Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The sad stinky sourdough experiment...

Kneading the dough (so far so good), smells like bread with a nice smooth dough.

Let it rise the first time for 8 hours, like the recipe said)

Cut into three loaves, placed in loaf pans and allowed to rise a second time for another 8 hours!

The result was a baby-vomit smelling un-inflated loaf of bulding material and tossed into the trash.

So, if you're following along with my buddy's blog about his battle with sour dough starters, then you may appreciate this post. In response to his unfortunate inability to recreate one of the best breads, I thought I'd give it a shot and bring some light into this dark abyss of "crumbliness" .

Discussing this with my mother-in-law, she shared a really old family recipe with me that used instant potato flakes, water, sugar and a little yeast (ok you sour dough purist, simmer down). Not sure what happened, but seemed everything was going well. The starter was doing what the recipe said it would, I fed it like I was supposed to and the end result was a dense brick of a bolder that smelled and tasted like baby vomit (seriously). Three loaves, in the trash, sad to say.

I think I'll try this again and pay more attention to what I do to see if there was something I missed. Will keep you posted.


Randy Page said...

Baby vomit rocks! hehehe...

I don't know man, I take back everything I said a few weeks ago about bread being easy. Boy do I feel like the guy that the Geico cavemen want to see dead. :)

Jeremy said...

Getting a good sour dough starter going can be tough work, especially if you don't spike it with yeast.

With that being said, I have had great luck with starting a starter that is physically near near good sources of wild yeast--flower blossoms from the trees and flowering bushes from our back yard. I position them above the starter slurry and gently tap or rustle them during the day. It may be superstition, or it may just be that the time of year you get blossoms is just naturally when there is more wild yeast, but this technique has always worked for me.

I really recommend getting a starter that can make a solid baguette or course of rolls with just the four ingredients before embarking on more elaborate recipes, if for no other reason than to save money. Also, if you have a solid starter, the fermentation schedule you have listed there *should* be way too long, unless you are retarding the dough in some way.

Anyway, great blog! Check out mind XD (cheeseaday.blogspot.com), and cheers!!