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Help! Starter is active...now I need the right bread recipe!

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eagleswings's picture
eagleswings

Help! Starter is active...now I need the right bread recipe!

Hi,

I have ground my own grain and made my own whole grain bread (nothing white) for two years now. I have wanted to do sourdough rye for a long time, and finally decided to try to make a starter. I followed the recip with the 2 T. rye flour and 2 T. pineapple juice. Today is day 6 and it is expanding, bubbly, fluffy, is smelling sour and yeasty, and makes a neat sound when you stir it down. :) I;m so excited!! My only problem is I don;t know which sourdough rye bread recipe to use with this starter!! Help! I've found recipes using white flour- with starters that are made using 1 c. flour and 1 c. water, but this starter used much less flour and liquid and I'm afraid I'll get the measurements all wrong. Can someone help me?

I need a whole grain recipe for sourdough bread using the juice starter.

I also have a few other questions, being new to the sourdough experience:

1. When will I know my starter is strong enough to make bread with? The recipe on this site mentioned allowing the flavor to develop by discarding/feeding for two weeks??

 2. Am I really supposed to disgard all of it except 1/4 c. EVERY DAY and keep adding the 1/4 c. water and 1/4 c. flour? Is this like forever? It seems like such a waste. :(

3. When I do I know to store it in the fridge?

 

It is so beautiful right now and I don't want to waste any time. So, if someone has a really great recipe that worls well with this starter and whole rye, could you please post it or point me in the right direction? Thanks so much!

eagleswings's picture
eagleswings

Just another note to say that earlier when I went to check my starter, the very gentle moving of it towards me caused it to deflate. Is this good or bad? I was able to see that overnight, it had doubled in size. It never re-inflated, however (in 3 hours) and I went ahead and gave it it's 24 hour feeding. I now realize that it is still much too young to use in bread, after further reading. I would still like a good recipe, and answers to my questions if you can help me. Thanks so much.

One more thing- How often should I be stirring this? The recipe for the pineapple juice starter on this site just said once a day when feeding. Should I be stirring more?

I don't want to lose my beautiful starter that I have prayed for! :)

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

Hi Eagleswings,

Congratulations on the new starter! It sounds like it is off to a roaring start. If it is doubling and smelling yeasty you can bake with it, but it is still very young and it will continue to develop and get stronger and better tasting. Leaving it at room temperature for a few more days will help it to mature. I would now start to feed it morning and evening instead of once a day. Sourdough is very hungry and consumes lots of food. When you moved it and it deflated, that is okay. It just means that it had peaked in activity and now was ready for more food. Once fed, it will rise again.

It is very important to dump out all but 1/4 cup or even only a couple spoonfuls before feeding again. Once the yeast has consumed all the nutrients in the flour, it becomes "waste" with millions of hungry yeast babies swimming in it looking for more food. Dumping serves two purposes--gets rid of the waste and lowers the number of yeast babies who are competing for food. Try not to think of it as wasting flour. When people eat food, our bodies use the nutrients in that food and then we pass the waste out of our bodies but yet we don't consider that the food we ate was wasted. You don't need to keep a large amount of starter in storage, so feeding it 1/4 cup of flour costs merely pennies. When you are ready to bake with it, then is when you will want to build the quantity up to a larger amount for your recipe.

Now that your starter is lively you can thicken it up by adding more flour in proportion to water and then it will be able to go longer between feedings. Once you move it to the fridge it can go quite a long time between feedings but it is preferable to feed it once a week, especially when it is still young. You can stir it however often you like. In the early stages aireation accelerates the yeast growth. It is also good when you have just fed the starter.

Go ahead and try baking with your starter any time now. It may rise a bit slower than it will later on, but have patience.

eagleswings's picture
eagleswings

Oh, thank you so much for replying Sourdolady!! I am so excited. I just checked it again, and only 3 hours after dumping/feeding, it is nearly double in size!! Wow! I may try to make bread with it tomorrow, however, I need a recipe. :) I don't think I have 1 c. of starter yet, once deflated.

If I begin feeding it the 1/4 c. flour and water morning AND evening, should this exand it to where I have enough to add to my bread? And how much more flour should I add to thicken it?

When I do use it, then refrigerate, and feed weekly, do I still dump all of it out except 1/4 c. and feed the 1/4 c. flour and water as the weekly feeding, then pop back into fridge? In other words, is the weekly feeding for the refirgerated starter the same as I am doing now? Is this the point I can begin to give it away to people?

Any good recipes for whole rye sourdough would be wonderful! Thanks again!

ejm's picture
ejm

I have a white flour starter that I alter into a rye starter when I make caraway rye bread. I'm not sure how a 100% rye bread would turn out... rye flour doesn't have a whole lot of gluten. The rye bread I make does have some wheat flour.

Here is what I do:

  1. Two nights before baking In a small bowl, mix together 2 Tbsp water, 2 Tbsp wild yeast white flour starter, 3 Tbsp dark rye flour. Cover with plastic and leave in a warm draftfree spot (counter in summer, oven with only light turned on in winter) overnight
  2. Day before baking - Morning Take 2 Tbsp of above mixture (discard the rest) and stir in 2 Tbsp water and 3 Tbsp rye flour. Cover and leave… etc.
  3. Day before baking - Midday The mixture should have doubled. Take 2 Tbsp of above mixture (discard the rest) and stir in 2 Tbsp water and 3 Tbsp rye flour. Cover and leave… etc.
  4. Day before baking - Evening Stir in ¼ c water and ½ c rye flour. Cover and leave… etc.
  5. Baking Day Morning The starter should have doubled and will look like chocolate mousse. Apparently rye starter can go bad easily - at least that’s what Nancy Silverton says in Nancy Silverton’s Breads from the la Brea Bakery. (But how would I know? This is all pretty new to me still too…)

And here is the caraway rye bread recipe:

http://etherwork.net/blog/?p=430#rye_bread_recipe

Yes to your question about feeding the starter. You may find that you want to alter your feeding times. I used to feed my starter every three days but have had to change it to every two days.

Because your starter is already a rye flour starter, you would just start at step #2. And then on baking day, to keep your starter going, you would take 2 Tbsp of the starter from step #5 (reserve the rest for baking the bread) Add 3 Tbsp flour and 2 Tbsp water; stir, cover and refrigerate.

(I hope this made sense! I know that the amount of starter I maintain may be quite a bit smaller than many of the starters others in this forum keep)

Hope that helps!

-Elizabeth

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

If you want to expand the starter in order to have enough for a recipe, just feed larger feedings. For instance, feed 1/2 cup flour, or more. How thick you make the starter is totally up to you. For storage or maintainance feedings I usually make mine quite thick but still stirable. For recipes that call for liquid starter I like it to be about the consistency of thick pancake batter. Many people like to feed their starters equal amounts of flour/water by weight.

Yes, always dump the excess before feeding, even for the weekly feedings. Once fed, if you aren't going to make bread that day just let it sit out until it gets bubbly and then put it back in the fridge. You want to give the yeasts a chance to activate some before putting it back in the fridge.

You can start sharing your starter at any time now.

There are several rye bread recipes posted here on the site. Maybe someone will chime in and recommend their favorite. I don't bake much rye because I am the only one in my family who likes it, and I only like it for sandwiches but I'm not a big sandwich fan. Most of the bread I consume is in the form of toast.

Good luck with your first bake, and do come back and report how it went.

eagleswings's picture
eagleswings

I pray someone can help me. Something has happened to my yeast. Yesterday morning(day 7), I began feeding it twice, using 1/3 c. rye flour rather than 1/4 to thicken and get more starter. I fed it again last night, and increased the flour to 1/2 c. and the water to almost 1/2 c. It has only risen a VERY SMALL amount since last night, no where near double. I have not yet fed it today since I fed it more last night, and more flour is supposed to help it go longer between feedings, no? It still has some bubbles, but not frothy. Smells sour, but not as yeasty. What have I done? What can I do to save it if anything?? Have I added too much flour? The mixture is thicker now with the extra flour. I hope I haven't killed it. It was so beautiful :(

Any help on this would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks!

eagleswings's picture
eagleswings

It was past time to feed the starter, so I did what I could. I read on this site that if the yeast seems to die after a few days of being bubbly and yeasty, you can add 1/4 t. of apple cider vinegar in with the feeding to wake it up. So, I just did that. I added 1/2 c. flour, almost 1/2 c. filtered water, and 1/4 t. raw ACV. I don't understand why it was doing so well, and then when I started feeding it more and more frequently, it seemed to have fallen asleep.

The recipe for the pineapple juice starter (which is what I am using) on this site said it is not unusual for the starter to be bubbly and active on day 3 or 4 and then go completely falt and appear dead. It said to give it the ACV if it has not started to grow again by day 6. Mine did not go flat until day 7. Today is day 8, still flat. My days are off from what the site said, so I'm not sure what has happened to it or if I should have even put the ACV in it. But I was desperate.

Can someone help me? I was going to attempt bread tonight, but if the yeast cannot even raise 1/2 c. flour in 24 hours, it certainly won't be able to raise an entire loaf of bread. Help!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I don't know about pineapple juice or other additives. I've always just worked from a good white or whole wheat sourdough starter and converted it to a rye starter as needed. I've used the method described in Peter Reirhart's "Crust and Crumb" most often, since his all sourdough rye is one of my favorites. Except I use a mix of pumpernickel flour and first clear flour.


When I'm making lots of rye breads, I seed a rye starter with a white starter and use the method described in George Greenstein's "Secrets of a Jewish Baker" to build and maintain a rye sour. It's a 2-3 day process, assuming you are starting with a good (but not necessarily activated) white starter.

DMSnyder's adaptation of Greenstein's Rye Sour
--------------------------------------------------
There are 3 "stages" to make a sour ready to use in a rye bread recipe. You can refrigerate overnight after any of the stages. If you do refrigerate it, use warm water in the next build. The mature sour will probaby be okay to use for a couple of days, but I try to time it to spend no longer that 12 hours since the last feeding. If you have kept it longer under refrigeration, it should be refreshed.

Stage 1:
1/2 - 1 cup of white starter
1/2 cup of water
1 cup of rye flour (I use pumpernickel, or at least whole rye)

Mix together into a thick paste in a 4 qt. bowl. Scape down the sides and smooth the surface. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of rye flour all over the surface. Cover the bowl and let rise for 4-8 hours or until the dry rye on the surface has spread into "continents" and the surface has domed. It looks way cool! Don't wait until it collapses.

Stage 2:
All of the Stage 1 starter
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup rye flour

Mix thoroughly into a thick paste. Scrape down and smooth the surface.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup of rye flour all over the surface. Cover the bowl and let rise for 4-8 hours or untile the dry rye on the surface has spread into "continents" and the surface has domed. Don't wait until it collapses.

Stage 3:
All of the Stage 1 starter
1/2 cup of water
1 cup of rye flour.

You may have to transfer this to a larger bowl. Mix thoroughly into a thicker paste - It should pull away from the sides of the bowl as you mix it. If it is too thin, you can add more rye flour until it is more "dough-like." Cover the starter and let it rise 4-8 hours. It should nearly double in volume and be bubbly.

It's now ready to use to make rye bread.

Greenstein advises to keep the starter refrigerated and stir the starter every 3-4 days and refresh it every 10-12 days by throwing out half of it and mixing in "equal amounts of flour and water."

Greenstein says, if you are going to refrigerate the sour for any length of time, keep it in a covered container in the refrigerator and float a layer of water over it. (I don't generally do the water cover trick.)

I know this violates many "rules" I've read elsewhere, but I think Greenstein knows what he's about. It's super easy and has been fool proof. (If it has never failed me, it's fool proof.)

David

eagleswings's picture
eagleswings

This morning, I found the starter with very few air bubbles when I stirred. No rising overnight. I am distraught, as it was going so well and it seems to be indefinitely dead. The ACV did nothing. Today is day 9 and I am wondering if I should throw it out now or wait another day. Any ideas?

edh's picture
edh

Eagleswings,

I'm hoping sourdolady, brwraith, or zolablue or about a dozen others might jump in soon, as they're all more experienced than I, but there's a slight chance you've overfed your starter. If you're feeding it a greater amount of flour, it will take the yeasties longer to eat it all, which means you can feed it less often. If you feed it more, but do so just as often, my understanding is that you will actually dilute the yeast concentration too much.

Like I said, I'm far from the best one on the site to advise you, but I've been having good luck feeding my starter by taking 10 grams starter, mixing vigorously (till it foams) with 20 grams water, and kneading in 40-50 grams flour. The variation in flour amount is due to the fact that I can't make up my mind which flour to use and keep switching around. This makes a stiff starter that is easy to keep, and only needs feeding once a day if I'm not baking.

I'd keep feeding it, but either go back to your beginning proportions and do it twice daily, or increase the flour amount and only feed once daily. Rye will certainly help things along.

Good luck!

edh

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

I also think you may have overfed it too soon. Are you feeding it with 100% rye flour? I have never made a rye starter, but I have added a small amount of rye to a white flour starter to give it a boost.

I would take a couple of Tbsp. of the starter and mix it with 1/4 cup flour and enough water to get the consistency you like (but not real stiff at this stage). Cover it and set in a warmish place. Keep the original starter but don't add any additional food today. Just keep it warm also and see what happens. I have had starters take a good 48 hours to take off after feeding (usually after having been stored in the fridge for months without feeding). Now, if the smaller, newly fed starter begins to grow before the original one does then you will know that it needed more food. I would just give it some more time. It is still really young.

eagleswings's picture
eagleswings

Yes, I have used all rye. I would really like to use a whole grain rather than white flour. I have hard and soft wheat, as well as Spelt and Kamut. Would any of those work as good as the white?

Starter is still the same. I've given it 2 feedings of 1/4 c. rye flour today. I think it is dead. If no action tomorrow, I will probably throw it out and try again. So much grinding and wasted flour! :(

Thanks for your help.

edh's picture
edh

Really, give it more than a day; just one feeding a day and hang in there. Believe me, I've been through this particular wringer more than once.

In fact, I should mention my own personal sourdough bogie-man; are you using tap water? Some towns chlorinate heavily enough that it will kill sourdough. It's confusing because it can take a couple of days, but I lost 4 starters in quick succession last spring before I figured out what was going on. Had quite a complex for a while, I'll tell you!

Still, even if you're using spring water, this can be a slow process; I had one starter take over two weeks to get up and going, and then another week or so before it was anything more than sluggish. Now (a couple of months later) it's a rock star.

100% rye in a starter acts sort of weird, too. It doesn't really rise up in the same way that wheat flours do; it gets bubbles and sort of poofy and sticky, but not a lot of lift. I'd use wheat or spelt with some rye in it. The only reason I use white flour in my starters is that it's the cheapest thing I've got; I spend the real money on organic whole wheat, spelt and kamut. I figure the starter makes up such a small proportion of the final dough, I won't notice the white. Not pure though...

Don't give up!

edh

eagleswings's picture
eagleswings

I'm very thankful for all of the replies. I've left the old starter and plan to maybe feed it once more tonight. I gave it today "off" from eating in case I had indeed overfed it. I see no signs of "life", however. No bubbles, just flat smooth batter that smells sour, but not yeasty.

I have started a new one, however. And I am wondering which grain would be best to keep it alive and thriving when it comes time to add in the 1/4 c. of flour and water.

Here are the choices:

Rye, Spelt, Kamut, Hard White Wheat, Soft White Wheat, Hard Red Wheat.

Thanks in advance for your help!

ejm's picture
ejm

I remember reading in Nancy Silverton’s Breads from the la Brea Bakery that rye starter can go bad easily - she recommends creating a rye starter each time from a white starter. (Sorry, I don't have the book here now to doublecheck exactly what she says - it was a library book... really good book though. It's on my Christmas list.)

 

The starter I use was created beginning with dark rye flour on the first day and then switching to feeding with unbleached all purpose flour. So from your list of flours, perhaps feeding with a half and half mix of hard red or white wheat and soft white wheat?? (I'm not at all familiar with spelt or kamut except to know that they are ancient grains....)

 

-Elizabeth

 

(Here is my starter recipe.)

 

edh's picture
edh

I'd use either of the hard wheats. Soft wheat is low in gluten, best for pastries and quick breads. Spelt and Kamut are fine, but a lot more expensive, why use them just to throw away. If the started seems sluggish at any point, you can always throw in a handful of rye along with the wheat to perk it up a bit.

Glad you're staying with it!

edh

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

flours is that they will not rise much or very little as a starter, this can be good if you are cramped for space.  In liquid starters they mostly put out very fine foamy bubbles, nothing larger than a pea.  A firm starter will rise just a little but mostly crack all over the surface and release gas but inside it is like a gooey sponge (unless it is very or no gluten, then it will just break apart like fudge).  Dust the top of your starter with a little flour so that changes can be seen and not just smelled.   I would use the flour that makes up largest portion of your doughs and easiest on your budget.  Don't change flours from one day to the next but gradually, changing the ratios a little more each day.  Even low gluten flours work well.  They just act differently. 

Mini O 

 

eagleswings's picture
eagleswings

Oh, could it be that after seeming dead as a doornail, my starter is showing signs of LIFE?!! Last night, I fed it 1/2 c. hard white wheat flour. This afternoon, it has noticeably "grown", although not double. It also has little air bubbles throughout again!!!! Also, the smell is not as sour and is a bit sweeter. I can't believe it! I am so thankful!

The rye must have been deterring the growth and/or I overfed it. So, now... I have TWO starters going! LOL

Any ideas on keeping it alive?

Is 1/2 c. wheat flour once daily enough? I don't want to risk overfeedinga again.

 

Thanks!

edh's picture
edh

Resilient stuff, yeast! When you say 1/2 cup flour, how much starter are you saving? If you have scales, this is much easier to do by weight, but it's not the only way. I did it by volume for quite a while (until my birthday, to be exact).

Some others on the site have a better sense of the right ratio when feeding by volume, but I would think that 1/4 cup starter to 1/2 cup flour would get it through the day. Any thoughts, Sourdolady?

By the way, don't be scared off of using rye in the starter; it won't deter growth, just make it look different if it's all you're using. Rye is great stuff to give a boost to a slow starter, just throw some in with the wheat flour.

Have fun with it!

edh

eagleswings's picture
eagleswings

Strange that rye gives it a boost and mine was so... dead. Everything but mold. It wasn't until I added wheat that it "came to life", but perhaps I could put a small amount in with the wheat.

I am keeping 1/4 c. starter, 1/2 c. flour, and 1/2 c. water. I don't know how it will expand enough for bread like this, but for now, I am afraid to give it more as it seemed to fall asleep as soon as I increased the feedings. It will be two weeks old on Monday. I will be gone for the weekend, but am leaving instructions for someone to feed it while I'm gone. If all is well, I may try to make bread Monday or Tuesday.

Thanks again for all the advice!

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

I never did think that it was dead! I'm glad you are seeing it come around now. I think it just needed more time. Now that it is showing life, I would feed it morning and evening, but in order to save on flour you could start with 2 Tbsp. of starter (discard the rest) and feed with 1/4 cup of flour and enough water to make a thick batter. The twice daily feedings will help it to gain strength and keep its food supply steady without overfeeding. It may just surprise you and start getting very active now.

Once your starter is well established, a couple of spoonfuls can raise a whole bowl of dough. I often make a preferment with 2 T. of starter, 2 cups of flour and 3/4 cup of water. I leave it overnight and by morning the whole bowl is risen up light and bubbly.

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

Eagleswings, since you've got two starters going now - why not keep one as you are doing and keep the other as a firm starter in the fridge? That way, you havw back - up in case your starter dies on you! Also, firm starters "waste" far less flour and can live for weeks - MONTHS - without feeding if kept refrigerated. When you want to use it - feed twice and you're away. 
Zolablue gives very precise and detailed instructions for how to make a firm starter herehttp://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2390/firm-starter-glezer-recipebut it is simple to convert your present starter to a stiff starter - take 30 grams of it, feed with 30 grams water and 50 grams white bread flour. Do this twice - morning and evening - then next time you feed, to the same ratio, cover the starter and refrigerate. Hey presto - one firm starter!
Andrew

eagleswings's picture
eagleswings

Thanks again for all the help! What an informative baord. I'm learning so much!

I observed an interesting thing in my jar this morning. It had risen some, but not double. Smelling yeasty and still bubbly. Yay! However, there was some liquid that had accumulated at the top. Then, at noon, when looking again, the liquid is in the middle and there is a really bubbly fluffy part of starter on top, and the bottom seems more flat. I gave it a good stir and it deflated some, but smells and looks lovely. I'm going to be gone all weekend- will it be okay to feed it 1/2 c. flour only once daily until Monday? I hate to have someone come twice a day to feed it. It will be two weeks old on Monday. I hope to make bread by then.

eagleswings's picture
eagleswings

SourdoLady,

Do you have a simple "fool proof" sourdough recipe that includes less than a whole c. of starter that could be used with whole wheat flour? The simple ones I am finding call for a whole c. of starter, which I don't have!

Thanks

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

Don't worry about how much starter you have. Just increase the amount you feed it a little so you have what the recipe calls for. How is the starter doing today? Is it still good and active? Once it gets past the quirky early stages over-feeding isn't so much of an issue. I don't bake too many 100% whole wheat breads, so I don't have a recipe to give you. I usually prefer the part whole wheat & mixed grains breads best.

eagleswings's picture
eagleswings

I had saved two days of starter "waste" in the fridge and used it to sponge a mixture overnight and finally made my very first batch of sourdough bread from wild yeast! I have no complaints except it was a bit heavier and denser than my preference. But the taste, looks, and smell was nearly exactly the same as the lady I heard about this bread from andit wasn't even her exact recipe that I ended up using. I am impressed for the first loaf.

Now, my question is when can I store my strater in the fridge and only give it weekly feedings? Is now too soon? Thanks.

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

Glad to hear that you are having some success! Since your bread was denser than you'd like, my guess is that you didn't let it proof long enough. Wild yeast is quite a bit slower to rise than commercial yeast, especially since your starter is very new yet. Another cause might be that you didn't develop the gluten enough. Each loaf will get better and you will learn what works to get the result you want.

Regarding when to refrigerate the starter--once it is active enough to where it gets very bubbly within an hour or two after feeding, it should be strong enough to store in the fridge. Always feed it first and wait until it looks bubbly before putting in the fridge. Don't wait until it rises and falls. When you take it out of the fridge to use again, dump and feed and then proof before using in dough.

Oh, and you didn't say what kind of bread you made but if it was rye, then you should expect it to be more dense than a white or multi grain bread. Rye doesn't have much gluten and is most always mixed with other flours in a recipe.

eagleswings's picture
eagleswings

Hello,

My bread is always whole grain, so of course it will be more dense and heavy than white bread. In this I sponged with 2 c. hard white wheat, and added 3 c. whole rye the next morning. It could be that since it was kind of like an experiment, there were many little (clean) hands kneading it and it wasn't kneaded well enough. It was a bit sticky when I covered it to rise. :)  Next time, I plan to throw it in the bosch. I noticed the dough had a "slick" nearly slimy feel to it when washing it off my hands.  I added vital wheat gluten. My normal wheat bread is a bit more fluffy and light, so I'm game for trial and error. I'm just so thankful I got that true sourdough taste!

A question: My starter was 15 days old yesterday and moved into the fridge. Today, some liquid has risen to the top. Is this something to worry about? I plan to feed it ever 4 days for a while, then move to weekly. Thanks if you can answer!

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

The layer of liquid you see on top of the starter is hooch, which is a product of fermentation. It just means that your starter is working like it should and consuming the nutrients in the flour. When you see hooch, you should feed the starter again. Always dump most of it out before feeding.

edh's picture
edh

eagleswings,

I tried to answer this post last night, but did something wrong and made it disappear. I decided that must mean I was too tired & would try again today. Sourdolady has already said what I would regarding hooch, so won't repeat that.

On the whole grain question; that sounds like a pretty high percentage of rye, so I'd expect a fairly dense loaf. You might want to try reversing those proportions, or add a bit of commercial yeast the next day. (I know, when I started using sourdough, I resisted spiking with yeast, but most of Hamelman's recipes do it, and they've all produced consistantly great results for me. Except for pumpernickel, but that was user error!)

Really, though, if you want to go 100% whole grain with sourdough, you really should look at JMonkey's blogs. He's the hands-down whole grain champion; just take a look at his latest blog entry. He knows his stuff, and communicates it really well.

Keep at it!

edh

Oh, by the way, I know just what you mean about slimy hands; it's the only thing I don't like about baking with rye, it's impossible to get the dough off your hands. "Washing" your hands with dry flour first helps a little.

handsonleaven's picture
handsonleaven

tHE LIQUID IS OKAY? i USUALLY KEEP MY LEAVENS GOING TO WHERE THERE IS NO LIQUID, BUT WHEN i DO NOT KEEP MY LEAVENS GOING (I,E "OUT OF STORAGE" AND "aLWAYS ACTIVE) I uSUALLY DUMP OUT THE LIQUID.  whEN i SHIPPED A BREAD KIT TO A LADT TWO HOURS AWAY, SHE SAID THE LEAVEN EXPLODED IN THE PACKAGE SHE JUST USED MY LIQUID AND IT MADE LOVELY RESULTS FOR HER. ( i PACKAGED EVERYTHING IN PLASTIC BAGS INCLUDING MY BREAD BOOK KNOWING THAT THIS COULD HAPPEN.  

eagleswings's picture
eagleswings

It's been a long time since I posted! Just a quick not eto say that I've made 6 loaves of bread since and each one improves in texture and taste. I've played w/ the grain combos and really like using half rye and half hard white. It seems to be the best. By now, my bread has a crusty top and a chewy middle. Love it!

My only inconveninece is that I don't have enough starter from one dumping/feeding to make my batch of bread. So I have to save it from 2 or 3 feedings before I have enough. How do I increase it w/o giving it too much food and therefore killing it? (like I almost did in the beginning). Now, I feed it 1/3 c. water and 1/3 flour with the 1/4 starter. If I increase it to 1/2 c. flour and water, will I also need to increase the amount of starter I leave in the jar? Sorry if this is a repeat question!

 Thanks in advance!

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

Go ahead and increase your feeding amount. Once the starter is established I really don't think you can overfeed it very easily. You should be able to feed 1/4 cup starter 1 cup of flour without any problems. I do it all the time. It will just take longer to arrive at its peak activity.