Wednesday, 24 April 2013


So I guess it's time I posted an update on how my sourdough starter went! If you're a regular reader, you might know I started making a sourdough starter a while ago (if not you can read about it here!) now and should have been well into my sourdough bread baking by now. Whatever happend to that?

My first attempt, sadly, didn't quite work out. I named him Eric and the first couple of days he did great. I kept a daily record of the process as I went along, where I jotted down my observations. Kinda felt like I was back in school doing some sort of experiment for a science project! The mixture started bubbling and was smelling right and everything, but then it started separating. I didn't quite know what was happening as this wasn't mentioned in the recipe I was following, but thanks to Google I soon found out that this is something that often happens in the process. The liquid that separates is called hooch, and is an alcohol naturally produced in the fermenting process. Graeme somewhat jokingly suggested we try to drink it, which we then obviously did. I don't particularly recommend it for your next cocktail party. 

Either way, I learnt that hooch should be disposed of, and that if your starter is producing a lot of it then you should try feeding it more often. Eric was just telling me he was hungry! Phew! Panic averted. But then a couple of days later, actual disaster struck, and I hold myself completely responsible. I had a bit of a lay Sunday, and managed to forget to feed him. The next day, not only did I realize I'd forgotten to feed him, I realized I had also failed to close the lid properly. Result? Eric had thrown a tantrum and developed a gross case of mould. 

However, I've given it another shot and so far, my second attempt is going a lot better. I've learnt from my past mistakes and invested in a new jar that's easier to shut to avoid any airborne contamination. I've also put a reminder on my phone to prevent me from feeding him on the weekend. Eric Two appreciates this measures and is doing much better than his predecessor. However, I am currently on Day 7 and the process is going far slower than the recipe suggested, as so far there's only a small amount of bubbles. Clearly patience is key in this process!

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