About a week ago I embarked on a journey to create my first sourdough bread. Thus far, I am bewitched. I started cultivating yeast using hodgson mills(not organic) rye flour and cold tap water (1:1 by weight). The first 24 hours, the starter puffed up really tall and bubbly. I did not want to get carried away as I read in one of sourdoughlady's post that this is not the yeast growing, its just gases released by another bacteria that has nothing to do with yeast.
So I was patient feeding the starter, discarding about 4 oz of the starter and adding 8 oz total of all sorts of flour: bread, AP, rye and water. I really did not stick to a standard flour. But all the flours were non organic and the water was cold straight from the tap. The next 24 hours were uneventful as the starter was pretty listless. I missed the second feeding as I was very busy. Out of guilt I just gave the starter a quick stir to incorporate some hooch.
The third 24 hours the starter showed life and started creeping up the container. The rise was gradual and slow but it did finally go upto more than twice the volume. I was surprised the starter was responding this quickly. Since then my starter has been highly active. I actually split my starter in two, out of sheer guilt about the daily wastage of 4 oz of flour and water. I collected the 4 oz in another bottle and started feeding it.
One starter is greater in volume than the other, so I named them Big bubba and small bubba :). I have been feeding them daily before I hit the sack at night. What I have noticed is within that short time when I am asleep, Big bubba, rises tall and deflates, leaving tell-tale traces on the sides of the container. While small bubba maintains its puff when I check it in the morning. Anyone know why?
But the starters are gorgeous to look at when in full "bloom". Full of irrregular bubbles, creamy, and sweet smelling, they rise to 3 times their height after every feed! Its been 6 days so far.
The thing I am most happy about is that I am able to do this with the regular store brought flour. I can't afford organic flour at the moment, so this perfect. Of course the true test will be the actual bread. Keeping my fingers crossed.