Is My Starter Started, Starting, or Stopped?

Bread Starter

Bread Starter, Photograph by Jonathan Gayman

One of the things that I want to do is photograph bread. I have been wanting to do a bread related project for some time – though I was scooped on the idea by Thomas Broening who does amazing table top work including a series on bread recently. The thing is, I would like to learn how to make the bread at the same time. Right when I first moved to St. Louis, my good friend Emily sent me some of her whole wheat starter, and unfortunately I was unable to coax the little yeasties to grow enough to make bread, a true tragedy because I’m sure they would have been awesome. I know now that I could have invigorated them with some commercial yeast.

In any case, I have decided to grow some starter on my own using commercial yeast (my plan is to try wild yeast next summer when it’s warmer). Thus far my bread has been edible, particularly as toast, but it has none of the depth and consistency that I’m looking for. And none of it has been photograph worthy yet. But fear not, I will be watching and waiting for my starter to be ready for action then BOOM, I will magically become an artisanal baker. Maybe.

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2 comments

  • Emily November 12, 2010  

    I wonder if the USPS trip is too much for the yeast? Maybe it gets frozen or something? Ah well- good luck with this project, bread is better than cake in my opinion. Also, Hi!

  • Jonathan November 12, 2010  

    I’m thinking that it was actually too much summer heat in the back of a delivery truck somewhere. Cold is ok for yeast, heat is too much. Or something. I should ask a scientist, if only I knew one!

    And yes, hello to you as well. I miss you!

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