Sourdough starter: what do the numbers mean?
It started with Michael Pollan's book "Cooked". The concept that any old Tom, Dick, or Harry (or in this case Kelly) could create a sourdough starter which would then birth a loaf of bread was intriguing. Somehow I ended up reading blogs about Chad Robertson's Tartine bread, the wild yeast, and numerous others. And I'm confused. On feeding times (I'm feeding mine every 12 hours). Feeding proportions (I've been doing everything in grams, but now am doing a simple four ounces of warm spring water, two ounces whole wheat, two ounces unableached AP, four ounces old starter). And, last but not least, what the heck do the numbers in everyone else's posts mean? The 1:1:1, or 1:2:2, or 1:3:3, so on and so on. I have no clue and am terrified there is some type of secret formula I've missed out on that will make or break my bread. Ive baked twice with my starter, first the Pollan whole wheat loaf, then the Tartine country bread, and both times was afraid to trust my starter. It passed the float test, but didn't seem to be an enthusiastic floater, so I added a bit of yeast, and felt guilty. If someone can tell me what all of those numbers mean, I will feel the DaVinci code has been unlocked for me, and can cook with a bit more confidence.