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Welcome: This blog is associated with my web site of the same name - Mum's Cookbook Site.

05 March 2011

SDJ - day 5

Yogi is increasing in volume and smells lovely and yeasty now. He didn't double over the 24 hour period, but is likely to soon.

Hootch is not doing anything much. Still producing hootch and the alcohol smell just about knocks me over.

04 March 2011

SDJ - day 4

Nothing happening - I think it's just too hot inside. Thinking of draping wet hand towels around them to see if they do better in a cooler temperature.

Yesterday Yogi had a nice little fungus growth happening on the surface which I was able to remove as there was also a skin formed. Some bubbles on the surface this morning, so he is still alive but not active. Pleaseant smell.

Hooch has a very ripe alcoholic smell and I don't think any fungi are game to grow in that environment. Very thin layer of hooch on the surface but no other activity.

02 March 2011

SDJ - day 2

Starter babies fed and ready to grow again
This morning I was anxious to check on my babies and here's my progress report.

YOGI: I have a nice crop of fungus growing on the sides of the container where some of the starter has splashed and stuck during stirring. Not sure if I should be worried. There's none on the starter itself and I could ladle it out and clean the jar. Still smells OK and mix is quite fluid. A couple of bubbles on the surface, but level hasn't risen.

HOOCH: Last night I diluted the mix and strained out what remained of the grapes - just seeds and skins.  Big changes this morning. The froth floating on top of the hooch has now virtually disappeared - I stirred it a couple of times last night in the hopes that this would happen because I now think that the initial action is not the one I need. There's not much hooch now but still a strong smell of alcohol.

I'm starting to think that the current high temperatures are not ideal for growing new starters. I'll continue for a few more days with the current cultures though.

Later in the day:

Yogi has a silky smooth texture with a few bubbles popping up to the surface - like 1 or 2 bubbles per hour. His house is clean again.

Hooch is bubbling - just reduced the volume of starter and fed him. I am hoping for some expansion over the next few hours.

01 March 2011

SDJ - the beginnings

Day 2 - Yogi on left and Hooch on the right

This is a record of my first attempts at making a sourdough starter.  My home bread making skills span about 40 years but I've never made or even tasted sourdough.  I like the idea of it because it's a natural process and the science is interesting.  An internet friend is advising me and there is so much information online - how could it possibly go wrong, right?

My first sourdough babies were conceived on the 28th February.

I decided to make two starters to see which worked best and which flavour I preferred. These will be "white" loaves and later I will try a couple of grain starters - wheat and rye.

Starter number 1, who later became known as "Hooch", was made with grapes, water and flour. By day 2 there was some action happening - bubbles aplenty and the mix had a yeasty smell.  I had high hopes for young Hooch.

The second starter was made with yoghurt, milk and flour. The flour was added on day 2 and the only noticeable change was, well nothing really.  He was destined to be named "Yogi".

Note that Hooch has three distinct layers, foam at the top, a clear liquid formed and at the bottom of the jar is a fairly solid paste.