Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tartine Bread: Days 3 and 4

After another day, the mixture is less brown and more bubbly. Both of these traits are satisfying, since the brownness really did not look appetizing. The bubbliness assured me that things were working as they should be.
This picture was taken after I stirred up the goop. It felt satisfyingly thick and full of activity.
This is the part that bothers my thrifty (sometimes) soul. You have to dump out almost all of the active goop, and add more flour and water. By the time I'm ready to make bread, I figure I'll have thrown away about 10 pounds of flour. Since there's very little actual bread-making activity going on around here, perhaps you'd like some random information about sourdough. (Robertson doesn't like to call it sourdough because he doesn't like sour bread, and bread made with "sourdough starter" doesn't have to taste sour. He just calls it a starter, or a "leaven.") If you want to Frenchify it, you could call it "levain." It's not really yeastless. The starter works because it captures wild yeast that's floating around in the air. Everywhere. Yes, in your house too. Rumor has it that you can speed up the sourdough process by spitting into the mixture. I swear that I didn't do that.


Melinda said...

Yuck, I hope the French don't spit in their levain. I didn't need that planted in my head, Marie!
I have made a levain that took about 5 weeks to use. This sounds way longer! I know what you mean about feeling that it is a huge waste of flour. I kept making them into levain until I realized I could never use that many and no one else was interested in having a pet starter, once they learned what they needed to do to keep it going.
This is worse than the buttermilk treadmill!

Jim said...

I'm very glad you didn't use the spitting technique.

Jenn [knittybaker] said...

I am also bothered by the throwing away most of the levain. But I take comfort in the fact that you probably throw less when you make your own vs. in bread store or factory. At least that's what I tell myself.

I've tried to make sourdough starter last year (Peter Reinhart's recipe) and they died on day four. Good luck to you Marie. I'm sure you'll be more successful that I was.

Lois B said...

There is a Polish soup that uses a sour rye starter as the base. I tried making it once in Tucson, but I got mold before I got bubbles. I haven't been brave enough to try it again.

I'm glad to see that your starter is healthy. It's a big responsibility, isn't it - keeping it healthy?

jyothi said...

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