The Fresh Loaf

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Yooooowhooooo. Um Bill? Anyone?

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bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

Yooooowhooooo. Um Bill? Anyone?

Bill, Day 2 of life and General Chaos aka The Beast is threatening to overspill the weir and is threatening the lives of 1000's of innocents. Due to a terrible mishap in the lab this morning he's grown more powerful than any scientists previously predicted.

What do I do to fight this animal?

Do I....

a) Run screaming out into the street shouting a warning for people to protect themselves and leave their homes now?

b) Don protective gear and go in with a trusty spoon and stir up his innards till he subsides into submission?

c) Leave his volume and using tongs and protective eyewear, transfer him to a larger environment where people can once again sleep safely in their beds?

d) b & c

e) Call 911

Any help from the sourdough heavyweights would be appreciated. Here are some photos documenting his aggression.

General Chaos aka "The Beast" Threatens 1000'sGeneral Chaos aka "The Beast" Threatens 1000's

View The Beast From Sky Cam1View The Beast From Sky Cam1

His Evilness Is RevealedHis Evilness Is Revealed

 

Btw Bill, he's very dangerous. Some say that if you connect all the black dots in his voluminous dome you will read the message, "Is Paul Dead? Turn Me On Deadman..." I fear for America as we know it, Bill.

More later...

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

cuz this really was a serious question.

 But since I didn't hear back from anyone and considering it continued to grow and spread onto my counter I went ahead and made the decision to stir it and then transfered it to a larger container.

Thanks for the help guys! :-/

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Hi Bluezebra,

Sorry BZ. I've been working on a couple of projects and haven't been on the site a lot the last two days or so, and I missed the event in your blog. I visited your blog and commented there. I love the humor, now that I've finally checked in. You're right, it can be spectacular when you get the crazy, usually stinky rise in the first 24 hours. I seem to get that a lot with my starter projects, and it usually results in things taking a few days longer later, but it's not a problem. You should be able to just keep feeding. JMonkey and MiniOven had good advice above - so I'll just say good luck and hope it goes well. I'm subscribed to your blog now, so I'll catch the next episode and looking forward to it. Let's hope the good guys win.

Bill

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

You know, projects should not detract from your time on the boards.

In the inephable words of "Bob"

"I want, I want. I need. I NEED!"

:D

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

BZ,

Basically, there's one of two things going on here.

  1. You got lucky and had a starter get going on the second day.
  2. You've got leuconostoc bacteria, which means that the starter will look dead in another day or so as it kills itself off by creating an acidic environment.
Either way, just keep plugging along with your starter. Leuconostoc is annoying, but not at all fatal to your starter. Are you using SourdoLady's method? She starts out with OJ or pineapple juice because they both create an acidic environment that should prevent leuconostoc from taking hold.

Hope that helps! I was offline all night, so I didn't see this until now.
bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

You know I thought..."How hard can a starter be? It's two friggin ingredients. Flour and water...poof! NO sweat right? bwahahahahahahaha <certifiable maniacle laughter>.

The number of questions I have rolling around in my own private idaho right now is scary! I woke up thinking of questions about General Chaos! Sheesh!

I had hoped I'd scored the big haul with crazy active yeasties on my KA Flour. I mean hell. They were on King Aurthur. How bad or hostile could they be right? I thought it was party central in our place last night. But I smelled that not so fresh smell when I changed his cage last night. "Gulp".

And he's either defying all natural laws of animals and pooping in his own cage or, he had a huge party and left a mess in the kitchen or...it's the dreaded L - word. "Sniff!".

I'm supposedly using Mike Avery's recipe/technique but alas. I appear to be incapable of following a recipe because I began with the wrong amounts and have just compounded it since then! Today I will attempt to rectify it and follow along. I'm going to reserve 2oz of General Chaos and flush the remainder down the disposal and hope it doesn't replicate like the blob did in the 1971 classic of the same name!

Thanks for your help! I will continue to feed it 1:1:1 every 24 hours and maybe think of going to 12 hour feeds?

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Heh. I'd recommend keeping to a once-a-day feed until it starts to get active again, otherwise, I think you risk over-freeding it and diluting the sourdough critters too much.

I don't believe I've had trouble with leuconostoc before, but from what I've read, it's pretty yucky stuff. My condolences. :-)

If you get too frustrated and want to start over, I highly recommend SourdoLady's method. It's what TattooedTonka and I have been using (adapted for weights), and I believe we've had a 100% success rate. The use of OJ or pineapple juice at the beginning creates an acidic environment that kills off the leuconostoc so it never gains a foothold.

Best of luck! I'm really enjoying following along!

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

and hand holding. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your's and TTs blogs and you actually helped inspire me to take the plunge. Have an awesome weekend. It sounds like you guys are going to have a blast judging from the itenerary. My bro and his family lived in Nadick for many years and the kids are grown now and living outside of Boston.

I'm gonna see what happens with The Beast this week. I don't want to accidentally euthenize a good seed right? But I do think I will start one from SoDo Lady's method after I get the kinks worked out with my first kid. Isn't a parent sposed to make all the screwups on the first one? LOL! right... ;)

Have fun! Happy Memorial Day!

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Hi BZ,

Right, do both. I've somehow always ended up with at least 4 or 5 versions going at once every time I try to start one. Something a little different happens, and then I start thinking, "I really want to see what happens if I...", and then something else occurs to me. Before long, I have a half dozen jars all going at once. For what it's worth, I've started starters with acid, similar to SourdoLady's recipe. I've found adding acid to be more reliable, but the shortest times have been without acid added. Sometimes, the stinky ones have suddenly come into their own even faster than the ones I started with acid. On the other hand, the ones started without acid have also taken about 2 weeks for me on some occasions. So, the process can just be a little unpredictable. Even so, after 5 days to 2 weeks, it's unusual for it not to work, at least that's been my experience.

Bill

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

I'm afraid the news is not good...I'm about to post in the blog. *gulp*

Yeah, I will think about doing the second one. I just generated 2 bowls, a spoon, and a glass from this feeding! If I start two, I might actually have to start doing dishes after the morning feed! *sniff* ;)

A thought...I have fresh limes and lemons growing in the back yard. Do you think I could use fresh lime juice instead of o.j.? I don't usually keep o.j. in the house cus we don't really drink it. What do you think? Has anyone ever tried that? Maybe even dilute the lime 1/2 juice, 1/2 water?

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Hi BZ,

Yes, you can use lemon juice or lime juice, but they are much more acidic than orange juice. I would suggest to try putting 1 tbsp of lemon or lime juice in a cup of water and using that liquid to create your starter. Also, you might want to try to keep the starter at closer to 70F if you have a slightly cool spot for the first day or two. After that, probably more like 80F is good.

Bill

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

and thanks to $600/mo electric bills keep our thermostat somewhere between sweating and halfway to purgatory. 76 in the summer. I have it in the coolest area of the kitchen and can't think of cooler spot, maybe under the stairs but the wine told me no way they couldn't "spare a square"...

Any suggestions? Our ice box is kept at about 38. I'm thinking that's too cold? I could put some "soldiers" around The Beast...(glasses filled with ice). Would that work?

Susan's picture
Susan

Do you have an ice chest? And maybe one of those blue ice thingies, just to keep it simple? Put a thermometer in there and monitor the temps. Or maybe some ice water in the bottom of an ice chest, with the sourdough in a boat floating around. Ought to work, unless someone has a better idea.

Susan

P.S. Used to live in Bellaire on Whipple Street. Hot and sweaty, big AC bills. Nice people.

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

Love Bellaire. We have a friend who lives on Imperial.

Your idea for the ice chest is great! I see if the Brain (my dh) will go get one from outside!

Ok, to contain the beast in a small chest! :D

browndog's picture
browndog

I'm not even supposed to be here but I had to say, if I'd had a mouthful of milk when I read this header, my screen would be dripping right now. Ditto to you, Mini oven. (Dead chicken?!)

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

All I can do is make a joke of this all because I'm a rotten baker! I seem to have skipped the recipe reading/following skills section in school. Sheesh! I'm really seriously math and scientific method impaired over here!

ROFL!

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Hi BZ,

Actually, I'd just leave well enough alone. It might help a little to kill the stinky stuff faster, but I'm not really even sure of that. I've just read in "The Bread Builders" that they start a starter with temperatures around 65F, and the stated reason seems to be to stave off the stinky early phase, similar to using acid to do the same thing. The thing is, that it should all still work fine in the end, just because the acids will build up, and the stinky stuff can't live in the acid. So, after a day or two, the only things that should end up being able to survive are the yeast and lactobacillus that you want in there. It just takes some time and keeping the feedings going until it happens. So, I wouldn't bother with any fancy contraptions unless you just want to have fun with it.

Bill

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and see if it's still alive!  Really, take out a little and feed again (1:1:1) and wait with your flame thrower and protective gloves.   Mini Oven

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

start preparing it! bwahahahahahahahaha <demented evil laughter>. I am thinking of asking "Mikey" to do it aka my hubby, Brain. :D  (You know, cuz he needs to know how to take care of the little guy and has shown signs of interest in it since it does indeed appear to be alive! ;) shhhhh we won't tell him about the nasties in it! )

I don't have a flamethrower though. Would a leaf blower and a 1941 ceremonial Japanese Hari Kari sword work instead? I do have gloves I can use and do have my uber sexy protective eyewear!

Thanks for the advice! I will light a candle to Jobu while I'm at it this morning!

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

Well like Linda Blair's character in the Exorcist, The Beast only chooses to show itself when IT wants to...it's content to make me look like I'm exaggerating and crazy to everyone else because it is as well behaved as a little lamb! It's just calmly sitting there, playing a game of solitaire and not puffing up or boiling or anything!

I will take pictures if I happen to catch the little demon in the act! Thank you all for your help and advice and encouragement this morning!

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

The Beast still slumbers! He's stinky and tired from yesterday's antics! :D

So I did a tiny experiment today based on the fact that the coffee pot going made the temp in the corner rise by 2 degrees. I put two glasses of ice water, one on either side of General Chaos and sure enough it took the temp down from 76.7 down to a brisk 71 degrees! I shoved a thermometer up it's stinky little bum and low and behond it was 72.4 degrees this evening!

So it takes very little to control an immediate environment!!

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

And how's the halitosis?   Mini Oven

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

Hard to tell because I don't "know" what sourdough starter is supposed to smell like! LOL. Can you describe it to me? It's sour but doesn't "exactly" smell like a drunk after a very bad night anymore! I did feed it 1tsp of lime juice today and also used bottled water with my 1:1:1 feed. It has bubbles and has raised exactly 5/8"!! So I do think it's alive on Day 6!

LOL and the dead chicken did indeed seem to do the trick! :D

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I had a good feeling when you wrote that it started to smell nutty. That's a very good smell. Also cheesy is good. I would cut back the lime to half next time. Watch the rising level, if it starts falling back down, check the clock to compare it to the next feeding. Then feed again but this time it should be faster under the same conditions. I saw your pics on your blog.  Congratulations!  Looking very very good!   Think you can now roast the chickens that you had on standby and put away the sword.  The beast has been tamed.    Mini Oven

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

chuckle when you advised me to roast the chickens and put away the sword! LOL! Man for a two ingredient little chemistry experiment I sure have had angst for the past 7 days over it! Hard to believe one ounce of anything made of flour and water could do that right?!

I think he is in a little bit of shock this morning since last night was his first AP feeding. He's asked me, "Where's the beef"? And I've had to tell him he is not going to get to hang with the "naturals". That's he's destined for Wonder Bread greatness to which he replied, "Hmmph!"

LOL. He only rose about 3/4 of an inch overnight. It's approaching 12 hours (at 10:30am). So I'm supposing it was cutting the colony down to the 1oz "loyalists" and their numbers are still not really great? Will do another 1:2:2 feeding this morning at 10:30.

Thanks for your humor and support! :D

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

I was reading your blog, and your thread here, and was like "dang ol' starters", why can they just settle down and stop actin all crazy like...

Then I read aloud the part mini typed in, to my wife, about feeding it a chicken.  I could've sworn I heard Strange yell from the kitchen "Chicken, I like Chicken!"

This could have been around the same time he blew his top on me last night.

Oh I hope all is well in the Zebra pen, Im still wranglin with mine, they are all still alive, but Im testing different feeding amounts to try to create a standard refreshment rate that I can do with my schedule. 

Good luck Bluezebra I wish you the best..

TT

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

when I read about Mad Max blowing his top! LOL! I guess he really is "Beyond Thunderdome" right? ;)

Your starters look beautiful and vibrant! And omg the Apple Bread looks fine so fine! Hey when I first saw it (now remember I'm from the South and we are all about the pork...) I thought, wow! Look at how great that bacon did in the bread!!! LOL, then I read it was the apple...but wouldn't it be kinda need to maybe do some with thick cut bacon in it?? Or maybe even pieces of pulled pork! Then my mind went to chunk of chocolate in it like the apple! ROFL.

Anyways I still remain impressed with your nurturing nature and great hand with the bread TT!!! :D

Hey btw, where did you get those cool containers? Are they "Cambro" brand?

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

What an odd little carnivore you are for a Zebra.  Must be what makes you Blue.

As Emeril says on his show "Pork Fat Rules!"

I love Bacon!  I must go home today and try to bake a bread with Bacon!!

Great Idea Zebra.....Bacon,Bacon,Bacon......Bread with Apples/Bacon/Cheese...Oh yeah, were onto something here.

Oh yeah, and the containers are Cambro's.  I got em in all sizes.  These little 1 qt. containers are perfect for me.  I was having problems with the mason jars, my big hands couldnt fit inside of them to clean.  I can stir these up, and clean them much easier. 

 

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

I love your idea of the sharp cheddar even better than the gruyere!!!  Hey if your recipe makes 2 loaves will you try one loaf with purple onions marinated or sauteed in bacon grease and apple cider vinegar for grins? Cut it in chunks and saute it till the chunks separate but the onion still has a little body to it.

I think the combination of the apple, the bacon, the apple cider purple onion and the cheese oh my!!! OMG a grilled cheese sandwich made with this bread! How great would that be?! I'm drooling over here. I literally can't wait till I have the ss(stinky stuff) goin!'

Ok cool on the cambros. Love that stuff. Will have to pop over to the restaurant supply house and pick some up which will miff hubby off lol, cuz I just got him to buy a case of canning jars for our starter! LOL! shhhhh!  A cook can never have enough canning jars for....well...for stuff!  Great thinking and btw, where on earth would you be if Max had blown the lid off a measly 1 qt jar? I shudder to think of the horror!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I really don't know how my little suggestion got so far down the page! I was right under Sheboygan and Bill's comment showed up first instead of third. Has to do with reply button I guess. Seems like a punch line delivered twenty minutes after the joke was told....

Maxi want a chicken too? Tell him to behave himself, he's an established starter already. From now on, don't mention chickens around him.

I can just smell the bacon....

That's it! You've crossed the boarder from Bread to Cake, JMonkey!  Chocolate Black Forest Cake in Brot Format.  Na, Na, Na!  With or w/o hazel nut flour?  My girlfriend asks if this thread isn't influenced by pregnancy... Mini Oven

kjknits's picture
kjknits

Now where have I seen chunks of chocolate in bread before?  I know I've seen it!  That would be a worthwhile experiment, bluezebra. 

Katie in SC 

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

I am seriously going to try two kinds of bread additions as soon as the starter is bake-able. One with chocolate chunks and the other I'm going to do a pickled onion (in apple cider vinegar), apple and thick cut apple smoked bacon in the bread. Can't you just imaging that bread with a slice of gruyere cheese melted on it?!

Wow, what a great appetizer that would be! Especially if you could bake it in a baguette shape so that it's small enough to be a little hors d'ouerve?! My mind constantly thinks in these taste combinations...I'm a geek. :D

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

Why go small, just use two hands.  I like the gruyere part, but I have been eating this Apple bread of mine with Extra Extra Sharp Cheddar....Oh it is yummy...

I must go to store today and pick up some more Apples and Bacon..

There is a recipe in the book Dough: Simple Contemporary Breads by Richard Bertinet that has a small pastry type of thing with bacon in it. 

 I forgot what it is called.  When I get home tonight I will post you the recipe.  I remember it was very appealing to look at, but I was looking for something else at the time.  I just was flipping pages, saw the word Bacon, and was like hooooo there.  Whats that, oh ok, never mind, gotta keep looking for my recipe.

TT

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I've made a chocolate cherry sourdough that turned out pretty well. Recipe is behind the link above, but here's a photo:

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

How did you like it? I'm flagging this for my use once General Chaos is slavin away in the kitchen! :D

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

But not as much as my wife did. She really really liked it!

I later on made it using commercial yeast, and it was tasty too.

kjknits's picture
kjknits

Now we're cooking!  That looks amazing!  (But the bacon, cheese and onion idea has my mouth watering.  This place is bad for the waistline!)

Katie in SC 

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

I got home all hyped up for your idea of onions with bacon grease, apples, and bacon all wrapped up in my head.

I had two pounds of bacon, and needed to get bacon grease for the onions, so why not fry some up for supper.  Now I know the anti meat eaters might be getting turned tummy's at this point so please look away.  BLT's it is, with cream cheese on toast.

OK so back to the baking, I had the onions in the pan with the oil, just like you said.  Then I went into my pantry for Apple Cider Vinegar but oh no, I only had regular.  O.k. so I figure I will use a cap full of regular vinegar, and regular apple cider.  Boy did that start to smell good.  But it was missing something.  Oh yeah, I could chop up the bacon and cook it in here too, so in goes chopped bacon.  Oh gotta add more apple cider so when it cooks down it will make a nice paste.  oooooohh smelling good.  But missing something, oh Cinn. and Sugar.  In goes about 4 tablespoons of that....Oh nice, but boy it would even be better with some peeled, and sliced apples in there too.  In they go...

Well the mixture cooked down so nice and caramel thick, oh my.  I could have just stopped and ate it smeared over bread.  But no, I must continue on.  But surely a couple bites wont be missed.  So I mix up the dough for the Normandy Apple minus the fixin's. just like the recipe says. 

So now I got this dough, that suppose to get dried apples in, but I have this great mix, now what.  Ok I got it, I will add the mix, and document my additional dry ingredients that are required so I can duplicate or adjust in the future.

That was the intention, but I guess the meat madness got to me and my inner cave man came out.  I was kneadin and mixin, mixin and addin, flour flyin in here, spelt in there, onions from the side.  Some more bacon with apples.  UhOh, I didnt write down the weights.  I even went through the trouble of putting them on the scales first.  Then the additional flour on the scales..Nothin....didnt write down any....Dang nab it!!! Snazzle Fraggin,stenkin,scales man let me tell ya somethin!

Okie Dokie, I think they will come out good, they look real nice proofing in the pans, but I couldnt replicate it if I wanted to.......

We'll see how it goes, I'll keep ya posted, sorry..

TT

kjknits's picture
kjknits

Boy, I can't wait to hear how this turns out!

Katie in SC 

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

That sounds like manna from heaven I tell you what!!!!! I answered you on your blog but want it in writing here that I think you are awesome!!! Never mind on the measurements, I bet between us all we can reconstruct your quantities and make it into a repeatable experiment!

Do NOT forget to save 2 slices of bread so that you can use it to make the grilled sharp cheddar cheese sammich!!!!! WE must explore that!!

The bread looks beautiful and I can almost smell it from here and can't wait to taste it! Can ya mail me a morsel? ;)

OK time to go feed the beast! BBIAF!

OK feeding time is over at the zoo! Hey TT? I made the mistake of telling "the Brain" aka my hubby about your bread and said, "I think you'll like it honey." To which he replied, "Well of couse! Anything with bacon..." Then I think I heard him mumble something like, "Fire, good!" and a <Grunt> for good measure. LOL! 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Well the "General" or the "Beast" or now more tenderly called "Stinky" is alive and well and rest assured, smells delightful and promissing, like a sourdough should.  We had a "run in" on Thanksgiving right there in his home on the kitchen counter between goodies and fresh ground flour.   Inviting aroma of fresh coffee and a blazing chimney fire was the warmest of warm welcomes.   BZ is a wonderful animal tamer and I managed to get some tamed stinky and wonderful memories to take with me as I ventured deeper into the great state of Texas.  The apple bread was a delight and we enjoyed all the goodies over the last few days.  Thank you again, Blue, and enjoy the holiday. 

Mini O