3.9.05

Goodnight, Sour Prince

I killed my sourdough starter. There, got that out of the way. It wasn't murder, really, so much as starter slaughter--would that be the correct legal term? Most of you might even know that this happened quite a while back. But I shamelessly kept that little starter thumbnail up there in my sidebar, all proud and loving. But it was wrong. Wrong! So I took it down (though you can still find the About the Starter post under "projects" in the table of contents).

I didn't mean to do it. I thought he was doing okay in the fridge. Then one day I took him out for a feeding... and kind of recoiled back at the sight of a little starter tentacle snaking upward toward the lid--except that it had turned all green and moldy. And kind of frozen.

That's the whole story.

I made another starter easily enough. But I've been having trouble with it--it's weak, unreliable, and too sour. I've actually been considering buying a well-established starter and seeing how it compares. I haven't given up on sourdough altogether! I miss the taste and textures already, because I've lately fallen back on yeast breads. Sad, huh?

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6 Comments:

Wow, I'm so ignorant. My dad loves making breads every Easter and Thanksgiving but I 've never mastered the recipe myself..one of these days...
I didn't even know what starter was. Good thing I'm sticking to writing about mostly restaurants :)

9/04/2005 03:35:00 AM  

Damn, I was hoping that your starter story would finish on a happier note... :(

9/04/2005 06:05:00 PM  

My current starter was born in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in northern California, and then moved to England with its "keeper" where it lived for many years. I was sent a bit (with extra flour added so it was rather solid) several months ago--complete with customs declaration--and have been pretty happy with it. Want some? It'd be cool to share "the starter baked 'round the world."

9/05/2005 05:42:00 AM  

Mona, you should definitely try bread making. It's very satisfying.

Shammi, yes, my starter project seems to have ended a bit tragically. I just hope others won't read about it and be discouraged from experimenting. I'm sure it's my own fault--part inexperience, part bad baker.

Beth, your starter has such romantic-sounding origins! I'd be thrilled to receive some, but I never feel right asking people to mail things to Japan. I suspect it isn't cheap, regardless of what you send. Thanks so much for offering, however. I'm going to see if I can find starter for sale in Japan.  

from Rachel

9/06/2005 01:35:00 AM  

that's too bad about the starter! god, i remember when it was the trend for all the soccer mums to make amish friendship bread for each other. my mum and i had that starter for months... gosh.

i should try my hand at sourdough. especially before i move to san francisco and have roommates who probably wont want to tolerate a beer-y smelling sourdough starter.

9/06/2005 11:31:00 AM  

Hi Violet, thanks for stopping by! Don't worry, the starter doesn't smell at all... unless it gets too hot and exlodes out of its container or something.  

from Rachel

9/13/2005 10:38:00 PM  

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