Hello all. I have a problem in that I don't know if I have created a sourdough starter or something that will kill me. But first I will say this is my second attempt. In the case of my first I discarded the whole thing as it had bad smells. I've since learnt that this is normal and this leads me on to the possible problem I have now. In the case of my first attempt, I had the bad smell and also, at another time, the smell of alcohol.
Can anyone give me some advice?
I sometimes get an alcohol odor, somewhat rancid smelling in my just baked bread when using whole grains. I am not certain if it is the 'combination of grains' that I sometimes use?? Are there specific combinations to avoid? Today I combined 1/8 cup soy flour, 1/4 cup dark rye, spelt, barley flour, 1.5 cups sprouted Hard Red/millet combination, 1 cup WW, and 1.5 unbleached white; 1 T gluten; 1 T olive oil, 1 T agave, 2 teas salt. I used 1 T yeast. I keep my flours & grains refrigerated along with the yeast (not the unbleached).
I started a new starter about seven days ago, using an 'offhand' method that's always worked reliably for me in the past to produce a starter with the classic yeasty/sour/yummy smell, stable and robust, with good rising characteristics. Now the same method has produced a starter that seems to rise very well and smells great, but more like someone took the top off a Calvados still: lushly, almost 'ether-y' fruity-sweet and clearly kicking out a (probably) flammable mix of ethanol and acetones.
I have been thinking about adding some bourbon to brownies to see how the taste compares to bourbon balls. It is a common practice to replace a like amount of a liquid in a recipe when adding a liquid. Alcohol evaporates faster than water. Does anyone here have experience doing something like this? Will it just dry out the brownies? Should I try something other than a one to one ratio? Any help is appreciated. I hate wasting food.
I was feeling creative and wanted to add some bourbon-soaked cherries to my usual brioche dough. I had been soaking the fruit for three days and drained off all the alcohol before adding the cherries to the dough.
I just took the dough out of the refrigerator after 8 hours of bulk fermentation and it hasn't risen at all.
So, here in Hungary, it seems like everybody's got a farm, and coextensively a vineyard. My husband David and I don't, but we do have an incredibly kind old neighbor who's teaching us to make our own red wine. It's so much fun - picking our own grapes, grinding them, removing stems... Like so: