It worked! Sourdough starter took beautifully and I baked my first loafs of good, crusty german style sourdough rye bread!
So, I've been browsing this site for some time now, I live in Ohio USA and miss a good loaf of bread from the traditional bakers common in the German villages I grew up in. Last week after looking at a good loaf of bread at our local grocery store bakery and not wanting to shell out $4.00 for it I decided to finally try setting up a sourdough starter. I started with a Tbsp of white bread flour and 1 Tbsp of warm water. Then I fed this twice a day, alternating with some whole wheat and rye flour. It looked like I got some action after the first three days, but by day 6 (Friday morning) I looked at it and thought it was flat, kind of slimy looking and had failed. When I got up Saturday morning I was going to toss it, so what a surprise when I took a spoon to this mass on Sat morning and it was perfect! Light, fluffy, kind of like a mousse consistency.
I started a dough on Sat morning using 3/4 lb of white bread flour, 1/4 lb rye flour and warm water. Left all this sit until Sat evening in the oven (off). I was so amazed in the yeast action the sourdough gave to this dough by now. In the evening I mixed 1 1/4 lb of white bread flour, 3/4 lb rye flour and 2 tsp of salt. I added my sourdough mixture in the center and started adding enough warm water to mix this with more of the flour mix. Once the center part was quite soft I started using my hands and kneading the remainder of the flour into the soft dough until I had a workable, but still soft consistency. After some good kneading action I covered and left this to rise (which it did wonderfully) overnight.
This morning I streched the dough just a bit and shaped two loaves, then let them sit for another 1 1/2 hours. Baked in a very hot oven, 450 deg F with a pan of boiling water on the bottom for 1 hr. and the texture and flavor are wonderful, just like going to a good bakery at home!
Oh, and before making the final dough last night (and before adding salt) I reserved some of the sourdough for the next baking. Plan on making this a regular project now!