Lost Sourdough Mojo Update
As a reference point, here's my original thread:
So I went ahead and made the starter and have continued refreshing it every few days. The starter has gotten more and more lively over the last couple weeks, so that is fun.
The first loaf of sourdough I tried was a disaster waiting to happen. The dough never rose. I let the first rise (supposed to be 3-4 hours) go for 15 or so and it really wasn't responding. I ended up spiking that dough with commercial yeast to at least salvage something out of it. I got a nice "country loaf" from that one...but you had to basically use your imagination to taste anything sour from it.
But the starter was getting more and more bubbly/foamy, so I decided to give it another go and I vowed to not spike the dough. Well, again, I had to let the dough go much longer than anticipated. Each rise took at least 2 or 3 times longer than it was "supposed to"...but the good news is that it DID rise this time. Okay, maybe I wasn't getting a doubling in size, but I was getting 50%-75% rises. I baked today and while it clearly isn't a "perfect" sourdough loaf (the reduced rise lead to a denser loaf and the reduced size meant the middle was about 5° cooler than it should have been as the bottom darkened. BUT, I got sourdough bread and it tastes great!
I am hopeful that as I continue to refresh the starter, it'll keep getting more and more active and hopefully my loaves will start to react quicker. But hey, homemade 100% wild yeast sourdough bread. I'm happy.