Death to the Starter!!
Posted: 02 May 2008 08:53 PM   [ Ignore ]
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OK I have had enough sourdough. Sourdough pancakes, Sourdough bread, Sourdough muffins, Sourdough rolls. AAAAARRRRGGGG enough already. Today I baked the last of my sourdough. I have gained 10 pounds in six months and now I have to lose all that weight in six months or be prepared to drag the sourdough fat to 20,000 feet in Nepal. So there is now 1/2 cup of starter cryogenically frozen for the next millennium. It wasn’t the constant feeding or the feeling that I should be baking when I didn’t really want to be. I really missed tasting the raw dough. Every time I tasted the raw sourdough I had 24 hours of explosive gas emissions. I love uncooked dough especially after the first rise. I had to hold myself back. But what finally killed the starter was ennui. I found I didn’t have the time for other baking. Sourdough is good for a change of pace but I grew tired of everything being sour. Boredom killed the started. So long and goodbye it will not be missed.

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Posted: 03 May 2008 12:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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how about u only add 5 to 10 percent of starter to ALL your yeast recipes to achieve a delicious flavor that isn’t sourdough and that NO yeast alone can achieve? !!!!!!!!

true bread baking started w/o commercial yeast!!!!!!!

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Posted: 03 May 2008 11:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Gene, it sounds like you feel compelled to use your starter every time you feed it, which isn’t necessary.  I’ve had mine for about a year and a half, and I only use it when I am in the mood for sourdough maybe once every 6-8 weeks.  It certainly hasn’t hampered my other baking.  Maybe you were keeping too much of it?

I started storing only 52 grams a few months back because I calculated that is all I need to keep to make all of the recipes in the Bread Bible.  At first I was worried about keeping so little, but it hasn’t been any different than when I kept 3 times as much.  I feed once a week, and keep the old starter in the freezer.  By the end of the month, I have enough old starter to add to one regular yeast recipe as Rose suggests on the main blog.  I calculated that for one year, it takes 2 pounds of flour to maintain the starter, which for me only costs $1.05, so I definitely think keeping a starter is easy and inexpensive.

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Posted: 03 May 2008 01:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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These are all fine suggestions which have great merit. I was feeding the starter twice a day until I had about a quart and then baking. Too much. Maybe along some alternate time line I will discover a yearning for the starter again. Maybe in some parallel universe the starter has gone on to develop into intelligent life. I wish it well in those variant realities. But for this strand of the multiverse I say, ” Death to the STARTER!”.

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Posted: 03 May 2008 02:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Wow Gene, you really made it hard on yourself feeding it twice a day and making so much.  I probably would have quit too if I had been doing all of that!

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Posted: 04 May 2008 03:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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YES, weekly feedings only and just 50 grams or so!

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Posted: 04 May 2008 04:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Boy, did this post make me chuckle.  Gene, I know how you’re feeling!

My bread baking adventures began with Nancy Silverton’s “Bread from La Brea Bakery”.  A wonderful book, but maybe not the best book for a beginner.  All recipes , save one, called for a liquid sourdough starter that required as many feedings (and almost as much attention) as a newborn baby.  I learned to ignore the funny looks at the grocery checkout when bag after bag of flour was swiped.  I tried to get used to the fine film of flour dusting every surface due to the twice-daily feedings.  I consoled myself that calculating the last feeding time with bread making time was a good mental workout and hey, schedules and organization are good things, right?

No doubt I made the whole process a LOT more difficult than it needed to be, but I got to the point where I was casting evil looks and muttering at that jar every time I opened the fridge.  Having a seething resentment toward sourdough starter did not seem healthy (let alone sane) so one day, with much regret but even more relief, I sent my starter to the Great Bread Heaven in the Sky.

I’ll try it again…one day…and will be referring to this forum and blog for advice when I do.  The bubbly-headed beast will not be getting the best of me again!  In the meantime, I’m enjoying working my way through the BB and not missing my sour friend at all.  grin

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Posted: 04 May 2008 04:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Sarah you have hit the nail on the head. I too was led astray by Nancy. It is a lovely book with great information, BUT, her fanaticism makes you feel like you are never doing enough.

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