My starter culture of wild yeast and bacteria are not strong enough yet to make bread without Reinforcement. I had to add 2 teaspoon of active dry yeast to my leaven this morning, because my leaven tablespoon would not float–wasn’t even close.
My starter was not properly raised, I missed the detail where you don’t start it with All Purpose flour, and the detail where you throw half away each day. Those details are important details. Apparently when I add four ounces of flour to the 20 ounces that went before, it it’s not enough food to make a good strong culture, the acids are too dilute, the resulting mixture is not an ideal environment to create the symbiotic culture that I am trying to develop. My starter will not create a leaven in an overnight stay on the counter. I also missed picking up on the detail to not use a metal vessel for this step. Although I don’t think that Stainless Steel is reactive, it is a potential misstep to try and raise an acidic starter leaven in a metal bowl.
I will back my starter off now to a couple of ounces of starter and add four ounces of whole wheat flour and water. This will give me a 30% starter to food ratio. This will give me a strong start on my next loaf of bread.
So, all that being said, my existing loaves of bread still have no added sugars to them and they are rising briskly. I will be kneading and baking by the evening.
So I did end up baking my bread. The yeast I added was plenty vigorous enough to handle the work. I made two loaves of bread and only really made one mistake. I forgot to add in any salt. The recipe I was following had me add in the salt after first adding the leaven to the dough and waiting 45 minutes. When I figured out that I had forgot, my bread had already risen one time. I maybe could have added it in at that late moment, but I just decided that if my bread was rising fine, and it was, that I would just go ahead and forego salt. Salt is optional in fermented bread.
Here is my bread…
Both loaves are from the same exact dough. The disk is the first one to bake, the one with the black ears went in 45 minutes later. The only difference is in the way I handled them right before they went in the oven and the crusty one went in almost an hour later. I have not yet cut into the second one. Neither one has salt.