We had so little activity on days 4 and 5 that I was starting to worry this batch of starter wasn’t going to take off. But this morning we’ve got lots of bubbles and froth. Very pleased.
Day 4—transferred to another container, cleaned the crock. Returned 1/2 cup of starter to crock, added 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour.
Day 5—in the morning, same as day 5 (except the transfer/clean step). In evening, activity had been so flat all day, I decided to feed again. This time I added a tablespoon of pineapple juice along with the flour and water, just to help discourage the growth of undesirable bacteria while the good ones are getting established.
Day 6—a.m., removed almost a cup of starter, added 1/2 c water, 1/2 c whole wheat flour.
This isn’t a great photo because I’d already stirred the starter before I remembered to take a picture. It was wonderfully bubbly this morning–lots of activity happening in there. The light here is reflecting off the little bubbles left after I stirred. Is developing a nice sour aroma already. We have high hopes.
Day 3 notes: Stirred, discarded half the starter, added 1/2 cup distilled water, 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 all purpose flour.
Other tidbits from this day:
Rose sewed a quilt top this morning and we backed it with some nice rich brown fleece, no batting, no quilting—the superquick “snuggleblanket” method we used a while back for our favorite sofa throw. The fleece backing gave us fits, there was so much stretch in it, but Rose wound up with an extremely cozy little lap quilt and we’re all preparing to fight over it now. We found the precut quilt squares in our stash yesterday—a Moda Layer Cake set I’d picked up who knows when—and that meant this was a no-fuss project that could be accomplished in one morning: so satisfying.
Beanie discovered our copy of Material World and spent the morning poring over that, entranced.
On our walk yesterday we spotted a full-grown amaryllis in a neighbor’s front yard. San Diego never ceases to amaze me.
Got a few bubbles…a good sign!
Notes: Different methods give different advice for the first few days. The sites recommending the pineapple-juice method (see yesterday’s comments) say to do nothing but stir a few times on the second day. The King Arthur site suggests discarding half the starter on Day 2 and adding more flour and water. I did something in between: split the starter into two batches and added small amounts of juice and flour to each. I figure this gives me a backup in case one of them doesn’t take off. The second batch is in a small plastic container and it’s sitting on a minor heat source, which may give it a slight advantage over the other. My kitchen is a bit too cool for optimum starter-starting right now, which means progress will likely be slow. But so far, so good…
Been a while since my last go-round. This photo is day one, hour one. One cup whole wheat flour, half cup distilled water, per the instructions at the King Arthur Flour site (and lots of other places). However, after revisiting my old favorite sourdough site, Northwest Sourdough, I’ve decided to add a bit of pineapple juice. The acid in the juice (apple cider also works) encourages the growth of the right microorganisms and discourages the nasty ones.
Last time I tried starter from scratch, it bubbled along nicely at first and then fizzled on me. Before that, I’ve had great success with starters purchased from Northwest Sourdough and a King Arthur one given to me for Christmas by a friend (along with my beloved blue-and-white crock).
In between bouts of sourdough-ing, I had a good long run of regular breadmaking using the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day method. (Many posts and pictures here.) We fell out of the habit when summer rolled around and none of us could bear the thought of turning on the stove. But the ABi5 recipes worked wonderfully for us, and it’s certainly a more economical path than storebought bread. I might resume the practice after Thanksgiving; right now the fridge is too full.
Lookie here, my old (way old) bread blog is still kicking around! I really should import those posts to this site one of these days.
I promised to show a picture of the table runner I made. It’s not a great picture, but that’s okay because it’s not a great table runner. But I’m pretty pleased with it. The runner, I mean. The other side is the same green floral as the ends here. The checked fabric—which has green in it and isn’t as orange in real life as in this photo—was a long scrap from the curtains I made for the kids’ craft room.
I had fun with Flickr’s “add a note” feature if you want to click through for commentary on the photo. Well, actually, it’s another photo almost exactly like this one, revealing what happens when Scott walks into the room.
I’ve been in a very handcrafty mood lately, as my last couple weeks’ worth of posts probably make obvious. I tried my hand at the zipper pouch from Bend-the-Rules Sewing, inspired by Jenn’s lovely pink patchwork pouch. This was my first-ever attempt at putting in a zipper, and, well, it zips. Just don’t inspect the ends too closely…
And now that it’s finally feeling cool enough (in the mornings, at least—we’re melting by noon) to think of baking, I’ve been pining for my lost sourdough starter. We suffered a little fridge snafu a while back, and room temperature was way too hot for my starter, which had been living in the freezer through the hot months. It got moldy. Sob. Also, ick.
So I’ve been tempted to order a new one, but I thought first I’d try my hand at starting one from scratch. Some sites describe this as a ridiculously easy undertaking. Other sources say ominous things about poor success rates in arid climates, which we certainly have here in the decidely dry eastern half of San Diego County. But hey, a cup of flour and a cup of water is pretty low overhead for an experiment. So on Thursday morning I mixed up a batch and put it in a warm corner. By Friday it was already looking promisingly bubbly.
I fed it twice yesterday, and this morning it looks frothy and vigorous. (Blurry photo: snapped hastily in the midst of getting breakfast for my little people.)
Think I’ll give it one more day to get established and maybe try it in some biscuits tomorrow. Just about time to move it into the fridge, too.
And finally, a little backyard beautification project: the kids are decorating our side of the neighbor’s big ole wall with sidewalk chalk. It’ll last a long time here in did-I-mention-it’s-very-dry? San Diego County. I think we’ve only seen rain once in the last four months.