Today I am going to restart my starter. For a while there I was going okay, following the instructions, feeling confident as I watched the 'little yeasty beasties' grow and bubble away happily. And then I thought "Oh.. did I actually let that double as I was supposed to?" And I started having doubts. I had been measuring the volume from the side of the measuring cup I was using for holding the growing baby, but suddenly doubted that I had recalled the level from the previous day correctly. "So," I thought, "let's carry on as if I did it right, and see how it goes". But before I could, I noticed some pink gathering around the sides of the cup where little bits of starter had been left from mixing, and my heart sank - the one thing they said on the website about starters was that if it got pink stuff on it, it was a goner. So, I have thrown it away, two days before I could have used it. Today I am starting again. This time it will work, I know it. I am keeping it away from the light from the window and from the extra heat from the microwave and bench-top oven, because it may have been that that tipped the balance of power from yeast to bacteria. The recipe is below, from The Fresh Loaf.
Day One: 1/3c rye flour, 1/4c water
Day Two: 1/4c unbleached high grade flour, 1/8c water (add)
Day Three: 1/4c unbleached high grade flour, 1/8c water (throw out half then add)
Day Four (or when starter has doubled, whichever comes LAST): 1/4c unbleached high grade flour, 1/8c water (throw out half then add)
Day Five (when starter has doubled): 1/4c starter, 3/4c unbleached high grade flour, 1/2c water (put into new container)
Day Six, and beyond: See website above
This tutorial is great because it has pictures and it's main vibe is "Don't Panic". The starter was going really well, so I'm 99.9% certain that it was chance/me that made the thing fail, and not this cool recipe. I got the flours from Bin Inn, because that way I didn't have to buy a huge bag of rye flour just to use only a small amount. In fact I think I will be getting stuff from Bin Inn more now because you can choose how much you want to buy, so things wont go stale/off before you use them all up.