The unknown age whole wheat flour from my pantry only produced first stage bubbly trial starter with that bad smell, never ‘beery’.

Many accounts online described how they had found success from a whole wheat mix, so I tried again with a fresh bag after a grocery run. A little more than twenty-four hours later this mixture of seventy-five grams whole wheat, fifty grams all-purpose, and one hundred fifty grams water bubbled up with the expected bad smell, but this one had a hint of desired beer smell, ever so slight.

Continuing with regular feeding, reduced whole wheat to twenty-five grams, kept all-purpose at fifty, and reduced water to seventy-five grams for a couple of days. The starter bubbled up some each day with nothing extreme, until the fifth day.

I had a night away, so let it go for longer than twelve hours when I would have normally fed it. Upon my return, I found a spill-over batch, lifting the lid and rolling out into the catch bowl I had my jar set in, and the room smelled of beer. Overjoyed, I fed the batch again in a clean jar, this time with just all-purpose flour and water, fifty grams of each mixed only twenty grams of remaining active starter. By next morning it had topped the jar and smelled wonderful.

Using half of that result, I made a half-batch loaf of bread. This on the sixth day of trial. It took a long time to rise as expected, but I did not give it long enough. This pre-mature loaf felt heavy and lacked the full tang of a good sourdough.

The next day, I used half of the starter batch for another half batch loaf. Seven full days into this trial, this one showed all the signs of a good rise, proof, and loaf. Even though I did not work the dough enough, this single loaf rose enough to bake after a three hour proof and three hour loaf rise. It tasted delicious informing me that I had finally nurtured a good batch of sourdough starter.

With continued feeding, a few days later I started another loaf as my seventh day loaf had depleted. This time I gave proofing four full hours, punching down and working the dough every forty minutes after it started to rise. After forming into a rectangular shape, let it rise for another four full hours. Then baked another satisfying loaf, full of flavor and springy rich bread.

March 2a