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Misschief

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I was listening to CBC radio this morning (the Current) and one of the topics was sourdough bread. The interviewee was talking about a Sourdough Science Project. It was a fascinating interview (link included, skip to about the 42 minute mark of Part 2). I decided to join in; I already have a 3 y.o. starter (that still doesn't have a name) and had just started an experimental one yesterday. Instructions and FAQs can be found on their website (linked below).

 

IrishLass

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I'm not a part of the project, but I created a wild sourdough starter a few weeks ago and baked a very lovely loaf out of it on day 5 of its life. I named it Wildfire (the starter, not the loaf, lol). That was in order to differentiate it from my 10-years-old-or-so starter which is a non-wild starter- i.e., I started that one with a little help in the form of a very tiny pinch of active dry yeast as per the instructions in my Bread Alone book by Dan Leader....about 1/32 of a teaspoon worth, if even that. I named that one Lazarus because no matter how badly I neglect it (e.g. leave alone in the fridge for over a year), it comes back to life when I start paying attention to it again. 😁


IrishLass :)
 

Susie

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Can you share the recipe for Lazarus? I really need a sourdough starter I can't kill. Because I have managed to kill every last one before they were two weeks old.
 

Misschief

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I'm not a part of the project, but I created a wild sourdough starter a few weeks ago and baked a very lovely loaf out of it on day 5 of its life. I named it Wildfire (the starter, not the loaf, lol). That was in order to differentiate it from my 10-years-old-or-so starter which is a non-wild starter- i.e., I started that one with a little help in the form of a very tiny pinch of active dry yeast as per the instructions in my Bread Alone book by Dan Leader....about 1/32 of a teaspoon worth, if even that. I named that one Lazarus because no matter how badly I neglect it (e.g. leave alone in the fridge for over a year), it comes back to life when I start paying attention to it again. 😁


IrishLass :)
Lazarus! I love that! My original starter is a wild starter that I got started with some of the grapes in our yard. Mine's been in the fridge for months at a time and always comes back again.

I've been baking Sourdough Sandwich bread with mine; the recipe does use discard and added yeast but has never failed yet. And right now, there's a loaf of Sourdough Banana Bread, also made with discard, in the oven and the house is smelling really good. My tummy's growling.
 

blueginkgo

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After about 15 years of not making sourdough I'm working on getting going on it again. This time I'm trying a no discard method found here
. This youtube channel (Bake With Jack) is one I have found very informative. Jack presents his information in short clips in an easy to follow manner, he's become one of my favorites.

Another good youtuber for sourdough information is Foodgeek. Like Jack, he recommends Dark Rye flour for starting a starter. Rye has become impossible to find here so I finally broke down and ordered a bag from Amazon. Hopefully it will be here by the end of this week. Until then I'll keep feeding a whole wheat / all purpose flour starter I've been nursing along for going on 2 weeks now.
 

Misschief

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I've started two for the experiment. One is dark rye with tap water and the other is AP flour, also with tap water. I, personally, want to see which one is the faster starter. My 3 y.o. starter uses AP flour and has been fine.
 

IrishLass

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Can you share the recipe for Lazarus? I really need a sourdough starter I can't kill. Because I have managed to kill every last one before they were two weeks old.
Oh no! :eek: It's very possible that your starters did not actually die, but just went dormant for lack of food, which is what happens to my Lazarus when I go months and months and months without feeding it. It may seem like it's dead, but when I remove half of it and feed the remains with more flour and water over a few days time at room temp, it miraculously comes back to life. Bake with Jack on Youtube has a great video that talks about that. He's a professional baker and it's his opinion that there is no such thing as a dead starter:

Like blueginkgo, Bake with Jack has become one of my favorites, too. He's got a whole series of YouTube videos on sourdough, which I only just discovered earlier this month, and I'm so happy I found him because he's helped tremendously to simplify and demystify so many things for me regarding sourdough. His Sourdough Myths video and his Sourdough Scrapings Method video especially have been a goldmine of helpful, simplifying info for me.

Regarding my Lazarus and Wildfire.....they were both created using Arrowhead Mills whole grain rye flour and bottled spring water. I didn't use our tap water because our city treats it with chlorine and that would surely have worked to kill it for real.

When I created Lazarus years ago, I used the directions in Dan Leader's book Bread Alone, which makes an overly large amount (enough to fill up a 32 oz container and then some when lively). If I had known then what I know now, I would never have made such a large amount, but when one doesn't know 'come here' from 'sic'em' about sourdough, one follows the directions one has at hand. lol Over the years, I've cut Lazarus down to a much more manageable size of about 7 oz/210g in weight instead of the whopping 28 oz it was at the beginning, and I'm thinking of cutting it down even further to 25 grams after watching Bake With Jack. For what it's worth, here are the basic directions I followed from the book using Mr. Leader's amounts:

Day 1: In 2 to 3 quart container vigorously mix 4 fluid ounces of spring water with 3 ounces weight of wholegrain rye flour along with a pinch of active dry yeast (less than 1/16 tsp.) Scrape down the sides, cover and place in a 74 to 80 degreeF place for 24 hours.
Day 2: Repeat step 1, only don't add anymore yeast.
Day 3: Repeat step 2.
Day 4: Repeat step 2

By day 4 you should have a lively starter that is ready to use to make bread. However much of the starter you remove to make your bread, replenish the remaining starter left behind with the same amount using the same ratio of water to flour.

It's really no different from any other sourdough starter recipe out there, except that it just makes sooooo much. My Wildfire starter was made using Mary Nests's Foolproof Sourdough Starter directions (can be found on YouTube), which uses much less flour and water and no added yeast. Here are her directions that I followed to a 'T':

Day 1: In an 8-oz size bowl or jar, vigorously mix 1 tablespoon of wholegrain rye flour with 1 tablespoon water. Loosely cover and set somewhere at about 75F. (I covered mine with cheesecloth and set it on my dining room table which was receiving a warm gentle cross breeze from my open window. It was about 75F outside.
Day 2: do nothing.
Day 3: vigorously stir in 1 tablespoon rye flour, but no water. Cover loosely and set back in its spot.
Day 4: vigorously mix in 2 tablespoons rye flour and 2 tablespoons water. Re-cover loosely and place it back in its spot. Sometime during this day the starter should be getting quite lively. If by Day 5 it has not doubled or tripled, repeat Day 4 and it should be good to go.

Mine was ready and rearing to go by the end of day 4 and by the morning of Day 5 had tripled in size and was beginning to climb out of the jar! I made bread with it that day and it rose beautifully and baked up beautifully without me 'helping' by adding any yeast. I was so excited!

I've been storing Wildfire in the fridge alongside Lazarus and I've been using the very un-fussy, no waste, 'no discard' method that Bake With Jack advocates, which I think is absolutely brilliant because it fits in with my neglectful sourdough habits. lol


IrishLass :)
 

Jersey Girl

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Oh no! :eek: It's very possible that your starters did not actually die, but just went dormant for lack of food, which is what happens to my Lazarus when I go months and months and months without feeding it. It may seem like it's dead, but when I remove half of it and feed the remains with more flour and water over a few days time at room temp, it miraculously comes back to life. Bake with Jack on Youtube has a great video that talks about that. He's a professional baker and it's his opinion that there is no such thing as a dead starter:

Like blueginkgo, Bake with Jack has become one of my favorites, too. He's got a whole series of YouTube videos on sourdough, which I only just discovered earlier this month, and I'm so happy I found him because he's helped tremendously to simplify and demystify so many things for me regarding sourdough. His Sourdough Myths video and his Sourdough Scrapings Method video especially have been a goldmine of helpful, simplifying info for me.

Regarding my Lazarus and Wildfire.....they were both created using Arrowhead Mills whole grain rye flour and bottled spring water. I didn't use our tap water because our city treats it with chlorine and that would surely have worked to kill it for real.

When I created Lazarus years ago, I used the directions in Dan Leader's book Bread Alone, which makes an overly large amount (enough to fill up a 32 oz container and then some when lively). If I had known then what I know now, I would never have made such a large amount, but when one doesn't know 'come here' from 'sic'em' about sourdough, one follows the directions one has at hand. lol Over the years, I've cut Lazarus down to a much more manageable size of about 7 oz/210g in weight instead of the whopping 28 oz it was at the beginning, and I'm thinking of cutting it down even further to 25 grams after watching Bake With Jack. For what it's worth, here are the basic directions I followed from the book using Mr. Leader's amounts:

Day 1: In 2 to 3 quart container vigorously mix 4 fluid ounces of spring water with 3 ounces weight of wholegrain rye flour along with a pinch of active dry yeast (less than 1/16 tsp.) Scrape down the sides, cover and place in a 74 to 80 degreeF place for 24 hours.
Day 2: Repeat step 1, only don't add anymore yeast.
Day 3: Repeat step 2.
Day 4: Repeat step 2

By day 4 you should have a lively starter that is ready to use to make bread. However much of the starter you remove to make your bread, replenish the remaining starter left behind with the same amount using the same ratio of water to flour.

It's really no different from any other sourdough starter recipe out there, except that it just makes sooooo much. My Wildfire starter was made using Mary Nests's Foolproof Sourdough Starter directions (can be found on YouTube), which uses much less flour and water and no added yeast. Here are her directions that I followed to a 'T':

Day 1: In an 8-oz size bowl or jar, vigorously mix 1 tablespoon of wholegrain rye flour with 1 tablespoon water. Loosely cover and set somewhere at about 75F. (I covered mine with cheesecloth and set it on my dining room table which was receiving a warm gentle cross breeze from my open window. It was about 75F outside.
Day 2: do nothing.
Day 3: vigorously stir in 1 tablespoon rye flour, but no water. Cover loosely and set back in its spot.
Day 4: vigorously mix in 2 tablespoons rye flour and 2 tablespoons water. Re-cover loosely and place it back in its spot. Sometime during this day the starter should be getting quite lively. If by Day 5 it has not doubled or tripled, repeat Day 4 and it should be good to go.

Mine was ready and rearing to go by the end of day 4 and by the morning of Day 5 had tripled in size and was beginning to climb out of the jar! I made bread with it that day and it rose beautifully and baked up beautifully without me 'helping' by adding any yeast. I was so excited!

I've been storing Wildfire in the fridge alongside Lazarus and I've been using the very un-fussy, no waste, 'no discard' method that Bake With Jack advocates, which I think is absolutely brilliant because it fits in with my neglectful sourdough habits. lol


IrishLass :)
I am so intrigued by this and now you all have me needing to try this! I love how you named them.:p
 

Nyknits

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I was listening to CBC radio this morning (the Current) and one of the topics was sourdough bread. The interviewee was talking about a Sourdough Science Project. It was a fascinating interview (link included, skip to about the 42 minute mark of Part 2). I decided to join in; I already have a 3 y.o. starter (that still doesn't have a name) and had just started an experimental one yesterday. Instructions and FAQs can be found on their website (linked below).

Thank you so much! I just started 3. AP, rye & whole wheat. I watched the fermentation mini seminar on YouTube. All so beautiful interesting.
 

Misschief

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Thank you so much! I just started 3. AP, rye & whole wheat. I watched the fermentation mini seminar on YouTube. All so beautiful interesting.
I ended up starting two, one that is rye with distilled water and the other is AP with tap water. I've also joined the FB page. It really is interesting, isn't it? I've told my husband about the experiment and he thinks it's interesting, too, even though he has no interest in actually getting involved.
 

Nyknits

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I ended up starting two, one that is rye with distilled water and the other is AP with tap water. I've also joined the FB page. It really is interesting, isn't it? I've told my husband about the experiment and he thinks it's interesting, too, even though he has no interest in actually getting involved.
Maybe I’ll join too. I followed on Instagram. I try to keep Facebook to family only. I would however, love to see everyone’s results.
 

Susie

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No, I killed them. Fed them every single day without fail. Anywhere from day 9-13 they just quit. Same flour, same bottled water as they started with. Just dead. Made me feel like a murderer. I will try again.

I don't have wholegrain rye flour, so I need to find that first before trying again.
 

IrishLass

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Oh no! That's sad. If you can find some wholegrain rye, that would be great. They say that wholegrain rye flour makes for a pretty fool-proof starter, and if my experience is anything to go, I'd say they are right.


IrishLass :)
 

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