The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starter looks like raw hamburger

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Starter looks like raw hamburger

I mixed up some NMNF starter on 6/25/16. I thought I'd share some at a friend's July 4th cookout so I pulled some of the NMNF out, added more rye to make a thick dough and kneaded it in. Rolled it up, and wrapped in plastic wrap, ready to share my science project. There were no takers. Silly rabbits.

These dough balls, about the size of jumbo marbles, have been sitting in the refrigerator ever since. Wrapped in plastic, placed in a plastic container, and stored in a zip-loc baggie. Today, I thought I'd take one out for a spin and start Ru007 and Dani3ll3's oat bread.

The dough ball was dark brown on the surface and kind of pink on the inside. Kind of reminded me of undercooked meatballs. I'm thinking I have some sort of anaerobic thing going on.

Using dabrownman's levain build chart, I mixed 7g of meatball starter with 14g of rye and 14g of water. I'll probably switch to whole wheat after this first build since that's really what the recipe calls for. I don't have a full 12-hour stretch to do a straight build so I'll be retarding some of the builds and picking up where I left off.

I'm baking this loaf for my kid brother's surprise 50th birthday party. I have six younger brothers and sisters. My mom will be there, too. Plus a bunch of strangers that I suppose have some sort of connection to my brother. I don't really keep up with them. I'm figuring the meatball starter won't do too much damage and even if it does, I wouldn't notice.

I'm going to have to sleep on this while the levain builds. I'm thinking that the refreshing and baking will kill Bad Things before they kill my younger siblings and given that I have so many of them, I'm willing to see how things turn out. But Mommy's there, too, and I only have one of her. Maybe I shouldn't retard some of the steps and just let the levain rise and fall until I get around to it?

If you were me, would you bake the loaf, let it cool, and test it on the dog first (knowing that you're bringing a pre-sliced and unimpressive-looking bread because you've cut into it) or would you just bring a cool-looking bread and hope they don't notice that "something" at the party just killed them?

Murph

Comments

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Bake an extra loaf, Murph, and you and the dog test it out. Arrange for someone to get rid of the second loaf safely should you not make it.

:)

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

I agree, Lazy Loafer. I can use the extra practice.

My post is tongue-in-cheek but recent recalls of flour have me questioning even contemplating playing with fire. Still, I'm curious to see if starter can right itself after neglect and whether baking will make a safe loaf.

I'm going to give it a whirl and see what happens. What could possibly go wrong? It smells good so far...

Murph

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

One of my rules for life is "Never say "What could possibly go wrong?"" :)

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Being a nice, lace curtains kind of Irish Catholic lad, I typically don't think these things through. I'll just run through a Rosary and offer up the suffering later.

Maybe I should do like you and stop for a moment and think a bit when I find myself muttering "what could possibly go wrong?". I don't think our Blessed LORD wants me to go looking for suffering since just bumping into it has been sufficient so far.

I got issues for a whole 'nuther blog, ya know?

Murph

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Wee Beasties would take over the world.  Sort of like why he created Guinness.... to keep the Irish from taking over the world:-)

Happy baking Murph.  My family immigrated from Cork - where is your family from?

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Beats me where my grandparents came from but Mommy and Daddy said they "fell off the truck." I don't really remember my grandparents and don't keep up with the rest of the family as much as I suppose I should. Mommy's maiden name is Murphy, too, but I don't think there's any of "that" going on... just a common surname.

I'm a salesman. I never let the details get in the way of a good story. I do remember eating horse meat and a LOT of oatmeal and peanut butter growing up.

Speaking of peanuts... did you know that they aren't nuts? Those are legumes! For 56 years, I've been eating a bean spread and thinking I'm being healthy. Shoot me. Please. Two in the hat... in case you miss the first time.

I blame a lot of what ails me on my Irish heritage and pray my Catholic faith is what saves me. Selling real estate, everyone I meet tends toward the crazy side. Sellers want too much, buyers won't pay what it's worth. I attend daily Mass at St. Patrick's in Lawrence, Massachusetts, just to keep it real and focus on what's important. Fr. O'Brien is the pastor. Our Bishop is Cardinal Sean O'Malley. You can't make this stuff up!

I love color and texture in life. You can keep your straight-laced serious people. Gimme some nut jobs anytime! It's fun to watch our LORD sort 'em out and if I can help, so much the better.

In fact, I think that's why I like reading your blog. You know what you're doing and generously share it but you don't take yourself too seriously. Believe me, pride will do you in.

Keep it real, dabrownman, and may God bless you and yours in this life and for all eternity.

Murph

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

guessing there is a chance you and or your wife's family is from around there abouts.  I prefer Murphy's to Guinness but Beamish is Cork's best stout.  Like bread, beer should always be taken into account when it comes to where your family comes from:-)

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

I've been thinking on this a bit... I have so many bread science projects going on and everything tends to work out that maybe I'm getting overconfident. Even as I believe that starter eventually works itself out even after serious neglect, maybe this one is a step too far.

I think I'll make a second bread for the party with the regular aged NMNF and try the hamburger one out for myself.

Better idea!

Murph

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

will kill anything so no worries with killing off Mom and the siblings.

Happy baking Murph 

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Man, thanks for checking in, dabrownman! I was so hoping you'd have something to say before someone got hurt!

Your's are some of the craziest breads I've read on. I think I read one of your posts where you were digging a grave hole out back to raise a levain in. And I'm thinking, "how come he's not dead yet?" ('Course, you know what you're doing...)

And, along those lines, I'm figuring that if you haven't taken out poor Lucy by now (or vice versa), there ain't nothing I can do to wipe out the fam.

Thanks, again! I tossed the second feeding just... well... just because...

Murph

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

If two Murphy's can find each other anything can happen for the better.  :)