Tuesday, 9 January 2007

The Sourdough Adventure – Part III

Although I have to confess that I didn’t monitor the temperature of my sourdough culture (the book recommends using a thermometer for a reason, I reckon) – all works perfectly well! After only ten hours, the culture had not only doubled but more than tripled in size. No wonder that those busy little guys were pretty exhausted after the full 12-hours-period and had already started to deflate. On the following picture, you can see the maximum level the mixture had reached and the level after deflating.

Eventually, it was time for stage 3 which means dividing the culture so you’ll end up with a white and a rye sourdough culture – one fed with all-purpose flour, one fed with rye flour. This time, you have to feed with equal weights of flour and water to get the mixture a bit stiffer. A wetter culture ferments more quickly so this step will damp the level of acidity. The following picture shows the so called rye mother as it is to be the mother of all my future rye breads. Amy and Toy would have fed her with pumpernickel flour which I can’t get here. So I have to make do with my regular rye flour. As rye flour can absorb more water, this mixture tends to get quite stiff.

The soon-to-be white sourdough mother is much soupier indeed. The surface is very smooth as you can see below.

I was wondering if my all-purpose flour is unbleached - the book calls for that – but I truly don’t know. So far, it didn’t seem to do any damage. The 12 hours of sitting at room temperature are almost over now. I will feed both of my cultures one more time before going to bed and check on them after getting up: They should be doubled in size after eight hours. Then I can be sure to possess two potent sourdough cultures which can sit in the fridge ready to use – providing that I didn’t forget to feed them once or twice a week. But I won’t forget my little boys, right?

Dynamite Sourdough Starter

The ingredients - stage 3

3/4 cup/6 ounces/175 170 ml cool spring water (23-25 degrees Celsius)
2/3 cup/3 ounces/75 85 g rye flour
2/3 cup/3 ounces/75 85 g unbleached all-purpose flour

Divide mixture evenly between two big plastic containers using a wooden spoon.

Add the rye flour and half of the water to one container stirring vigorously.
Add the all-purpose flour and the other half of the water to the other container again stirring vigorously.

Cover each container with a loose-fitting lid or a double layer of cheesecloth fixed with a rubber band. Let ferment at room temperature for twelve hours.

The source
Amy Scherber & Toy Kim Dupree: Amy's Bread

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