It smells like bread, but it couldn’t lift a feather at this point. After one strong rise (after the first feeding), my wee beasties seem to have gone to sleep. I’ll coax it for a few more days at two feedings per day (morning and evening), then dump it and start a new batch if I don’t see evidence of significant leavening action. This morning was more encouraging than yesterday evening, with more bubbles apparent in the starter but not as pronounced as Day 5.
It’s a tough call – when does one determine that the starter has given up the ghost? If it’s fuzzy; still smells like zombie purée after a week; has *no* leavening action apparent; or has weird-colored liquid floating on top, it’s ready for the garbage disposal. Other than that, a bready smell but no vavavoom should be salvageable in less time than it would take to nurture a new batch to baking readiness.
Does a watched pot take longer to boil? How about a micro-managed starter? Maybe they went on strike with all the Verizon technicians and call center workers in So Cal today. Gotta love solidarity.