Anyone who has troubles making their own sourdough started should visit Breadtopia I just finished my sourdough starter from the Breadtopia website:
It is make with pineapple juice to start off with (which is wierd), but man, did it make a killer starter. Can you say 'powerful'. I used a local milled organic rye flour to start off with and the result was amazing. This is my first loaf. It is a little flat; when I scored it just before baking, i kinda deflated it. Still it is tangy delicious!
Glad you found that. It got its first real attention sometime in 2005 -2006 (if memory serves me correctly) and a lot of us have abandoned some of the former practices in favor of this fail proof (really, it is fail proof) starter build technique.
Re: your description of the problem with the bake. Might also have been over-proofed. Naturally leavened breads often do better if they're slightly under proofed.
You can read some of the background on her Blog at:
I just recently made my sourdough starter using the recipe from "Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day." It uses pineapple juice as well. Here is a link to the procedure I found online. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/11/mag...
I've used the starter several times over the past couple months to make Pain au Levain. I've made the bread leavened using only the starter and also made a version leavened using a combination of starter and commercial yeast (recipe in the book) . Both came out great but the "starter only" loaves were a bit "flatter" than those made with the combo. Both were delicious. I've also used the starter to make a soft sandwich-type rye bread (recipe in the book). Delicious as well.
I have a jar of sourdough starter that I've had for several years, got it from these people:
I use it all the time, it works fine, but isn't as sour as I'd like. (I'm in Utah, so the dry air maybe keeps San Francisco-like sourness from developing.) So I wonder, would *adding* a little pineapple juice to my existing stash do anything to change it? I've never put anything in it except flour and water.