As expected, not much is happening yet. After 24 hours, it had not risen at all:
I added 4.5 oz flour and 4 oz water:
but 7 hours later it's already risen quite a bit.
The recipe calls for high-gluten or bread flour. Since I don't have access to that, I'm using Halbweissmehl at 13g protein, which is about the same as bread flour. I know that "Halbweissmehl" means half-white flour, but besides that I don't know what it is. The ingredients just show wheat, so who knows?
What else? I did get a very friendly response (shown below) from Peter Reinhart, author of The Bread Baker's Apprentice, to my inquiry about the texture of the day 1 seed culture. It's silly to say, but it gave me all sorts of warm fuzzies to get such a prompt and personal response from the author (or a representative signing his name?) of a cookbook I use so frequently. I'm encouraged and inspired for the rest of this experiment. I'm also toning down my previous comments about this cookbook - today was a good day, I can pass that along.
I think there was a typo there, but the good news is that it doesn't matter--it will work either way, whether wet or firm. During the next feeding back down on the water to make a dough that's firmer, like baguette dough, and you'll be right where you need to be (and even if it's wet, it will still work--we've made starter using both wet sponges and firm doughs). The other thing to be concerned about is a tendency for the seed dough to come alive and then to go dormant for a few days. If this happens, stir or knead it twice a day and just wait a few extra days for it to come back to life and then resume feeding it as directed. There's a long explanation for this on my blog (in the archives) and also in the my new book on whole grain breads. Regardless, the key is that it will work no matter if you are patient with it. In a few days you should have a viable starter.
Stay in touch and let me know it goes.