Some of you may recall that a few years back I cultivated my first wild yeast sourdough starter and tracked my experiments on thesourdoughjournals dot com. YayYay’s Kitchen was a flighty dream then, but The Sourdough Journals were, and still are, as real as the messy, fragrant, gooey-in-my-hand wild-yeast starter I grew from almost nothing and made into bread and pastries.
Ever wondered what yeast looks like under a microscope? Every time I feed my starter or knead a new loaf, I wish I could see what happens to the yeast. Well, now I can, and I’ll share my exploration with you. Come see my very first microscopic pictures of wild-yeast sourdough starter.
The 2-year-old helped me feed the levain today; tomorrow we bake our first levain boule!
With this feeding, the levain leaps back to life
After incubating for sixteen and a half hours, the levain had not grown, not puffed, not changed. Time for some doctoring!
Overnight, the levain nearly doubles, but during the day, incubated in the oven with the light on for a little extra warmth, it shows little sign of yeast action
When I pull my nearly 3-week-old starter from the refrigerator, it looks so bad, I think I may have lost it. Two feedings later, it’s back full strength and I’m ready to try a new whole wheat sourdough bread recipe.
Waking up the starter for the next batch of bread is a two-day process
After nineteen days, my wild yeast whole wheat sourdough starter is active, bubbly and percolating along just fine. Time to make some bread! But first, I use some of my excess starter to make whole wheat banana nut muffins with just the right amount of sweet and tang.
The top has a few large bubbles as well, and is puffy with gasses percolating beneath the surface. The yeasty sourdough scent is stronger, too.