December 10, 2009

Start Me Up Redux

According to S. John Ross, a sourdough starter should take three to four days to form.

This is what I had after 48 hours...

Here's the thing.  When I broke the dough "seal" that had bubbled through the nailhead opening at the top of the jar, it had the right smell.  A pleasant sour or beery smell.  Plus it looked right:

I decided to take a chance, feed the starter again, and see what happened that evening.

Same thing.  Same crusty top. Same delicious bread-y smell.  Same great bubbly look.

Re-read S. John Ross.

Here's the gist: When your starter develops a bubbly froth, it is done. You have succeeded. If this sounds brain-dead simple, that's because it is. People who didn't believe the Earth was round did this for millenia.

Hmm.  Guess I'm brain-dead this week.  Seems the starter was done two days ago.  So my lovely starter is now in the fridge, collecting hootch.  God and time permitting, I'll tackle a sourdough loaf this weekend.