July 25, 2011

Sourdough Starter - Day Four of the White Starter

Sourdough Starter - Day Four of the White Starter
7/25/2011 3:38pm

I didn't post Day Three of the new whole wheat flour/pineapple juice starter, it was just more feeding. TODAY was the big day!

This morning at 11:30am (I'm trying to feed at roughly the same time each day) I removed 1/4 cup of Phyllida (still not married to that, please feel free to recommend a name) and put it in a small cleanish container. It was the container I was storing the small amount of whole wheat flour I was feeding the starter with, so I figured it didn't have to be spotless.

I then added 1/4 cup of unbleached all purpose white flour and 1/4 cup cold bottled water. I'm trying to turn this into an all white starter, so I guess it will take many feeding to get it full white.

A few minutes ago I noticed her bubbling away, nicely doubling. She has an alcohol tang, the clean crisp alcohol smell you get when you make alcohol at home. At least, it's the same smell my high school chemistry project had when we had to make alcohol from sugar, flour and yeast at home.

Some side notes:
I read in several books that if you bleached all purpose flour contains nothing for the yeast to eat, eventually they die off. Now I don't know if that's true, but I'll err of the side of caution and feed the starter only unbleached flour. I'll buy her small bags and keep it only for the starter, I cannot get large bags of inexpensive unbleached white flour anymore.

After reading the post from "The Fresh Loaf" I wrote about yesterday and posted on my "Troublshooting Bread Dough" page, I gave myself a migraine trying to determine the math behind changing rations - I am not a math person. After consulting all the books in my personal library on bread - and boy were they really unhelpful! - I posted a question on "The Wild Yeast" blog regarding the pesky mathematical conundrum I was facing. Susan came to my rescue, her advice was great:
"If you are converting from one hydration to another, I find it easiest to disregard the discrepancy in hydrations and just start feeding with the new hydration ratio. Initially the hydration of the “converted” starter will be off, but after a few feedings the difference will be negligible. "

As I have found her postings on sourdough very helpful, I will post links here to the three most important posts on Sourdough that I feel she has written:
  1. Flour + Water = Starter - Sourdough Starter from Scratch
  2. How I Maintain My Sourdough Starter - Techniques on keeping your starter alive
  3. How to Convert a Liquid Starter to a Stiff Starter - Changing the hydration percentage of your starter
All three have been terrific!

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