This post will mark the unofficial beginning of my journey in experimenting with bread baking. While it has in fact been a couple of years since I’ve started baking bread, I have until now been hesitant to begin capturing my failures and successes (typically more failures!).
The catalyst for my desire to begin capturing these experiments in flour, water, salt, and (mostly natural) yeast has been my foray into experimenting with home ground flours. While the bread inevitably tastes great, I’ve had some issue in getting a good rise out of the dough.
Like most bakers have at times, I’ve gone through a number of different combinations of variables to attempt to resolve my issue. Some more promising than others, I’ve ultimately decided that my method of starter maintenance (as recommended in Ken Forkish’s Flour Water Salt Yeast book) involving shutting it down in the fridge until I am again ready to bake is unsuccessful – I just don’t think I’m getting enough activity from my starter culture prior to mixing with the dough.
So, while I’m not very keen on re-starting my starter after maintaining it for almost a year (in the lazy method described above), I believe it’s the only path forward! It also presents a good opportunity for me to catalog my adventures from the very beginning – a fresh starter for a fresh start.