I have a sourdough starter that doesn't generally get a lot of exercise. It lives in the fridge and recently (shamefully) had to be resuscitated from its nearly dead, liquid exuding, almost frozen state. Honestly, I didn't want to tend to it. But I did, and it returned to it's normal state of beige goo-like substance. Eww. (Ok, I think it's actually kind of interesting, but Jeff and his brother both made the same wrinkly-nose face and grossed-out noise. Just thought I'd share.) This is what it looks like after it's been fed:
The first time I made anything resembling sourdough (with my lovely starter), the results were less than stellar. It didn't taste like anything special; it tasted like bland bread that didn't really have anything interesting to say. It wasn't even golden. It was just kind of whitish and pasty and sad-looking. However, it did make an acceptable grilled cheese sandwich.
This time was different. This time, my starter didn't start with that funny smelling liquid, and it poured easily onto the waiting flour and olive oil in my large blue bowl. The dough was springy, and I managed to convince myself that the kneading time really should be more than two minutes long, and closer to it's actual time of 10-15. I know, I know, I'm bad. But seriously? If your arm isn't used to it, it just isn't used to it. So I kneaded. I added rosemary, kneaded some more, and let the slow series of risings begin.
Five hours and some newly acquired techniques later, we were ready to go.
As you can plainly see, this was much, much better.