Monday, March 24, 2008

Starter Watch Day Three: Double, Double Toil and Trouble; Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble

How's everyone's starter doing? I've been getting lots of good questions and comments and I'll try and reply to each and every one of you personally. If you don't hear directly from me, check the comments because I'm trying to answer there first as others who are in the process of birthing their first starters will probably have the same question.

Day Three of a healthy starter should bring you a real witch's cauldron of roiling bubbles and the beginning of a sour smell and taste.


Yes, I said taste. I want you to taste your starter from time to time. Don't worry, it won't hurt you and I want you to know what a healthy starter tastes like at all the stages. Go ahead, dip your finger in and taste it. Wash your hands first. I'll wait. (doh, doh, doh, doh.....)

OK, that should have had a bit of a sour vinegary tang with a definite whole grain overtone.

So, about two hours after the first feeding you should have lots of bubbles and it should look like a rolling boil


It will settle down to foamy, tiny bubbles before the second feeding


and then it will get big bubbles, like when you blow air through a straw in a milk shake after the second feeding.


By now you should be feeding a mix of rye and AP flour. In the next three days we will be taking this starter completely to AP flour. In about ten days, there will be no trace of the rye flour left.

Notice, how in the next two days it gets lighter and lighter in shade.

Again, feel free to drop me comments or emails if you have any questions. If you want to send me photos of your starter, please compress them and zip them up before sending them to me.

I can't wait to hear about all your starters. Thanks a bunch!