Friday, January 8, 2010
Sourdough Starter, Take Two
I made a new sourdough starter yesterday by combining one cup spelt flour, one cup buckwheat flour, and two cups leftover, warm oatmeal water. Then I set the jar above the woodstove in the hopes that the warmth would help the yeasts become quickly active on these cold winter days. It worked!
Somewhere around 2am, I woke up to go to the bathroom and couldn't help but notice a subtly pervasive smell of vomit everywhere I went. I checked the bottoms of my shoes. I checked a trash can. I watched carefully for cat vomit as I walked back from the bathroom. I worried briefly about my roommates, but it sounded like they were sound asleep, and vomiting illness are rather loud. I went back to sleep.
In the morning, my roommates found the smell too. They looked all over, briefly worried that I had gotten sick in the middle of the night, and then discovered the jar. I wasn't far behind. The sourdough starter had become madly successful, and its success had gone to its head.
After much laughter, drama, and debate, I decided I was determined to save it. I reasoned that when I made Katz's Millet Porridge it smelled exactly like vomit, so this must be a good sign of active yeasts. I added about two and a half tablespoons of buckwheat flour and gave it a vigorous stir. Then I washed the cheesecloth and set up shop in a cooler location. I will stir frequently today, add more flour tonight, and see if it is salvageable. If not, I will compost it because I think it's unreasonable to ask other people to live with my mad science experiments for too terribly long!