With all the research I’ve been doing lately about curing ailing starts, I’ve loaded my brain with more information that it was ever designed to handle. Basically, I kind of burned myself out. Amidst the burnout, my whole wheat loaves started to develop an uncomfortably sour flavor.
When I used my starter to make half white, half wheat sourdough, the flavor was to-die-for. I’m talking like better than Kneaders good. But the sour combined with the whole wheat was to-die-from. Do you ever just feel like your work is never done? I guess God is just trying to teach me everything there is to know about natural yeast in one crash course. The funny thing is I didn’t have this many problems with my yeast until I decided to write a book out of my recipes. Go figure.
I did some digging on a health website I absolutely love called Living Young and the way that they use their natural yeast. A few years ago I took a raw foods class from a lady in St. George who learned to make bread from the guy who runs this website. I remember now that the starter I used then was very mild. It was the opposite of the starter I have now. It made fabulous whole wheat bread, and sourdough that was too mild to be very good. More like french bread.
So I’ve put on my Bread Detective hat once more to try and solve the mystery of my tangy start. I have taken some of their advice and increased the hydration of my starter to 100%, making the start the consistency of pancake batter. Already the smell of the starter is more mild. Tomorrow I will use the starter to try the chocolate cake recipe (maybe the cornbread too if there’s time) and Friday I will bake bread to see how the sour is working. Cross your fingers!