Cultivating a starter, Sourdough starter discards, The Sourdough Journals
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Cultivating the Starter: Day 12, and a whole wheat sourdough pancake recipe success

The good news is, this morning there were bubbles on the starter.  The bad news: The starter had not risen above the line. In fact, it appeared to have shrunk, possibly through evaporation, so I decided to hold off feeding and see if we get more action after a few more hours. That may have been a big mistake.

Day 12: Bubbly starter but no rise

Day 12: The starter is bubbly but has not risen above the fill line

Another busy day, and I did not get back to the starter until late afternoon. By then, the bubbles were gone and clear hooch sat on top. The beer scent was gone too, replaced with a slightly vinegar aroma. Have I been adding too much vinegar?

In hopes of revitalizing the yeast, I decided to grind fresh flour, as in the early days.

Day 12: Clear hooch lies on top of the starter

Day 12: Virtually no bubbles by late afternoon and a clear hooch on top

To two tablespoons of the watery starter, I added two tablespoons freshly ground flour, two tablespoons filtered water, and a few drops vinegar. Then I drew a line outside the jar at the fill level. Let the bubbles return!

Day 12: Refreshed starter with line on jar to show fill level

Day 12: Refreshed starter with line on jar to show fill level

Meanwhile, my discard jar was nearly overflowing, so this morning I finally made pancakes!

Day 12: Discard jar nearly overflows

Day 12: My discard jar nearly overflows – Time to make pancakes

Don’t they look good? They didn’t fluff up as much as I would like, but they were tender inside and sweet, with sourdough undertones.

Sourdough pancakes with fruit

Maple syrup and sourdough combine to make a tasty, slightly sweet pancake

We had a couple of cups of fruit salad leftover from our luncheon yesterday, perfect dressing for our maple-infused pancakes. I used the LA Times Whole wheat sourdough pancakes recipe, which called for nine full ounces of the discarded starter. Now to find recipes for the five cups remaining.

Update: Just before bed tonight, I checked on the starter. Very few bubbles. Meh.

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