Troubleshooting Sourdough Starter

He humbled you by letting you go hungry; then He gave you manna to eat, which you and your fathers had not known, so that you might learn that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. 

-Deuteronomy 8:3

And thank goodness for that!

Since the disappointing results from yesterday’s bread-making attempts, I’ve been researching and troubleshooting the starter and trying to figure out where I went wrong. 

It was actually so blatantly simple I smacked my forehead when I finally figured it out! 

#facepalm anyone?

Here’s the thing- I’ve been trying to naturally reduce the amount of gluten in the bread and grains I’m using. This poses an issue in appropriate yeast production and activity because yeast needs the protein (gluten is a protein) to feed upon. The result I was getting was an ample amount of beneficial bacterial activity causing all the bubbly, sour goodness, but not enough protein in the starter to feed the yeast. Then I end up with a whole lot of hooch (brown liquid on top) and starved out yeast. Sorry yeasty guys… My bad.

So the solution as I see it is simple- feed the starter more frequently. Could I use sprouted whole wheat flour and avoid the protein deficiency issue? Maybe… But not being sure of the resulting product’s gluten content, and not being keen on being the lab rat to see the effects, I’m not entirely willing to test it.

The good news is, the breads (however flat and brick like they may have been) did not give me a rash, migraine, congestion, or any of the other unmentionable reactions I usually have after eating cereal crop grains.

So I’m on the right track, but there’s still some tweaking to be done.

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