Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chickpea Sourdough Starter

When we last left our experimental chickpea sourdough starter, it was Day 5, and I was stirring it but not adding anything to it. It was bubbling happily.

On Day 6, I fed it twice, two tablespoons of flour each time and I stirred it down several times. It was rising up in the jar with great enthusiasm.

On Day 7, I decided it was time to bake with it. I also decided I didn't need another starter in my refrigerator, so I opted to use all of the starter for the bread.

At this point, it had a faint odor of beer. Not a bad smell, but quite different from the all-wheat starters I had sitting right next to it.

There was about a cup of starter in the jar. I put all of it in a bowl and added a cup of all purpose flour and 1/4 cup of water to make a wet dough. I let it it sit until it just about doubled in size, then proceeded with the usual bread making ritual... you know how it goes... knead, adjust, rise, slash...

The end result wasn't stellar. The bread flattened out quite a bit after it was shaped and it also spread out in the oven. The flavor was okay...but not anything I'd leap for joy about. The texture was nice. But I've baked a lot of better loaves of bread.

In the end, it was an interesting experiment, but I probably won't repeat it soon. Chickpea flour didn't give the starter any sort of head start over all-wheat version. In fact, it progressed a lot slower. So I can't recommend chickpea flour as a starter speed enhancer.

The hint of beer scent in the starter was interesting, but it was very subtle, and even though I used a lot of the starter in the final bread, I don't think it did anything amazing to the bread itself.

Although I probably won't recreate this particular starter, it might appeal to someone else who would like to keep a starter like this going for a longer period of time to see how it develops. In a month or so, it might be something special. But for right now, it's just okay.

Meanwhile, my two all-flour starters doing well on their journey to become bread. That will be another post.

This was submitted to YeastSpotting.