Cultivating a starter, Sourdough starter discards, The Sourdough Journals
Leave a Comment

Cultivating the starter: Day 19, the last day!

Two weeks ago today, my starter showed signs of yeast life, bubbling and rising between feedings. According to SourDoLady, who recommends incubating the starter for two weeks after first yeast evidence, it is time to try my hand at making a loaf.

But first, take a look at all those bubbles. The yeast is doing real well, and the slurry smells, well, sweetly sour, like I might just want to dip my finger in and take a taste.

Day 19: Lots of BIG bubbles! And it more than doubled.

Day 19: Lots of BIG bubbles! And it more than doubled.

Remember how, on Day 10, I confessed that I had a backup starter going, in case this one didn’t work? Now that I know both starters are active and percolating along just fine, I’ve decided to combine them. I’m going to need three-fourths cup of starter for my first loaf of bread. I also need a half cup or so to refrigerate and use in my second baking, as I will do from now on.

Combining the two starters–my original and my backup–I get about two-thirds cup. I measure it out, feed exactly the same amount each of flour and water, add one-quarter teaspoon apple cider vinegar. and head out to an afternoon’s fun in the park with the fam.

When we arrive home, I peek at the starter and, wow! It’s more than doubled in height. I’m so excited, I completely forget to take pictures. I do get some of the starter after I feed and divide it in two.

Day 19, left to right: Starter ready to refrigerate for next time;  one very full "discards" jar, and starter for the first loaf

Day 19, left to right: Starter ready to refrigerate for next time;
one full “discards” jar, and starter for the first loaf

The starter is at different heights in the jars because the jars are different sizes. I pop the second jar on top of the fridge. When it doubles, I can start my first loaf sponge.

About that “discards” jar in the back. Even though I don’t add any excess starter to this one just now, I feed it a bit, as usual, and will keep it at room temperature overnight. Tomorrow, I’ll hunt up a new recipe to use some of the excess, then refrigerate the rest, next to the full quart jar already in the fridge, until I’m ready to use it.

Meanwhile, I baked whole wheat sourdough banana nut muffins today, and they are absolutely wonderful! They look pretty good too.

Day 19: Whole wheat sourdough banana nut muffins

Day 19: Whole wheat sourdough banana nut muffins

You may recall that I started a sourdough sponge for these muffins a couple of days ago. As happens so often, life intervened and I didn’t finish them until today.

That sponge sat atop my refrigerator for three days. I checked it along the way. Once it had doubled in size, it remained puffy and well-formed. I kept it covered with a piece of unbleached baker’s parchment, so it did not attract dust or get crusty on top.

The muffins have an amazing sourdough tang that is neither subtle nor overpowering, but, well, like Goldilocks, is just right. I used Sarah Woods’s recipe on Kitchen Stewardship, replacing the blueberries with one banana and a half-cup coarsely chopped walnuts. To compensate for the sweetness and moisture in the bananas, I reduced the honey by half, to one-quarter cup.

That’s it for today folks! Have a good Sunday evening, and may your Monday and your week be filled with happy surprises.

 

 

I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s