I've been away!

Starter revivalNot quite rye!

Last week was taken up pursuing one of my other significant interests - golf.  Nine friends, five days, an enjoyable time was had by all.  Some good rounds, some not so good, but that, I guess is the lot of the amateur.  Come to think of it, some of the pro's can be a bit variable as well.

Anyhow, as a result, my poor starter had been sitting in the back of the fridge feeling all neglected and rejected for nearly a week and a half.  My last couple of baking efforts were pretty good and I branched out to make some baguettes to serve with dinner for my brother and nephew who were visiting.  The baguettes ended up a little close together on the stone and the early spread resulted in them being joined at the hip.  But what the heck, the guests were mightily impressed and the compliments came thick and fast.

As I said this is the longest that my starter has gone without some sort of attention so there was a modicum of trepidation when I started my preparation.  The following collage shows the original starter looking rather flat but as the feeding sequence shows, the activity was barely affected and the pre-ferment went without a hitch. The photos were taken one hour apart and represent five hours of activity after feeding.

I followed my 'standard' recipe except for one senior moment when I grabbed the rye flour container instead of whole-meal so I guess I can call this 'not quite rye' bread.  Despite this minor slip up, the bread turned out just fine as the following compilation shows.

There was a bit of a burst on one end. I was using the bread-baking setting on the oven which includes a fan forced component and the burst end was closest to the fan so I wonder whether that proximate source of heat contributed to the burst.  Although it doesn't really show in the photos, the crumb is significantly 'browner' than my previous efforts which must be the effect of the use of rye flour instead of whole-meal.

Currently proving an Earl Grey Fruit Loaf (see recipes page) and I will let you know how it comes out.  Looking good so far.

3 comments

Nice looking crumb and crust!

 Hi Farinam. I recently went on holiday to Thailand for three weeks and bit the bullet and pushed my starter to the back of the fridge. I tried to get friends interested in maintaining it but I knew it was a drag for them so I gave up. I came back gasping for decent bread, and all was well after a few feeds of the starter. I put some startr in the freezer before I left as a back up. I defrosted it and gave it several feeds and although I did not cook with it, I would say that it would be fine with a few more feeds over a week. Phew. I have since put some more in the freezer for safe keeping, but do you know, I think my starter is now at its most strong.

Hello Cielkaye,

Left it to its own resources for longer a couple of times since that original post.  Most recently, I was away for 6 weeks though my daughter did feed it in the week before I came back (also pinched a bit for herself).  Just took out an aliquot and gave it a feed to make bread.  The result was slightly denser than normal but that could have been down to a couple of interruptions to the process or maybe jetlag!

Just confirms that they will tolerate a fair bit of neglect without obvious ill effect.

Keep on bakin'

Farinam