The Fresh Loaf

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Peter Reinharts Sourdough Starter

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sugarcreations's picture
sugarcreations

Peter Reinharts Sourdough Starter

I just got a copy of Peter Reinharts book Crust and Crumb and was going to start his sourdough starter when I realized I do not have any organic wheat flour. Is there a reasonable sub or should I get off my duff in front of this computer and go buy a bag? Also the wheat or barley malt powder is there a reasonable sub for this because I do not know if its available here or will regular wheat germ suffice?

Upon looking further I do have whole wheat flour its just not organic. 

 

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Generally speaking it is considered wise to use organic flours for at least the first few feedings as even minute traces of pesticide in non-organic flours could prevent the natural yeasts from multiplying.

 

Of course, people in the US successfully created starters using store flour in the pesticide-drenched 60s and 70s, so perhaps this is not as big a concern as is sometimes thought. Personally I use as much organic flour as I can afford.

 

sPh

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I've not seen Peter Reinhart's recipe for making a starter in Crust and Crumb, but his ideas have developed since then quite a bit. More recently, he's recommending a process that's essentially identical to SourdoLady's: Here's a link.


As for organic vs regular, you may have better luck with organic flour, since it won't have any pesticides or herbicides on it that could muck around with the yeast and bacteria that make up your starter, but plenty of folks have made fine starters with plain old regular flour.

It is a lot easier, though, to get one started with rye, so if you don't have any rye, it might be worth going out and getting a bag of that. If you can't find rye, whole wheat flour would be a good substitute.

Good luck!

sugarcreations's picture
sugarcreations

 Thanks JMonkey I started that sourdough tonight will give updates to its progress as I go.

 

Rgds Sugarcreations 

 http://sugarwerks.myikonboard.com

andrew_l's picture
andrew_l

I agree with jmonkey - organic rye makes an excellent starter with just flour and water. It can be used succesfully to make rye loaves, white, wholemeal - and starts like a dream!

sugarcreations's picture
sugarcreations

 OK I have two different starters going now and I am not really sure either one is going to make it. I am going into day 3 with the Sourdough Ladys recipe and it is still thick and pasty looking.  I began  another starter tonight with just whole wheat flour and water 2 tablespoons of each so that may or may not take off. How do I start  a Rye starter might as well have 3 experiments going at the same time.

 

Rgds Sugarcreations 

 http://sugarwerks.myikonboard.com

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

For a rye starter, just follow SourdoLady's instructions and use rye flour. Easy! And don't worry about your current starters. Sometimes it takes a while. Unless you see weird colors or see something growing on it, you're fine.

Ruth Redburn's picture
Ruth Redburn

   

 

Would someone please post Peter Reinhart's recipe for Whole Wheat Bread?  I would love to try it.  And I have a lovely-looking rye sourdough starter on my kitchen counter started 5 days ago.  But it doesn't smell sour yet. 

Happy Mother's Day to all of you, mothers or not.             Ruth Redburn