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Thursday, 26 July 2007

The uncultured is caged!!

Filed under: food & drink,sourdough and wild yeast — ejm @ 09:58 EDT

(click on images for larger views and more photos)

wild yeast I’m ecstatic! Yes!! My culture has become uncultured and is now officially a starter. (I hope…) Yesterday morning, the starter had doubled overnight. I fed it and this is what I saw at midday.

Note the orange sticker on the side of the bowl. When I mixed it, it was as high as the bottom edge of the sticker. Many thanks to Susan (Wild Yeast) for the hand-holding; here is a portion of her calm and kind reply to my shrieking “How do I know if it’s right???” query:

I have found the best indicator of when the starter is ready to use is that it can double its volume in 8 hours
or less after feeding.

wild yeast Judging by the happy doubling and bubbling, I now figured it was safe to proceed with preparing the starter for actual bread making. And this is what the mixture looked like last night just after feeding.

wild yeast And this is what it looked like this morning!! Zowie! I can’t tell you how absolutely thrilled I am!

So. Only fourteen days instead of the recommended six in Susan McKenna Grant’s Piano Piano Pieno. That certainly says a lot for how our house retains its coolness, I think! Because I’m pretty certain that it was the cool night temperatures of this past couple of weeks that slowed everything down.

wild yeast dough Here is what the dough looked like earlier this morning. I’m just about to go down to turn it as per the instructions in the slight variation of the basic sourdough recipe on page 46 of McKenna’s book.

Wish me luck!!

  • bing

    Whoo hoo! I’ve been agog watching the saga. Congratulations to you and The Starter.

  • Susan

    Looking good! I can’t wait to see the bread. I am not familiar with the book but it looks interesting.

  • ejm

    Yes, indeed, I really am out of my mind with joy that this has finally worked. And the resulting bread was fabulous! (Of course, we all knew that I was out of my mind already. :whee:)

    Susan, “Piano Piano Pieno” is really interesting. As one of my friends MrsJones (who got me started – no pun intended – on this wild yeast hunt) said that it reads like the best travelogue. And she’s right. We haven’t tried a lot of the recipes but several of them have caused us to really branch out.

    (Wait til I finally post about the pasta made with red wine!)


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