Unlike all the breadcore pals I have baking loaves with hand-ground sorghum and Bolivian yeast strains kept at 75% hydration, I left my sourdough starter on the kitchen counter for a week and didn't bother feeding it.
After another midafternoon phone call from a friend who newly discovered baking as a relaxing and delicious artform asking for recommendations on baking something crisp-but-gooey, I looked at the live starter I keep on my counter. I transplanted it from the sleeping mass of junk a week or so back, baked a few great loaves of bread, and then kinda forgot about it. I had other stuff on my mind. The phone conversation led me to desire bread.
Intending to put up a loaf later in the afternoon, I fed the room temperature but dormant starter. First, I mixed all the hooch back into the starter. I then discarded a cup of starter and added 1/2 cup each of warm water and flour. Then I stirred, covered and gave it 4 hours.
I used the starter to prepare my go-to no-knead loaf of bread, flour and whole wheat. Said dough was permit to rise overnight. Pretty much everything looked like dough normally does on a first rise. I then folded the blob! The dough was pretty wet, I left it to proof in its basket.
I had a hard time deciding when it was ready for the oven. After 90 minutes I could see some large bubbles had formed in the dough, and a poke-with-index-finger test was getting what I thought were correct springing back results, but something looked off.
The loaf looked fantastic coming out of the oven, and my daughter claims it is the best tasting loaf of sourdough we've had. She ate about 1/2 the loaf in one sitting. The bubbles and crumb were really strange, however.
I think it needed another 5 minutes in the oven, but it was done. Toasting slices made them perfect.
I have since fed the starter a few times and will bake another loaf with it tomorrow. I am pretty sure my yeast will be back to its normal behavior.
Baking obeys the same principle offered homebrewers by the great Charlie Papazian, "Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew."