July 1, 2007 - 9:57pm
Started last week trying my hand at capturing the elusive wild yeast using an approximation of the method espoused by breadtopia.com, and it worked.
- Day 1 started with 3 Tbsp King Arthur unbleached bread flour (KAubf) and 1/4 cup pineapple juice (paj) in a tupperware container stirring until the flour was hydrated. The consistancy could best be described as"stringy" and the odor was distinctly flour and pineapple. Left on counter top with lid laying but not fastened. Ambient room temperature at 75F.
- Day 2 remembered to stir the experiment. Pre-stir looked pretty bad. Ever seen spoiled milk seperate into curd and whey? Very similar, but the smell was still raw flour and pineapple, with a bit of a sour odor. Continued ambient temp 75F on counter w/o lid snapped.
- Day 3 still no visible action, looking bad but smelling more like I remember my previous attempt. Added another 3 Tbsp of KAubf and 1/4 cup paj. Decided the environment might need an adjustment in pH to help any wild beasties in the neighborhood get more active, so I added 1/4 tsp of apple cider vinegar (acv).
- Day 4 looking fizzy and clumped. Definately have some yeast action. Now I really smelled what I felt to be the "right" smell. Thin crepe like consistancy with some minimal gluten strings. Added 3 Tbsp. more flour and tried to eyeball 1/4 cup of filtered water, but got a little over zealous and probably poured more like 1/2 cup. So to readjust I added another 3 Tbsp of flour.
- Day 5 woke early and was in the kitchen futzing around and remembered the capture experiment. Looked frothy! Disco! The starter had lost the "sour" smell from earlier and I decided to add another dose of half a cap of acv. I also felt that maybe a little honey, like 1 Tbsp, might give some results. You know give those hard working beasties a little easy food.
- Day 5 late afternoon and boy what a difference a few hours makes. Triple in volume very frothy and looking like all the pictures on the web. Decided I had enough of a head start to begin moving the from the Starter stage to bulking up to making bread. Took 200 g of the starter and added 200 g of KAubf and 200 g purified H20.