January 19, 2010 - 7:20am
Baking Soda creates no bubbles
I have made the sourdough pancakes and english muffins before. Now you have to add baking soda to the final sponge, and it says that it will bubble...now I have a sourdough starter that has successfully made sourdough before, but I get no bubbles when I add the baking soda....why?
When I have done this it didn't just bubble; it practically exploded, the starter tripled in volume in about 5 seconds.
I would guess your starter is not very acidic.
Okay, so how do you fix that? Or, does it even need to be fixed?
How old is your baking soda?
"Test soda for freshness:
Pour a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice over ½ teaspoon baking soda. If fresh, it bubbles vigorously."
I'm not a sourdough expert by any means, as so far I have not been diligent in maintaining a starter. This suggestion assumes your are using the discard to make the pancakes/waffles, after feeding your starter.
If your soda prooves to be fresh, and still does not make your starter(discard) bubble, you might try adding a small amount(?) of vinegar or lemon juice stirred into the discard before adding the baking soda.
So, I tested my Baking Soda and it bubbled pretty good when I applied some lemon juice. I also read the link by flournwater and it said that BS has an indefinite shelf life if kept in agreeable conditions.
I guess what is the harm in not having an acidic starter?
How do I know that the acid level is correct once I add some vinegar or lemon juice?
My starter works great just doesn't bubble with BS.
When it bubbles....LOL!
Just kidding. Just trying to help with this science diploma I bought at the dollar store. I wasn't going to offer any more advice until I read Al's post below. I imagine it makes you want those pancakes even more now.
It shouldn't take to much to get it acidified enough. Maybe try 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice. I don't know which would be better, taste wise; lemon juice or vinegar. Matter of taste, I guess. Looks like lemon juice(bottled) is about twice as acidic as vinegar.
Again, just trying to help. Totally off the top my head. Good luck.
One last suggestin: Baking powder, which is baking soda with it's own acid supply, built in.
But I am not sure how to test the acid level of a starter. Most of the time I just count on what I see and smell. That one time my started didn't work (still not sure why) it smelled like... just flour and water, not sourdough.
When I make SD pancakes I always mix everything together except the baking soda. Once the batter looks nice and smooth I stir in the baking soda and watch it rise. It's a sight that I will never get tired of LOL. When the bubbles are happy and active I use the batter immediately. I don't add anything else after baking soda so my pancakes/waffles stay light and fluffy.
Yeah, mine doesn't do that. They are kinda flat pancakes, but yummy. They are great for making pigs-in-blankets. I am disturbed my starter isn't where it needs to be, since I thought it was...so I will keep working on figuring out the solution. My starter does smell yeasty and bubbles and rises bread.
So, I added 1/2 tsp cider vinegar to my starter, after I split it this morning. I didn't want to possibly ruin the entire starter. So, I will see how it turns out. Last night from my starter I started 3 loaves, one chocolate sourdough and 2 regular sourdough, so we will see how they turn out, more to come.