Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sourdough Barm Day 5

Today is your last day of feeding!  Like a total dork, I appear to have forgotten to take photos of my barm before its last feeding.  I was doing the feedings and photographs before work and I must have had an oops moment.  Oh well.  It was bubbly and stinky and wonderful.

Sourdough Barm Day 5 adapted from Crust and Crumb
4 cups bread flour
3 cups water

Add flour and water to your barm.  Stir together.  Allow to sit for 24 hours.  Then you are ready to make bread or put the barm in the refrigerator for a later time. 

Tips for keeping your barm alive:
  • If you are going to wait to make bread, you can put the barm in the fridge.  The yeast will go dormant and you can switch to a weekly feeding schedule instead of a daily feeding schedule.  When you make bread, refresh the barm for 3 days to make sure the yeast are active.
  • As I said previously, when you feed your barm, be sure to double the amount of product (i.e. 2 cups flour and 1 1/2 cups water to 2 cups barm.
  • You can also freeze your barm.  When you thaw it, before you make bread, give the barm a 3 day feeding cycle.
  • How will you know if your starter has gone bad?  Give it a sniff, you will know.  A healthy barm will smell sour like vinegar.  An unhealthy starter will smell bad.  Throw it away.  You grew some bad bacteria and it will impart gross flavors into the bread.
  • If you refrigerate the barm and when you get it out there is a layer of gray liquid, don't worry, its alcohol from the yeast.  You can stir it into the barm, but I pour it off.  The flavor quality isn't as good if you stir it in.
Hopefully that clears up some frequently asked questions regarding sourdough.  I have a totally hectic week, so no sourdough bread is being made this week.  I put my barm in the fridge until a later date.

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