I read about how you can make your own sourdough starter. Really? Leave flour and water on your kitchen counter for 2 weeks and you can use what grows to bake bread? How cool is that? Missy Meyers has a really cool blog with a great tutorial. John Ross also wrote a great article.
Day 1: mixed 1/2 c flour with 1/4 c warm water in a pint jar. It was like a really thick dough so I added a bit more water.
Day 2: maybe some water separated out? It smells fine. Fed it.
Day 3: Phew! Like really fragrant stinky cheese. But lots of bubbles. The farmer wants to name it "Audrey Jr." after the plant in Little Shop of Horrors. I think I may have kicked the bacteria into high gear because I stirred it last night with a spoon that had been used in a jar of applesauce. oops. Wow. 4 hours later and it has grown. Still smells like cheesy old sneakers... Waiting for it to get more sour...
Day 4: lots of bubbles, and a strong cheesy odor. Maybe a little bit more sour. Makes your nose wrinkle up.
Day 5: Less smell, fewer bubbles, maybe separating?
Day 6: Not many bubbles at all. More sour smelling. Two hours later it seems to be coming back to life.
Day 7: Audrey seems to be kind of dormant. Smells like sourdough though.
Day 8: A few bubbles. Not much happening.
Day 9: Separating. Still not much happening. Paging Audrey...
Day 10: Audrey appears to be waking up. Bubbles and a sourdough smell.
Day 11: Audrey is alive! Proofed her tonight so that tomorrow, we can bake.
Day 12: I decided to bake because I wont have time for another few weeks.
Audrey did not do much overnight. I decided that it was because she was too cool. I put her near the simmering tomato sauce and she seemed to perk up a bit. But still 12 hours after proofing her she still was not where I wanted. The "sponge" increased in volume by half. I wanted double.
I cheated and added a packet of Fleishman's yeast in addition to the sponge. Otherwise, I followed Missy Meyer's recipe. The point of this is to make bread. Having trouble creating a warm spot in the house on this cool, rainy day.
I finally got it to rise (sort of) and baked it. It has a thick crust and is soft and chewy inside. The flavor is quite good. That's the good news. The bad news is that is an inch and a half high and might be able to be used as a door stop. I was stubborn and wanted to make this bread on a weekend day. I should have waited.
There is some of the Audrey sponge left. I will continue feeding her on the counter for another few days and then fridge her until we are ready to make bread again. I'll post if I get it right.