February 24, 2010 - 5:47pm
Using my starter
I've become quite comfortable with the NYT no-knead bread. I've baked it several dozen times now and I like the no-worries pace of making it. I had noticed though that longer rise times (24+ hours) made for a much more interesting bread and, guessing that it is souring somewhat, I set off to try a sourdough starter.
Well, I went with rye and water 2 days ago and when I came home from work today it was trying to climb out of the container! Tastes and smells just like I've read it should. So now it comes down to it: Can I use the same no-knead technique and ingredients that I've grown comfortable with to make bread with similar results?
What should I watch out for or change?
It's vastly unlikely you have "starter" yet; what you're seeing is more likely to be bacterial activity that will die off fast. Keep at it, discard and feed as per instructions (hopefully good ones) and you'll probably see the fluffy batter deflate then do nothing for several days. Then it will start to slowly pick up again and then be able to double (or better) in a few hours after each twice-daily feed. When it has done this consistently for a few days then you can say you have a starter.
And yes, you can use wild yeast in a recipe that normally uses commercial yeast. Expect it to develop slower though which is not only the way of the sourdough but also a great way to develop way more flavour in your bread. Sourdough is not fast food and patience is a necessity.
Best of luck!
Thanks Paul! and that's just what seemed to happen -- it quieted down over the next few days.
I'm probably jumping the gun but I mixed up the initial starter on Monday and made a sponge last night. This morning I put half back in his jar and added flour and bit of water to get a good dough of the consistency that I'm used to. I'll bake it tonight -- if it doesn't respond like I'm accustom to I might add some yeast and bake on Saturday AM.