Okay, there was an unhappy time here at Mad Coyote. Our last baking did not rise. And my yeast was smelling different and getting a black crust upon coming to life about 20 hours after feeding, (yes I’ve heard all of the Viagra and yeast infection jokes). Hmmm!
Well, I let it die and thought for a few weeks, then I started some more yeast and it was slow in developing and had a sharp smell. I was puzzled, ‘what had happened?’ So I thought about my process and noticed that I was using the same towel for several days to keep foreign objects out of my starter. ‘Could there be some mold developing on the towel?’ So I changed the towel everyday… not any better!
Next, I went back through my notes and found that I had changed my flour source about the same time my problems started. I had started buying bulk flour and had moved to high gluten un-bleached flour. Which I had used in my last successful bake but was using a 50/50 white, whole-wheat mixture from a different source. I went back to feeding my starter with the original flour (King Arthur) and my starter came back to life. After three days, it was smelling sweet, like over-ripe fruit in the later hours of development.
So tomorrow we bake, 27 loaves of Country Wheat, which is a 90% un-bleached white, 10% Whole Wheat. I’ll take some pictures and keep you updated. As they say in television… stay tuned!