bubbling batter in the last photo was sourdough, you were correct. I've had a batch of starter taking up the back corner of my refrigerator for a number of years now. Initially, it came from my friend Rebecca, whose mother in law bequeathed her with a starter from King Arthur flour. When she passed it along to me, it had already lived through a couple of moves (through Iowa and Minnesota) and countless batches of sourdough bread. And I was a little bit nervous that I might kill it. Turns out, he wasn't really so difficult to take care of. I just keep him in a wide mouthed jar, like so.
This photo is of some starter that was fed fairly recently, but you'll notice that it's already developed some "sourdough liquor" (that's the brownish-black liquid collecting along the edge there). As the sourdough ages, it accumulates more and more liquor. Some people drain this off when they feed their starter, but I keep most of mine and simply incorporate it back into the batter. Every now and again, I take him out of the fridge, let him warm up a bit, remove about a cup of starter (which I either use or toss), and then give him a mixture of flour and water to "eat". While he's eating, he bubbles gaily and expands to about double his usual size. He likes to eat for about 12 hours before being used again or going back into the fridge, where he lies dormant until the next time I need him. And so, following those basics, Herman survived in my refrigerator. And, in fact, still lives there today (yay!). I've even shared him with friends. One batch of Herman was shipped all the way to New Jersey! And he survived. I believe he's still living there to this day. Since I just spent my weekend with my batch of starter, I'll be featuring a sourdough series this week so that you can see just what I do with Herman on a regular basis.
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