Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Suffering a Setback

Boys, I’m disappointed. After getting up this morning, exactly eight hours after feeding you again, you should have doubled in size. So far, you always exceeded my expectations. But not today. Looking at the transparent plastic containers with their yellow markers I could hardly believe myself. It seemed that you haven’t been doing anything all night long!

Okay, first things first, I will describe what I did to you last night (and then I want to listen to your apologies for being so lazy, okay!?!).

Maintaining the Rye Mother

The ingredients

2/3 cup/3 ounces/75 85 g (pumpernickel) rye flour
¼ cup + 2 tbsp/3 ounces/75 85 ml cool spring water (23-25 degrees Celsius)

Place 6 ounces/2/3 cup/170 g of the rye culture in a clean plastic container and discard the rest of it. Unless you want to have huge amounts of your rye mother this much plus the flour and water for refreshing is enough.

Add flour and water stirring vigorously.

And now I quote the book:
“Cover the container and mark the level of the mother with a marker or tape. Let it sit at room temperature until it has doubled in volume. A strong mother will double in eight hours. If yours doesn’t do that, let it continue to sit out until it has a nice tangy taste and smell. Discard all but six ounces and repeat this step again. Repeat this procedure as many times as necessary until the mother doubles within eight hours. It may take several days. Don’t get discouraged, it’s worth the effort."

The source

Amy Scherber & Toy Kim Dupree: Amy’s Bread

“Don’t get discouraged” – that’s easier said than done. I guess I was a bit spoiled by the quick-and-easy success my boys seemed to promise. So far, the white mother has only a few bubbles on top but not this proper network of tiny bubbles. The rye mother has almost no bubbles visible, just the surface is a bit smoother than the night before. I wonder was I have done wrong? The book says it could be the fault of the flour sitting too long on the shelf and having not as much “potentially active yeast” as fresh flour which means it may take a couple of days to build up strength. But so far, that’s never been a problem for you guys, has it?

I just realize that I did treat the white sourdough culture the same way as the rye culture. That is what I should have done:

Maintaining the White Sourdough Mother

The ingredients

½ cup less 1 tbsp/2 ounces/56 g all-purpose flour
¼ cup/2 ounces/56 ml cool spring water

Take only 4 ounces/113 g of the white sourdough culture and discard the rest.

Proceed as with the rye culture.

All this converting was really confusing – maybe that’s why? Just found a good webpage for converting and I will check and probably find mistakes…

Well, I have to admit several mistakes: I did treat the white sourdough mother the wrong way. But that’s not all: In stage 3 and in the maintaining-step, I didn’t convert properly. I do apologize for that, guys! Hopefully, I will be able to make up for it at the next feeding. Please, don’t take it personally and start bubbling again…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, Eva. I take my hat off to you for your patience and courage. I am too "chicken" to attempt what you have been doing the last few days. I hope it works out well. I am hoping to start baking again, but with the help of my brand new bread maker (yes, you can call me a cheat...).
- Nora