Since I’m leading another workshop tomorrow at Goucher College, I thought it would be good to post some updates on our previous recipes, now that I’ve been making them for several more months.
At some of our past workshops, the ginger bug sodas we brought along were super sweet and practically volcanic in their carbination. For my recent sodas, I’ve lowered the amount of sugar a little bit, but most importantly, you should be sure to wait an entire week after you bottle the finished soda. If you’re hasty and open it up before the yeast has finished processing the sugar, it will still be suepr sweet, and the active yeast will be pumping out loads of CO2. Wait for them to finish their magic, and settle down to the bottom of the bottle. Especially if you put it in the fridge for a day or two at the end, your soda should be crystal clear, with all the sediemnt at the bottom.
Ginger Bug Updates:
- For the soda: Use 1/3 cup sugar per 3 cup water
- Ferment at least one week, and chill in fridge for a day before opening.
I’ve settled into using the Tartine Country Bread recipe for regular use. It produces a fantastic bread that is totally worth the effort. You can sub in other flowers like rye or buckwheat for part of the flour bill. Here’s a nice video that shows the folding process. Check out 11:40 for a great technique for wrangling that high-hydration dough.
As for maintaining your starter… Always keep the volume of starter at less than half the volume of your container; it needs space to rise after each feeding, and you don’t want to make a mess. For maximum sour flavor, feed for several days beforehand, and smell it until the starter is really sharp and sour. The sourness peaks after the starter has risen and then fallen; when you first feed the starter, it will be largely unfermented dough, and thus not very sour-tasting. Results will vary, but the starter usually rises over the course of 8 hours and then falls. So if you want to begin your leaven in the evening, I would feed your starter in the evening too.