Belated Thank You and an Oops
I have been lurking and learning for about a year around here. I finally decided it was time to post something!
With your help (and I say "your" because I've read so many posts, and picked up so many tidbits and hints that I couldn't possibly remember the source of them all) I have finally succeeded in starting, maintaining and more importantly using a sourdough starter culture.
I was trying Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough (as a native daughter, it was a matter of regional pride and duty) and wasn't having much success (tight crumb, poor ovenspring, slashes didn't open nicely). So I had to find contentment with a more plain-jane type of sourdough recipe. Put the starter in hypersleep for a few months (fridge), while I continued making my weekly family loaves.
Thawed and revived the starter a few weeks ago, and lo and behold it seemed more vigorous than ever! Re-tried the VT Sourdough and found...success! I loved the way it looked, sounded (it was singing), smelled and tasted! Even took some pictures (see below). Ok, the crumb could have been a little more open, but whaddya gonna do). We all promptly ate it and enjoyed it. Maintained the starter a couple of weeks at room temperature before I could try a repeat.
Repeated the recipe, and could see by the oven spring, it looked like we were in for the same treat! Slashes opening, nice coloration, big oven spring, yipee! I turned around to feed my set aside starter while the bread was baking and OH NO! I used all the starter. All The Starter! The starter that was finally working really really well! I tell you, it almost ruined my supper of roasted garlic-spread, olive oil-dipped, homemade Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough. Almost.
So hear I sit, with a jar on the counter containing 50 gm of organic dark rye plus 50 gm slightly warmed britta water. Ah ye strong starter, we hardly knew ye.
Please tell me, someone, somewhere on The Fresh Loaf has baked all their starter.
Pride Goeth Before the Fall