Life's better with cake and a sprinkle of fairy dust
I’m going to take a walk, no, run, on the wild side. Started my first wild yeast sourdough starter today after seeing pictures of a fabulous loaf baked by one of the guys at baking school using a homemade starter.
The recipe called for whole wheat flour mixed with orange/ pineapple juice and left to ferment at room temperature for 3 whole days, then “fed” with a mixture of flour and filtered water for the next 11 days. The natural (hence, “wild”) yeast is found on the fresh wholemeal flour while the juice provides an acidic environment to “awaken” or activate the yeast. I didn’t have any orange/ pineapple on hand, but had hordes of mandarin oranges due to the Chinese New Year festivities and decided some hand-squeezed unsweetened juice from those would work too.
Day 1 – Not going to jinx it by writing too much on Day 1. Fingers and toes crossed, Grow, Baby, GROW!
Day 3 – Nothing much happened for about 48 hours or so since starting the starter. On the second day, the fruity smell of fermenting wine was subtle, but nothing beery or yeasty yet. Hubby caught a whiff of it and thought something had gone bad.
Then on Day 3, the container opened with a slight ‘poof’, the sound of gas escaping. There were tiny air bubbles in the starter. I clapped silently to avoid waking up those precious babies. The smell of vinegar/ wine was very pronounced.
Day 4-6 – I transferred 1/4 cup of the starter into a clean mason jar and fed it 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup of bottled drinking water. Every morning, I’d shake it up, pour off about 1/2 cup and feed the rest again.
Day 7 – The starter, by now, was growing about 2/3 of its original volume after every 24-hr period. it ideally should double in volume, according to other bakers on the web, but I decided 2/3 was good enough for me. Also the smell of wine/vinegar had been replaced by the unmistakable smell of yeast by day 7.
I fed it one more time and then stashed it in the fridge. I’m really looking forward to making my first sourdough loaf with this. Not keeping my hopes up too high though,as sourdough takes many long hours to proof and rise. Besides, my starter did not double in volume, so I doubt that it had a lot of rising prowess in it. I may just sneak in a small amount of baker’s yeast to help it along a bit.