May 24, 2009

The Resurrection

Or, "how I saved my sourdough starter."

I guess I left it a little too long in the fridge without feeding it. I think it might have been 2 weeks. 2 weeks is really too long.

I checked on it Saturday morning and it had the usual layer of hooch on top, but I noticed there was a bit more hooch than usual and the grey color that eventually overtakes long-stored yeasted dough was beginning to set in. Luckily, it was not irredeemable, although I was quite worried for a while.

I mixed the hooch back in with a chopstick, then poured out over half of the mixture. This I used to start another batch of the Artisan in 5 dough. That stuff really adds serious flavor. And the longer the starter has been sitting, the stronger the flavor.

Then I doubled the starter using equal parts (by weight) of flour and water. Letting it sit out for 12 hours I saw very little activity, but there was some bubbling. So I fed it again and left it out. Four hours later it seemed active enough to put back in the fridge.

Indeed, it appears to be as good as new. I used up all my Ai5 dough this morning baking the levantine Mnaeesh my family loves so much, so I started a new dough batch and took the opportunity to divide the starter yet again. On the counter for 3 hours it bounced back like a real trooper.

Happy ending!

Posted by James at May 24, 2009 12:46 PM
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Do you use any regular yeast for the Ai5, or do you just use starter? I wasn't able to get my Ai5 do rise with starter alone - maybe I didn't wait long enough. Five hours seemed like it should be enough.

Posted by: Julie at May 24, 2009 5:20 PM

I use regular yeast. It's not technically a sourdough, it's just flavored with some starter.

When I want to make sourdough I use my "low knead" recipe. I'm basically dumping my extra throwaway starter into the Ai5 just to add flavor and so the starter doesn't get wasted.

Quite convenient, actually!

Posted by: James at May 24, 2009 6:26 PM

It is crazy-tasty and I think it improves the texture, too. I just made some Ai5 without starter for the first time in months (I've put the starter in the freezer since I won't be baking much over the summer), and it just isn't as good without it.

Posted by: Julie at May 24, 2009 7:11 PM

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