sourdough starter

all for you spoonbills. this was intended as a day by day reportage, over the period of one month, on the rise and rise of my starter. for those of you unawares, a starter is a process of making wild yeast…that what they use in the fancy bread that tastes good. after many moons of wondering whether or not i might have the strength of conviction (conviction that everyone has the right to make sourdough if and when they please) to enter a bakery and request a mere 100g of theirs, i finally decided no – i will do it myself. this may or may not have coincided with the receipt of a kitchen aid – a domestic bakers only chance. turns out, i have not yet acquired the requisite trait of a true baker – patience and love. me, i got bored. remarkable however, not so bored that i abandoned the exercise altogether. but bored enough that every morning at 7am, shivering as i look out onto the sleet and snow, and crawl out of bed and try to remember what day of my ‘feeding schedule’ it is and whether or not my starter baby needs 50 or 200g of flour and water, and peel back the gladwrap to the putrid smell of fermentation, i have been known to use some swears. and every morning has now become a battle of my binary mind – i hate this now. but this will make good bread later. but it stinks. but later it will come out of the oven smelling like happiness. but its too early in the morning. but if you dont feed it now it will die. but im bored of this. but youve come to far. and so it goes. the circles in my head. (not to be confused with those in the head of kerry armstrong…thats a whole different circuit i suggest you avoid like the smell of ferment at dawn). so here are some graphic depictions of my starter – from its disgusting beginnings to its hateful present halfway point. 2 weeks down. 2 to go. stay with me. because i have to stay with it.

the first shot was day one. here is a photo from a late night feed, trying desperately to awaken my starter – while the rest of the sane world slept soundly.

day four looked a little like this

day six…attempt at a pre-caffeinated feed. many swears ensued

and day eight. starting to get into a routine – becoming at contemptuous and resentful one with my starter

feeding schedule and updates coming soon.

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5 Responses to “sourdough starter”


  1. 1 matthieu May 12, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    love the early morning photos. as carl sagan would say, “thats cosmic, man”

    the smell, however, is not one i would associate with anything that is of a goodly nature to be experienced. In the morning. Every day.

    what day is it m’love?

  2. 2 schlepseleh May 12, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    think its the day i forgot to feed my starter. its also the day i found out mammy and pappy are second cousins. in that sense, its a binary day of wishing to remember and also wishing to forget…all at once.

  3. 3 stipple effect May 13, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    mmmmmmm starter.
    cha cha cha chaa – delicious.
    me want’m fancy breads.

    p.s. me thinks that the first sentence of this post is the truest word that the blogosphere did ever spake. x

  4. 5 jo May 14, 2010 at 2:06 am

    snow the patience, maternal determination and drive to succeed shown towards your starter is merely a continuum echo of your abilities in outlasting anybody, and i mean anybody, in a telephone ‘how are you?’ ‘good and you?’ ‘good and how are you?’ ad finitum challenge.

    or, as my gb has been heard to remark following a straight 20 phone calls from you; ‘the girl has admirable persistence’.


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