Twice during the past week, my starter gave up showing signs of life. Then I realized, that like any moody pet, this one doesn't like a change of diet. Feed it rye flour and it's happy. Change the food to plain flour and it begins to ebb. By and by, we have got to a stage where it expands every 8-10 hours. My sourdough flowchart says it's time to bake bread, so I baked some rolls.
Saturday night, I fed my starter as usual but didn't throw away the rest of it. Instead, I mixed 2 tbsp starter with 1/4 cup water and 1/2 cup of rye flour. Sunday morning, I added enough plain flour to make a soft dough, then left it for 4 hours to rise until doubled. Shaped it into rolls, then left it to double again. All in all, it took a whole day to get to the baking stage.
Finally, at 7 pm, the rolls were in the oven. And half an hour later, I had my first sourdough success. I've never tasted sourdough before so I was surprised at how sour it actually was.
Ms. Tippity was fed again and now rests in the fridge. I'd bring her out again next friday to help with my weekend bread baking. So long, and enjoy your break.
Congratulations! I am yet to manage successful sourdough starter. Now I have to try again. Those rolls look marvellous.