I having been baking off and on for a long time, including making bread, but I finally got serious about it last fall. This blog will chronicle my journey in the world of bread baking. Warning: I will be going into baker's percentages and other technical aspects of baking the bread, so this blog may be very boring ;-)
I took two classes at SFBI on artisan bread making and now am trying to re-create the bread we baked in the class as best I can with home equipment. I finished my last class in February and have been reluctant to start baking again because the class results in the professional deck ovens were so spectacular. I broke the ice last weekend by baking a challah recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice, and now am on to various loaves that are made with sourdough, preferments, etc.
I've been nursing along the sourdough starter from SFBI and haven't killed it (yet). Post-challah, I've been trying to figure out what to make next. I'm realizing that most of the recipes (formulas) I like need some planning in advance, which I haven't gotten the hang of yet. Today, I finally decided to make multigrain sourdough. This requires a stiff starter, and the one I've been feeding had a higher percentage of water. So I used the SFBI starter to create a new stiff starter. After another feeding, it will be ready to use in the multigrain.
Since the stiff starter looked kind of dead initially, and I was concerned about the mother starter being somewhat weak, I made a second starter with more water, using 100% white flour, 50% each rye and KA whole wheat, 100% water and 50% starter. To achieve optimal fermentation temperature (at least while I am awake) I have the starter in a 80 degree F water bath. It will get another feeding in 24 hours.
After 3 hours, the stiff starter has lots of bubbles on the bottom. I think it will be just fine. Not much action with the wet starter yet.