Friday, December 31, 2010

First Feeding of Martha Stewart's Tartine Adventure

If you are following along on this adventure, you will have found a rather unpleasant sight when you removed the dish towel from the bowl containing your starter.  If you remember, we added the flour blend and water, covered it with a dish towel and let it sit for two days.  Hopefully, you will see some bubbles, most likely you will found a thin liquid on top of the flour mixture.  This is called hooch.  Don't be alarmed.  This is OK!  Just stir this all together.

Now the confusing part comes (at least for me).  Measure out 75 grams of the starter and discard the rest - which basically is 90% of the starter.  OK - here comes the sermon!  What a waste!  You are throwing away so much flour.  When I work with my starters, I deal with very small feedings.  My feedings consist of 4 T flour and 3 T water.  I never throw anything away unless my jar gets too full. Then either I make bread or dry the starter as a back-up.  So throwing away this much starter seems so wasteful.  End of lecture - class dismissed!

Back to the adventure.  I now put my 75 tiny little grams of starter in a mason jar to which I added 150 grams of the flour mixture and 100 grams of lukewarm water (78 degrees).  Mix this all up.  According to the directions you will have a thick batter.  HA!  It is more like a paste, but don't be alarmed.  I've have dealt with starters that are of this consistency and they do work.  So now cover the jar or bowl or whatever you have your starter in with a dish towel and we will repeat this experiment again tomorrow and for the next 14 to 19 days!  Now wasn't this fun!

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