Food and Drink

Let’s Cook Something: Quarantine Edition Part 2

April 21, 2020

It’s been about three days since I mixed some flour and water with a dash of hope to create a sourdough starter. It’s time to check and see if the microbiome I’m trying to start has taken hold.

I pull the towel off and immediately see that the starter has grown in size and there are tons of bubbles on top. That’s a great sign of life! It seems the starter is moving along nicely, there is a nice set of wild microbiology setting up residence in my sourdough starter. Speaking of sourdough, there is definitely a funky smell, which is also an excellent sign as it tells me that the lactobacillus has set up shop and is doing its thing. The neighbors seem to be having a party or something next door as I can hear some very light, muffled conversation going on in the background.

It’s time to start feeding the starter and get it ready for its future bread and bread related product making duties. I find a nice jar to store the starter in and zero out the scale. I’m just going to add things directly to the jar as I don’t need to dirty additional dishes that I would just have to clean up. I also grab a metal skewer to use as a mixer.

I want to end up with 250 grams of starter, the same as the initial starter amount. I’m going to use about twenty percent (50 grams) of the original starter, so that means I need 100 grams of both water and flour to make the difference. I measure out my water, which isn’t exactly 100 grams, but it’s close enough. I’m not baking yet, so I don’t have to be exact.

As a side note, while I’m a decent enough cook, I suck at baking. Cooking is like art, you throw stuff together that creates a pleasing palate of flavor. Baking is pretty much all chemistry, where your ratios and measurements have to be spot on or it all turns to crap. I don’t cook with exact measurements (most of the time), so getting into a baking mindset is a hassle. But I’m going to do it once this starter is ready for some delicious sourdough bread!

Next, I zero out the scale and add 100 grams of flour to the jar. I decide to forego the paper plate this time which results in a nice mess of flour on the counter. I do manage to get exactly 100 grams of flour in the jar though.

Next, it’s time to pull some of the starter out (50 grams to be exact, maybe) and add that to the fresh flour and water mixture.

If a firm crust has formed over the mixture, just move it aside and grab some of the softer starter underneath. This isn’t the case for my starter, so I grab the first scoop and throw it in. The neighbors seem to be laughing or exclaiming about something next door, but it’s too faint to tell what’s going on. Odd, they aren’t usually this noisy.

I get 55 grams of the original starter in the jar, which is close enough. Almost done!

I take the metal skewer and give everything a good stir to mix everything up. The neighbors are really getting after it at this point, almost like they are screaming next door. Might be playing in the pool, I’ll have to ask tomorrow. Anyway, after everything is well mixed, it’s time to throw on the lid and put back on the counter until tomorrow.

At this point I’m done. The starter has been refreshed, and I will be feeding this thing daily for the next five days. At that point, it will be ready to do its job as a leavening agent for a tasty loaf of bread.

Huh, all’s quiet next door. Guess they went inside.

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