I’m sitting at the bar of the Ramada Inn in West Sacramento, kicking myself for starting the starter juuuuust before I had to leave it for two days. Number One Girl has been given orders to give the starter a stir and photograph it daily until I return.
In the meantime, IT IS ALIVE! Nice bubble formation, starting to smell a bit sharp (and v. faintly yeasty). I expect it to acquire that oh-so-attractive rotting corpse stench by the time I arrive on scene Thursday…just in time to give the wee beasties their first feeding. 120-130% hydration, since this is a straight rye flour starter rather than the 50/50 whole wheat/white flour starter described in Tartine Bread. Sometime before Halloween, I should be able to bake a test loaf. No croissants, yet – just a simple country loaf that may be paving my walkway if the wee beasties have not gained sufficient strength and endurance.
But I can smell it, kids. I can smell that first, truly artisan sourdough coming out of my oven, baked out strong and with a taste that is uniquely Long Beach.