Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sourdough Starter Day 6

Hurray! The starter doubled itself by the time I got home from work, so maybe...10 hours? Now I skip the rye, and feed it only warm water (not hot - I think that's why mine took two days longer to grow than her's) and happy white flour. My favorite part is that the starter already smells like warm, homemade bread.

I actually tasted it- it was terrible. Very, very, very sour.


Doing some more reading - I learned some fantastic things about sourdough. It's got a lower glycemic index and show digesting potential for people who can't digest gluten (but who eat it anyway, like me!). It makes certain minerals more absorbable by the body - also so important, more than most people realize. (Why take vitamins if your body can't absorb them anyway?)

I can't wait to make loaves this weekend - I'm a little nervous, because I'm certain something will go wrong, but I have to start somewhere. And then I have to figure out how to maintain it.

After that, sourdough everything. (Sourdough pancakes! Roasted garlic bread!) It will be my way of celebrating getting out of time and billing hell at work, which I think may actually be over. Now back to some serious writing.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sourdough Starter day 5

It's growing!

Look at all those bubbles! It even smells like delicious bread, as opposed to terrible ass.

When it doubles in size between feedings, ideally in only 8 hours as opposed to 12, then I've raised a proper hydration starter.

We'll see how much it grows tomorrow. Perhaps I may be able to make a real sourdough loaf this weekend. Which I can't wait for - this week is killing me. Nothing like sitting next to your boss for 6 out of 8 hours of your workday as you try to figure out how the hell this new system works. I'm losing my mind.

And all I want to do is work on Stone Lake revisions, which are going swimmingly.

It's lightninging out--we really need the rain--and I need to go to bed, because we're going running in the morning.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 2 part deux

I had to do another post because a. the starter went all alien growth on me, and b., we made the most AMAZING ice cream I've ever had in my entire life. The recipe calls it Bittersweet Chocolate, and it tastes just like the French truffles we had at the Bridlewood winery in Los Olivos, CA, on our anniversary trip - dusted on the outside with unsweetened chocolate, then heaven when that melts away to the purest of rich (and sweetened) chocolates. The ice cream recipe was simple: unsweetened cocoa powder, unsweetened chocolate, sugar, cream, milk, and vanilla. I used 2 cups skim milk to 2 cups whipping cream, instead of 3 cups whole cream and 1 cup whole milk. The proper recipe would be death-by-amazingness.

Even small pieces are a visual treat.

And the ice cream itself? Bliss. Almost with a dusty, dusky sweetness to the cream.

John's, with toppings, and mine, plain.

Then, when I went to feed the starter, which is supposed to be every 12 hours, with not necessarily any certain growth. Yet in only 9 hours I found this:

Another two inches. This has to mean good things for the eventual bread.

Sourdough Starter (take three) Day 2

Lots of growth this morning! Nearly two inches. And terribly, terribly smelly.

Only, the fantastic blog that I'm following tells me very specifically that I haven't birthed a miracle baby.

Don’t be fooled; this does not mean you’ve birthed a miracle baby. In the initial stages of a culture, a type of bacteria called leuconostoc may predominate; it produces a lot of gas and causes the rapid rise. This bacteria is not desirable, but not harmful either, and it will eventually die out as the beneficial critters settle in and the culture becomes more acidic. You may also notice that the culture has a rather unpleasant odor; don’t worry, this too shall pass.

So, oh well. This is still more growth than the two previous attempts. And it hasn't quite been 24 hours, and when I feed it again, which is supposed to be in twelve, it will have only been about 9-10 hours. Yet it's nasty and humid out today - already 90 degrees right now, with an ugly humidity - so it may grow just fine up here in the office.

I'm excited to have it, too, for in the future. Sourdough EVERYTHING. And since John's mom & sister live so close now, I can force bread off on them. I read somewhere that the Boudin company in San Francisco has been using the same starter for 150 years - which is both creepy and amazing.

So while I wait, I have a few crits to do, photos to organize, and hard mode on the original Bioshock (I am so excited for this to come out, which I first read about on - Steampunk! - even more excited than for Halo Reach) to beat while John upgrades my computer. Plus, maybe some pool time, or yoga.