I have a sourdough starter given to me by a Polish lady; unfortunately, I am unable to contact her to ask the question I am about to ask you. I have been using this starter for about 3 months and have been using the starter with good success. She told me just to keep it in the fridge and use it every 2 weeks. Unfortunately, the recipe she gave me makes two very large square loaves (the Pullman pan 16 x 4 x4), but I have been using half the recipe. I can't possibly use that much bread, even with giving some of it away.
Anyway, the last couple times I have made the bread, the starter seems to lack some "life." It still has that marvelous sour smell and exhibits none of the signs of spoilage. I'm wondering if I should be feeding it, even if she told me it wasn't necessary. Since the method involves mixing and rising overnight, I have tried leaving the starter on the counter all day and even then it does not seem to "lighten up." There are bubbles in it, though.
I use rye flour, whole wheat flour, wheat bran and a combination of other grains like buckwheat, oatmeal. and cooked wheatberries or farro. I also use a combination of seeds like sesame,flax, sunflower and pumpkin. It's a very dense bread and comes out so nice and it's awesome toasted.
Anyway, I add the jar of starter to the dough and return a jarful of the mixture back to the jar -- before adding the seeds, though. The dough, after having risen overnight in the pan, does seem to rise just a little, and as I said before, the bread is awesome. Just concerned about feeding it -- I don't even know what, if any, yeast was used in the first place.
Can you help with this? I appreciate any help I can get. Thanks -- Betty