - 6hrs but it did not .As the house is a little below 70 degrees at night I put it in the oven with just the oven light on. Imagine my delight this morning to find that it had doubled ! This pleasure was short lived however when trying to follow the next step. ( "knead for a few seconds and form back into a ball ") It POURED onto my counter like a thick batter !!! I have scraped it back into the bowl - what a mess.....It was much much wetter than a ciabatta dough. Why did it do this to me ??
So....feeling better now I've written it all down. If there is anyone near Armstrong, British Columbia throwing out starter please throw it this way !
Any communication gratfully received - Merlie