Friday, December 07, 2007

TGSE: Day Five

It's alive!!! When I woke this morning, the seed culture was again busting out of the container. Yay! I just stirred it couple times yesterday, as instructed by Mr. Reinhart's recipe "correction," which adds oxygen to help the yeast along. So I was able to proceed with the barm today after all. It's sitting in the fridge overnight and tomorrow I can make the firm sourdough starter. The end is near.

In answer to Margaret's comment about throwing half away - yes, it feels like a big waste. It took 4 cups of flour to yield one cup of seed culture. Instead of throwing away half, I could have put it in a separate container and maintain both. But since you have to divide the seed culture every day and the barm every three days, it starts multiplying out of control. If I had kept all of it to this point, I'd have 8 batches of seed culture to deal with.

And it only gets worse. Today I once again discarded half and added 16oz flour and 16oz water to turn the seed culture into 6 cups barm. If I had kept all 8 seed cultures, I would now have 16 barms, 96 cups worth. That's a lot of barm, considering the sourdough bread recipe only calls for 2/3 cup for 2 loaves. Even after one batch of bread, I still have to use up 4+ cups of barm in three days or I have to throw some away. After three days, the barm must be "refreshed," meaning I have to at least double the volume every 3 days by adding equal parts flour and water. Typically, you use or discard all but 1 cup by day 3, then refresh it back up to 6 cups. I guess I will be baking a lot this week to use up that precious barm. Or if any of my Zurich readers want some of my barm, leave a comment and we'll arrange a hand-off.


Jess said...

Yeah that does seem like you throw away a lot of flour. The method that i used hardly threw away any flour. All i did was add 2 tables spoons of whole wheat flour, and a tables spoon and a half of warm water and mix it up. Then you do this for 7 days ever 24 hours leaving it at room temp. After 7 days just add like a heaping half cup of bread flour and a level half cup of warm water and let it sit at room temp for another 24 hours and you have a liquid dough starter. It would have doubled in size and gotten really bubbly. Then you use it for your recipe. Or convert it to a stiff sourdough starter if specified by the recipe. Then you feed it like you did with the bread flour and throw some of it away if it is getting too big for you bowl.

Cheryl said...


I'm commenting on a very old post, so I don't know if your offer is still current. I'd love to have some of your sourdough starter if you still have it in culture.

I'm in the process of making a rye sourdough starter, but having another one that actually works would be great.

I'm in ZH most week days (working at the Unispital).

Thanks. Cheers, Cheryl

tanya said...

Hi Cheryl. Thanks for your interest, but I haven't kept up the sourdough starter. Good luck!

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