The last time I tried sourdough was up in Nearly Canada, North Dakota. After two or three hoochie, stinky, moldy and downright nasty attempts, I gave up and just went back to standard, although delicious yeast breads.
That trendy "no knead bread" recipe came along, and is really good, and even kind of sour if you follow the Cook's Illustrated recipe which cheats by adding a bit of cheap lager beer and a tablespoon of vinegar. But now, I'm getting bored with that and I want to build some real sourdough.
So, on my counter right now is a really bad smelling (eau du barf) starter. I think I've failed again. This was a "no fail" rye and water starter. Maybe I'll go back up to The Fresh Loaf site and try the deluxe natural starter that many posters on the site say works great: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/233
According to sourdough experts on thefreshloaf, it is exactly odiferously bad as it should be right now...it won't smell "sourdoughy" for a couple of days. Phew....maybe I'll succeed this time!
b. Monday 7/28/08
d. a few days later...
RIP. I knew ye little. Back to the drawing board.