Tourist trap or the real deal?
So, I'm brand new to baking bread. In fact, I'm brand new to baking period. My mother taught me to cook starting around age 8. I can cook pretty good. I have a passion for BBQ. But I recently have caught the baking bug.
Here’s what happened. I went on a fishing trip in Alaska. I had great sourdough bread in several restaurants. At a gift shop, I found a packet that said it was dehydrated starter from a sponge that was over 100 years old. I may have fallen for a tourist trap but I bought it, brought it home and hydrated it. I followed the instructions exactly... I think, and I have made two batches of bread from my new starter. The bread turned out pretty good but the curst was a little too crusty and the bread is a little too dry for sandwiches and such. However, it makes great toast!
I found this site this morning and started reading this post http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/40847/starter-troubles. After reading about two thirds of it, I think I have learned that my "starter" never started. It doesn't rise at all, it barely bubbles, it has the consistency of pancake batter, and practically no smell at all.
Thanks in advance for any input. I can take a picture of the starter if you think that would help.