The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Too close for comfort

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Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark

Too close for comfort

When my wife asked me to make a loaf of sourdough for a party, I went to the fridge to get my starter that I have been babying for years and, to my horror, discovered it was gone. As the shock wore off, I began to realize I had mistakenly dumped all of my starter the week before.


I had dried some of the starter and stored it in a zip lock bag in the fridge. I found the bag and couldn't believe it was dated 3/02. With  nothing to lose, I added a little water and flour and two days later it is starting to show signs of life. It's barely breathing, but it's alive. Starting to smell good, too.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Larry,


At the risk of engaging in oneupmanship (onedownmanship?), I have to fess up to having failed to reserve part of my starter for storage this weekend after having built up a levain.  And I didn't even realize it until the loaves had been in the oven for several minutes!  Unlike you, I didn't have a backup, so it's back to square one in building a new starter.  Doh!


Paul

Pablo's picture
Pablo

I thought you were going to say that you yanked one out, cracked it open, scooped out the insides and managed to get it going again.  Maybe next time...


:-Paul

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

not to mention a functioning brain, there won't be a next time!  This will be my fourth go at beginning a starter (although the first time for this reason), so maybe I'll improve my skill with that.


Paul

Pablo's picture
Pablo

I seem to get more creative in finding ways to screw things up.  Good luck to you!  Back in the bread machine days it was forgetting to put the paddle in that stirs the stuff - oops!


:-Paul

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

I've never tried to resuscitate old dried starter -- though your post suggests that it might be a good idea to make a backup -- but I did once neglect a starter at about 50% in the back of the fridge for nine months or so. After a couple of iterations it was good as new, although after a couple more it was even better.


Jeremy

hc's picture
hc

Honestly, I didn't read this post until *after* I posted this.

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

Seems like kind of an obvious choice -- I mean, even I tho0ught of it.


Jeremy

Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark

For the past couple of days my rehydrated starter has just been limping along with tiny little surface bubbles and no noticeable incease in volume. Last night when I fed it, I tossed in a tsp of rye flour. This moring the starter has gone crazy with activity. It has at least doubled in volume with large, healthy looking bubbles throughout.