Friday, August 27, 2004
I tried to make sourdough bread again last weekend. I had better luck with the sponge this time, but that was it for the good news. I repeated a mistake from last time – I started too early in the day. I did it without thinking, but then I decided that I would just let the sponge rise for a really long time (the recipe says to let the sponge rise for at least 8 hours or overnight). I got started somewhere between 10 and 11 in the morning. I checked my sponge before going to bed and it was really bubbly. I was very optimistic at that point – this was much different than last time.
In the morning I found that the sponge was still very bubbly, but that it had deflated somewhat from the previous night. The picture above was taken after I had stirred the sponge down, but even then it was bubbly.
It was downhill from there. I added more flour and some salt to make the dough and then left the dough to rise. The first rise was supposed to take an hour or an hour and a half, but I left it quite a bit longer. I checked it from time to time but there was little progress. At some point I decided to go ahead and shape the loaf and start the second rise. I tried putting it in a slightly warm oven, but it did nothing. I let it go for several hours, but there was no sign of life. I decided not to bother with baking it.
I’m going to give it one more shot – I’ll let the sponge rise for 12 hours or so and see how it does. I’m also tempted to try it without the salt. After that, unless I get a decent loaf of bread, I think I’ll be tossing the starter – either that or start charging it room and board.