volunteer sourdough starter

stretched sponge for volunteer sourdough experiment/demonstration

This sponge is now in the refrigerator fermenting until Wednesday. I expected this to rise more, I'm a little bit disappointed. I thought having originated from whole wheat by switching to refined, the culture would respond even more vigorously but that was not the case.

The final additions of flour were all refined white. It occurred to me that since all of the flour associated with the first half of the water was whole wheat then the second half would have to be refined white to achieve 50/50 for the total amount of the sponge. But I wanted slightly less whole wheat than refined white so that would be made up by the difference between the wetness of the earlier sponge and the fermenting sponge which is very close to actual dough. As it turned out, the final was even more refined white than that because I made it was too stiff so I corrected by adding more water until I got the looseness I wanted. So although I don't know the exact percentages of whole wheat to refined white flours, I do know the percentage of whole wheat is somewhere between 30% and 40% and that's where I want it so I'm cool with that. But honestly, after another seven hours, I expected it to be at the top of the bowl judging by how it behaved earlier with straight whole wheat. Also, the portion reserved for future starter didn't rise vigorously either that I could tell anyway by being in a measuring cup. It's just my impression. But they did rise, and that's the thing that's important. Also, its odor improved.

These photos show how well the sponge is kneaded. It stretches, and then it really stretches. You can see the sponge did rise that last seven hours, but not outrageously. It's appears to me to be poised to explode if just given the chance, and It will be given that chance when it's removed from cold storage in a few days and stretched.

The last photo shows the portion that was reserved before the refined white flour was added to the sponge. That portion of all whole wheat starter was also returned to the refrigerator for future use. Although by doing this it seems to me just as easy to start it directly from the flour as it does from a stored starter so I have to ask myself, "what's the point?" Unless there is some character imparted along the way by having been previously started and stored, that is absent from something brand new, but I rather doubt it.

sponge stretched short sourdough experiment/demonstration

sponge stretched long for volunteer sourdough experiment/demonstration

sponge kneaded for volunteer sourdough experiment/demonstration

sponge risen for volunteer sourdough experiment/demonstration

starter packaged for volunteer sourdough experiment/demonstration


previous post here and here

volunteer sourdough experiment/demonstration series #1

volunteer sourdough experiment/demonstration series #2



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