Sourdough Saga – Day 2 *** Lonliness – Day 1
Although I’m pretty certain that the statement, “About as exciting as watching yeast rise” will not be making it’s inroads into popular colloquialisms any time soon, this has been more than just a little bit fun for me.
Here’s the update on the existing sourdough and a new batch that I’ve started entirely from scratch.
Yesterday I took out 100 grams of the starter and replaced it with an equal amount by weight of bread flour and warm water. (I have to use bottled water because my water has so much chlorine in it that it usually kills any yeast when I try to make bread with it, and then it doesn’t rise properly and results in a really dense bread. Not so good.) I’m making the assumption that the tap water would have the same effect on my starter.
Several hours later, the bowl of starter was alive and bubbling again. It had a really nice bread smell. This morning, I did the same thing again. Took out 100 grams and added one hundred grams. This is to feed the starter without having to get five gallon buckets to contain the ever growing mass. As of right now, midnight, it’s still showing signs of life, although not nearly as active. It is starting to have a bit of a sour smell. Hopefully this is because the bacteria that live along with the wild yeast to make a real sourdough bread are starting to thrive too. This bacteria I’ve recently learned raise the acid content in the starter to a level that commercial yeast cannot survive in. The fact that I’m still getting some rise when I add the flour makes me think that some wild yeast have probably started to colonize the delicious looking goop too.
However, after doing some reading on a great website for sourdough (Here’s a link: The website is titled Sourdough Home – http://www.sourdoughhome.com/index.html ) I’ve been persuaded that you can get the process going without using the commercial yeast. So yesterday I bought a bag of organic stone ground rye flour and a bag of organic stone ground wheat. I’m not an organic freak, but the idea is to cultivate the yeast that are already living on the flour. When you buy bleached and processed flour, that kills a lot of the little guys we’re trying to get to join the club. It’s a sad and tragic story that will have to be eulogized in another blog. I mixed 50 grams of rye flour, 50 grams of wheat flour, and 100 grams of warm water in this 4 cup measuring cup. It has a slightly softer than play dough consistency about like mashed potatoes. As of this morning, there weren’t many bubbles in it, but there were a few. So, I took out 100 grams, and then added back 25 grams of rye, 25 grams of wheat, and 50 grams of water. You can use 1 part water to 2 parts flour if you don’t have a scale. After all of this, the measuring cup was 1/2 cup full. As opposed to 3 1/2 cups empty which would obviously be pessimistic and depressing.
After about 4 hours, I was really surprised to see that the volume had almost doubled. The starter was at the 1 cup line.
Parades, shouting, cheers, girls in bikini’s popping champagne all over me… I’ve captured wild yeast!!!! It may be the greatest accomplishment of my life. – hopefully that is all a gross exaggeration.
When I looked at it a few minutes ago, this is what I found. It’s nearly at the 1 1/2 cup line. It’s like a yeast superbowl party in there. They’re eating, drinking, making little single celled yeast babies – which are more like clones, but that isn’t nearly as exciting as ‘making yeast babies’.
The site recommends feeding your yeast twice a day. I will start that tomorrow. Currently, the smell is a little like a mix between beer and spoiled vegetables, but supposedly that’s okay and is a good sign of life towards the beginning.
I’m sure you’re biting your nails already wanting to know what will happen next, but you’ll just have to wait to find out.
In other news. Wendy and Breanna are both gone right now. She’s in Kentucky working on weddings, and Breanna is staying with her cousin. They say silence is golden. I’d sort of like to kick that person in the groin. I hate being alone at home. If I wanted to be single and alone… well, I guess I would be. But I really want to have about a dozen kids, my still-sexy-even-after-birthing-12-kids wife, and a half dozen boxers running around the house. That would be swell – as long as I had a really nice man cave with razor wire, reinforced steel door, and high voltage electrified fence surrounding it for those rare moments when I did want to be alone.
Really though, I don’t like being alone. Even with one kid, one already sexy pregnant wife, and 3 boxers, life is pretty amazing when they’re home. When they aren’t, it’s a lot like going to a fair that didn’t pay their electric bill. The rides are all out of order, no cotton candy, no lights, and the only thing to do is smack a hammer to ring a bell. Boring!
Anyhow, at least I have my new yeast family to keep me company. They can talk you know…
Finally, I wrote on my faith blog today about how God has given me some new hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. Check it out if you’d like. www.unbreakingfaith.com (it’s the post titled Zero Percent Chance)