Starter != starer
I am posting this off of my own experiences recently, and in hopes that it will ring someone else's bell, if it needs ringing. I have been seeing new and exciting results from Franco (SF starter) recently, in that it rises bread and makes it sour. In the past it made dough sticky in that not-so-wholesome way instead of that wet flour way, and entirely unlike Otis (Oregon Trail starter). Of course I can not ascertain whether this is because Franco has morphed into something newish or because I am finally treating him right. I am giving him more time to develop, which Otis never needs, and he seems to be responding well. He has produced good bread for two weeks running. I like the elevator analogy used on another thread, although I think of it differently, that I am rising through the dark and into the light that was always on there... My conclusion is that, duh, the starters are different. Now of course I knew this the moment I tried to do my usual Otis process with Franco. As soon as I handled Franco I knew he was different. The poor bread proved it. Okay, so what am I saying now that's different than I have said before? How many of us fall into this, perhaps, benign complacency that lets/makes us believe that starter is starter? It most certainly and obviously is not. Many of you have successfully made your own starters from scratch (an unappealing thought if you think about what scratch is...), while others have or do struggle. Some can't get the rise they desire while others get huge amounts at every step. How much of the heartache in our missives hinges on this very, and unrecognized?, point? If we all started with exactly the same tools, we would produce quite different bread, even working side by side in the same kitchen. But if we don't even have the same tools, thinking we do, never realizing the differences because we naively believe we do because we use the same words, how do we expect to see similar results? Then on the other hand, isn't it amazing we get as close as we do?
That's my story,