I checked the "Berkeley sourdough" recipe today, and if my calculations are accurate, I could be eating bread by Saturday evening (it's about freaking time!)!
I took the starter out of the fridge this afternoon. It seemed a bit cold to work with, so I left it out for about an hour. I scooped out a clump about the size of a tangerine, and proceeded with step 1 of the "Berkeley sourdough" recipe, which goes as follows: "Break up the starter, dilute it in the water (2 cups warm water), and mix in the flour (2 cups organic, unbleached white or all-purpose flour). Cover this mixture loosely and set it aside in a warm spot for 18–24 hours or until it is quite bubbly." The starter is sticky! I tore it into little pieces, added them to the water, and mixed it all up with my hands. It actually dissolved almost completely, to my surprise. I really had no idea what to expect.
Starter diluted in water:
Are you jealous of my spoon? I'm quite fond of it.
Here's how it looks at this point. I covered it with one of those Saran Wrap elasticized covers I so affectionately call "shower caps" (God, I love those things!) and set it on the counter. I hope it doesn't get too excited and over-ferment all over my counter while I'm at work tomorrow...
I had quite a lot of starter left over. I put it into a clean, smaller bowl, and stuck it in the fridge to live in dormancy for a while:
So here's my sourdough itinerary for the next couple of days: the sponge I made this afternoon will ferment away on my counter until tomorrow afternoon. I will then mix it with more flour, some salt, and some water, until it becomes actual bread dough (yay!). That will rise in the fridge overnight tomorrow (Friday). Saturday morning, the dough will come out of the fridge and sit at room temp for a couple hours. Then I will shape it, let it rise for most of the day (6 - 7 hours), and then finally bake it!
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