Carl's 1847 Oregon Trail

I had a problem with this starter, one of my favorites and one of the most reliable. Actually, the ones I've kept are all reliable because the ones that are not reliable or robust get tossed. I mean, if they can't handle a little neglect then what good are they? And by a little neglect, I mean a lot of neglect. In this case, I forgot to reserve a portion of starter from the last batch, a stupid mistake. That left me bereft of starter in immediately available cool retardation, near suspension. However, I did have reserves in hard-ass cold-blooded cryogenic suspension in 100% dry form. Two, in fact, for Carls 1847 Oregon Trail, one that was, brrrrrr, frozen. That's the problem, not only was the starter dried, it had been dried for over two years. Additionally, freezing one of the saved dried reserve sample cultures risked killing unknown portions of the culture.

It did not revive easily. It languished for days through long proofs and multiple re-feedings. It was re-fed so many times with so little result that when I finally applied heat from a lamp as one does as if starting from step 1, it had been fed so much additional flour I wasn't certain if I was cultivating Carl's culture or cultivating the yeast carried on the flour used to feed it. See the problem? I'm not even certain anymore this is Carl's. I'm trusting the amount of concentrated dried Carl's culture in two shots (one that was frozen) still outnumbered the piggybacking yeast culture on the flour, even though Carls' culture was diluted through several inherently invasive and mildly inoculating feedings. On the other hand, it's entirely possible this is hardly Carl's at all, and better described as cross between Carls, and volunteer culture, in a word, a bastardization.

* weeps inconsolably *

* recovers *

I decided I don't care about racial purity. It's a new age. What I care about is robust culture that tastes fantastic when baked and with unique and desirable characteristics of crust and crumb.

* dusts flour off self *

* holds chin up, strikes a pose *

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

*visions of The Andromeda Strain*

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