For Christmas, MarbleMan gave me a bit of sourdough starter from a 250 year-old batch he'd found through a catalog. Mmmmmmmm. The first several batches of bread were fantastic! Great crumb, easy recipe (found on-line), and it made wonderful French toast when a few days old. But lately, something's gone awry. I can't figure it out. The starter bubbles nicely when fed, the sponge is very light and bubbly, but after kneading, these last two batches of loaves refused to rise, and they came out so dense they were actually hard to slice. Now today, I'm baking another batch and I think they'll make fabulous doorstops. This week I'll try feeding it a few times to strengthen the starter. Then I think it's time to go back to basics to see what happens when I make a plain recipe - no whole wheat, no raisins, olives, or any other additives.
The good news is that since I'm on a perpetual diet, no sourdough in the house will help me out a lot. Bread is my nemesis - I can never have just one slice. And it calls my name at 3 in the morning, whispering "Yoooo-hoooooo. I taste really good toasted and spread with butter and honey". Or maybe that's MarbleMan calling... :)