My starter is a typical 100% hydration. Do rye starters differ at all in this aspect from wheat?
No simple answer I'm afraid.
The time it takes for a starter to mature depends on flour type (wholegrain or refined), grain type (wheat, rye, spelt, durum ... ), hydration, amount of mature culture you added, and temperature.
Another factor to consider is what kind of bread you are going to make: Some breads need the starter to be at the peak of its yeast activity (e.g. fully risen and bubbely) whereas other breads require the starter to be at a different place (I usually develop my rye starter to a maximum of flavor)
Adding to what Juergen writes, rye sourdough would ordinarily be fermented for longer if used in high rye breads. This is to build up the acid content in the final paste. During the latter stages of proof and early part of the baking phase, the paste becomes very unstable, as the pentosans become fragile. Pentosans are the fibrous matter which knit the starch molecules together. They are integral to the strength in rye which does not offer up the possibility of developing chains of elastic gluten. The acid protects the pentosans.
The good news is that rye is eminently fermentable, so it is easier to start a culture with rye, and it is probably easier to revive one which has been neglected for whatever reason. However, like all sourdoughs it still needs proper feeding to thrive. But I keep both a rye and wheat culture. The rye is wet and fermented warm and for longer times. The wheat is stiff, maintained cold and fed more frequently. The rye is sour, the wheat is not.
Hope this helps
Thanks, I understand how developing more acid in the starter could be beneficial. I'm aware of that general fact and why sourdough is needed for high rye breads for that reason, though I haven't considered it so much from the perspective of the starter. I think I generally use my starter earlier rather than later, out of a fear that later on I would have an overfermented glup.
Also, as a general clarification, I am planning on making a 100% rye bread out of medium rye flour. I'm not new to rye, but this is a detail I'm not sure of.
Hello Bread Breadington,
If you have Hamelman's book, read up about Detmolder...especially his 3 stage recommendations. If not, I have posted on various Rye breads which use the Auerman process, most recently here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/30992/new-breads-old-favourite-flours towards the bottom of the post.
As you will see from the Moscow Rye formula above, I use Dark Rye in the fermentation stages and then add Light Rye to the final paste. It ends up 50% of each type. Medium Rye will probably be fine, although I suspect that the way the flour has been milled will be of somesignificance here. Fine flour will bring better texture to the bread, but it also opens up the risk of excess starch damage which is pretty fatal in rye breads.
I like to elaborate (build) my rye starter a little flour and water and most important, a slice (or two) of rye bread from my last bake. So save some from this upcoming loaf before it is eaten.
I tend to freeze a few slices after the loaf's first day. Just thaw and crumble into the starter when needed and include as the starter weight and/or volume. It is a real booster to flavour. The starter will look very lumpy but lumps can easily be squished after the starter has peaked. If you tend to blend water with the starter before adding the flour, the lumps just float to the top waiting to be plucked out and smashed. :)