Sunday, March 24, 2019
I began my first starter in the Tartine method. The author recommends you begin with a 5 lbs. Mix equal parts white flour and whole wheat. I don’t have the storage space for this, so I created a 450 gram mix of equal parts to begin feeding my starter. Robertson advises you mix until a thick batter is formed beginning with a small dish of lukewarm water, adding your 50/50 mix until that batter is formed. Now, we cover it and wait.
This is my first experiment with a starter, and I am a little nervous about the results. If it goes awry, I’ll have to start again. I considered doing two and choosing the one I felt most confident in after the first round of fermentation, but I don’t have the space in my kitchen to keep two starters where I will remember to feed them.
Robertson suggests you leave your culture for two to three days, feeding it only when you can see bubbles have formed on the sides and the surface. For this reason, a glass or clear plastic bowl will be best. I will check back on Tuesday to see how my starter is shaping up.
Tuesday, March 26, 6:00 A.M.
No bubbles when I checked before work. A light brown skin had formed on the top. I decided I would come back to it after work, and decide if it was time to feed yet from here. Robertson suggests a 2-3 day window. Could be better tomorrow. We’ll start taking pictures at the next Tuesday check.
I'm seeing bubbles in the light, but I am going to let it go til tomorrow morning. Then, the first feed.
Wednesday, March 27
Woke up this morning and displaced the Brown layer atop my starter to find bubbles in the water that formed up under the top layer. This was good enough for me to remove about 80% of the starter per Tartine Bread's instructions. From today on, we are on to daily feedings.
Thursday, March 28
I forgot to feed my starter in the morning, so I came home before a dentist appointment to do it. The bubbles were actually visible through the slight crust that began to form. I’m willing to say my little baby is active now. Yay!
Friday, March 29
More bubbles this morning. There is definitely some life in that bowl. I came home from work and found that after the morning feeding, the starter had risen slightly in the bowl. We are on the right path. I may keep it on the road for another week to give it enough time. We won’t be baking this weekend.
Saturday, March 30
The rise this morning was high enough that it knocked back and fell when I had to discard most of it for the feeding. I will keep an eye on it toward the end of the day to see how high it gets.
By the end of the day, it rose just fine.
Sunday, March 31
It was my husband’s birthday, so I forgot to feed my starter until closer to noon. A skin had formed on the top again, but we got her fed just fine. It continues to rise and fall with each feeding, so according to Robertson, it would probably be ready to go for a good bread. I won’t have time this weekend, so we’ll keep feeding it until next weekend.
An idea born in Normal, Illinois, Eating Normal hopes to chronicle the eating Experiences of a Red bird.
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