Sourdough – Day 2

Well, here we are. 24 hours after beginning the great sourdough adventure we have what appears to be a minimal amount of activity.

I stirred the mixture a little to allow any yeast that has settled a little better coverage within the muck. Though the starter still has a healthy and untainted flour smell, and the level of volume hasn’t changed, there do seem to be some bubbles forming.
Bubbles would be evidence of yeast, but could also just be escaping air that was whipped into the starter in either the original manufacturing process or the subsequent “folding”.

For those of you unfamiliar, here is the life cycle of yeast and what is happening along the way:

Yeast is in fact a living organism and is classified scientifically as a fungi. It is estimated that there are approximately 1,500 species, but only around 1% of them have been documented.

Dry yeast is yeast that is dehydrated and packaged for maximum shelf life and ease of use for primarily baking applications. The yeast cells are in a dormant state and will become vibrantly active when exposed to moisture.

There is also cake yeast, which is a moist block of yeast, and liquid yeast as well which is largely used in brewing, distilling, and winemaking.

Yeast, like most living organisms, requires certain conditions in which to live and reproduce. The main 4 are moisture, food , neutral pH, and an agreeable temperature. In this case the ideal temperature is between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the required meal is sugar.

When exposed to the proper conditions, and with or without a partner, the yeast cell feeds on sugar, reproduces, and gives off carbon dioxide and alcohol as byproducts. This process is called fermentation.

When the carbon dioxide gets trapped within the structure of dough it causes layers of the dough to separate (or rise), and expands further when heated in baking. The resulting alcohol creates a pleasant flavor as well. Without this process bread would be dense and flavorless

When the gas is trapped in a seal container of liquid it results in carbonation as in beer, Champagne, and out-of-date orange juice. The process that I am undertaking to gather wild yeast is all that there was for making bread until Charles L. Fleischmann introduced commercial yeast to the market in 1876.

So, check back tomorrow and let’s see if anything else develops!