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negative feedback loop in sourdough

When it's hot I don't like to bake bread. I just can't stand to run the oven that much! Of course I do when I have to—we can't live without sandwiches—but there are certainly fewer loaves made to have with dinner. That means I'm not always thinking about the sourdough starter as much as I do when I'm making sourdough every two or three days, or as much as I need to in order for it to be totally healthy. Too often over the last month I've forgotten to feed it, which is never good, and even worse when the heat means that the little critters in there are dividing faster than they do in the winter. With less frequent feedings the wild yeasts in the starter are doing worse and the sour bacterias are doing better (or so I've been told). The last time I made bread with it—pizza dough, to be precise—I ended up with a very slack dough with no gluten development to speak of. That was frustrating, and it made me even less likely to want to deal with the starter. A spiral of failure. Today I'm going to dump some of it and try and get back on a regular feeding schedule. I'm confident it'll work if I can keep to it... but I'm not really good at keeping to things these days. After all, there's so much cycling to do!

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