A Tale of Three Starters

Here are three starters in the morning after they had been fed the night before. The elastic band indicates the level before feeding. The first two on the left show more vigorous growth, with the middle one the most. It was all white flour, the other ones were 1/2 wheat 1/2 rye. The two on the left are definitely ready to make bread with, otherwise they will be past their prime. The one on the far right had been in the fridge the longest, I decided to feed it one more time before using.

Flash quiz: what is the difference between “sourdough” and “levain”?  Answer: no difference-  both terms refer to bread made with “homemade”, “wild”, “natural” leavening rather than store bought processed yeast.  Levain is a french term preferred by some who object to the “sour” part of sourdough because of the connotation of spoiled or unpalatable.

This is the “float test” on the middle starter- like Chauncey Gardener at the end of “Being There” when he walks on water he is ready to go.

My breads are improving. They taste delicious, a result I believe of the low temperature and slow rise.  I am still working on getting the shape right.  Why am I not adding rosemary and thyme?  Where’s my brain?  I want to try this interesting recipe from Anita’s Flour for sourdough buckwheat bread.

Delicious French Toast and Grilled cheese.  Almost too delicious.