11 January 2010

Sourdough revival part 2

As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm in the process of reviving the sourdough I dried out last year.

Here is what it looked like after one day on the window sill:


And here is what it looked like after two days on the window sill:


Neither had any bubbles as the instructions mentioned. I had a sniff at it, still smelt fermenty-sweet, like it did when I made it. So I decided to give it two more days, then throw it in the bin.

Today is day 3 and when I remembered to check it (it was hiding behind the curtains now), I noticed a thick layer of bubbles over the surface of the liquid.


It's not what I expected, but then I didn't expect it to separate with the cream coloured goo at the bottom and yellowy liquid on top either, so maybe these were the bubbles the book mentioned? So I fed it with

100 g strong white flour
50 g water at room temperature

These mixed very nicely with the ferment in the jar and it is now back on the window sill for another 24 h.


I'm pretty sure it was warm enough for the original soaking of the ferment, so I'm guessing that I may either have killed off the majority of the wild yeasts while drying them in the oven. Or I didn't pulverise the dried sourdough sufficiently, but left it in granules, which take longer to "wake up". Still, hope is still up.

In the mean time, I got the no-knead spelt/rye bread ready and baked. It rose very nicely over the 24 h but due to the lower gluten levels, didn't have the strength to hold together. I followed the usual process of resting on the surface for a few minutes, then folding, then resting a bit more, then folding a second time and then I placed it in the rising basket (now that I have one, I want to use it) for a couple of hours. The dough still felt rather "porridge-y" and didn't rise substantially during the proofing. But it was a bit easier to transfer to the baking pot, even if I did flip it a bit off centre. Also during baking, it didn't rise much beyond what it already had and when I cut it, it was denser, but that's how it should be with rye I think.

Lundulph said it was a bit salty, so if I repeat this particular flour combo, I must remember to reduce the salt. What I realised after I put in the bread to bake is that I'd completely forgotten to add the bread spices, which I brought with me from Sweden back in September. Dang! Next time perhaps. Most annoying is that I did take them out and put them on the worktop, ready to be used and then turned a blind eye to them.

Incidentally, remember Tom the Tomato? Well, he's grown to the size of a golf ball and also has a younger brother Dom. Not only that, the plant is almost as tall as me and it has a second lot of flower buds coming along. How cool is that?


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