The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from Connecticut!

marosenthal's picture
marosenthal

Hello from Connecticut!

Greetings!

I've been lurking around here for a while now.  Just poking around a bit. 

My interest in bread goes way back.  I got my first copy of Brother Juniper's Bread Book in 1993 or 1994, but I was baking well before that.  Before I make it sound like I'm a pro, or even anything more than a rank amateur, I'm not.  I just like good bread. 

So far, I've only had so-so success with a nice open crumb and crackly crust.  Sandwich breads seem to come out pretty well, and I've experimented with Oatmeal bread, starting from the recipe in the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book.  My family loves cinnamon raisin bread.  I'm looking forward to checking out so many of the recipes here!

I've been trying to grow a sourdough starter, my third try, for almost two weeks now.  I'm hoping to get some guidance here, on that front.  My first try was from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Baking, the second from Maggie Glezer's Artisan Bread, and this one is from SourDoLady's post.  All of my starters have been sluggish, without a lot of rising power.  I started my current "pet" with KAF whole wheat and pineapple juice for 3 days, then started feeding 1/4 c starter with 1/4 c each bottled spring water and KAF AP flour every 24 hrs.  Last night I fed in a 1:2:2 ratio of 20g starter, 40 g bottled spring water, and 40 g AP flour.  10 hours later, I have some bubbles and a rise of about 50%.  I'll check again in a few hours more, and plan on another feed.  If I get some appreciable rise, I'll continue the 1:2:2 daily feeds.

I also wanted to know about site courtesy.  For example, I found a recent thread on starter that doesn't rise.  Been using some of the suggestions from there, but I don't know if it's appropriate to add my own "Hey, me too!", or start a new thread.  Thanks, all you lovely bakers!

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

Don't know if you are using tap water with chlorine in it... I was ... and it was NOT working... switched to bottled water and my starters took off like a shot! I have three; one whole wheat and two white... named Shirley, Goodness and Mercy.  That could be your issue... also have to feed twice a day for the first few days.  Welcome, and happy baking.

marosenthal's picture
marosenthal

Thanks!

I'm using Poland Spring bottled spring water. My tap is from a well, but there's a neutralizer on it.  I didn't want to buffer the acids that the yeast needs. 

I'll start feeding twice a day, 40g starter, 40g water, 40g flour, and see where I get.  I'm afraid of diluting the starter out too much.  It tastes "sour".  Have to find a warm place to let it ferment. 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I have a plain olde flour-water-and-nothing-else starter, had to make it new from scratch a few times when I accidentally used all of it. Alway worked, without any fancy other ingredients.

But with starter cultivation it really needs patience, they neither look, nor smell, nice right away, it takes quite a while for them to act like a "real sourdough". So don't give up, just keep on feeding.

Maybe I should name my starters (one whole wheat mother and one rye daughter) too, Diane? A starter named Mercy makes you fantasize about what it might do if you depend on it....

Happy Baking,

Karin

marosenthal's picture
marosenthal

My other two attempts have been with flour and water only, but I didn't get much activity, even after three weeks.  Thanks for the encouragement, I'll keep it up!