Time to make sourdough again! The starter has been going for a couple weeks, but during that time it never adopted the stinkiness I associated with the early starter stages last time. It does seem to grow after feeding, it produces some alcohol on top… It’s probably doing it’s thing enough to make some bread, so it’s time to try that out.
I was trying to diagnose the difference between the starter this time and last, and the best I can come up with is that the whole wheat flour is pretty old this time. It’s only a couple months away from it’s best-by date, so it has been sitting on the shelf for almost a year. I think in that time the natural yeasts and bacteria in the flour maybe mostly died. This, the harder time starting out. If this loaf is sour and good, perhaps this is really the better situation. Maybe the yeast just went into suspension, and the bacteria died, for instance, letting me skip the “stinky gym socks” state of starter. I don’t know.
Anyway, I started the fermentation last night and things smelled great (a little stinky a little yeasty) this morning, so it seems like the dough is on track. I did my cheater, adding 1 tsp regular yeast in with the other dough ingredients this morning.
The bulk rise finished around 1300 today, and the loaf is quite large. Bread is very forgiving! This will almost certainly be delicious awesome bread regardless of the specifics. Now - will it be the perfect tasting sourdough loaves I was making before? Who knows. It helps that I am pretty easy to please I guess.
Starting final rise
Looking good @1600! The cheater yeast really increases volume.
Final rise complete, about to go in the oven
It’s pretty good! Sour enough… I guess the starter works.