Handleman's Light Rye (15% preferment) question
I've been somewhat obsessed with rye bread, and haven't had much success.
I made the rye starter Handleman describes, and nurtured it for almost 2 weeks, with it demonstrating plenty of activity, and using the discards from feedings to make some successful 1-2-3 sourdough. So I know the starter is good.
The Hamelman formula calls for building the sourdough with 0.2 oz mature rye starter, 4.8 oz Medium rye flour, and 3.8 oz water. It says you can substitute 'whole dark rye' but you may need to add more water in the sourdough phase. I used Hogson Mills Rye flour, and from a previous inquiry, the company replied and said it was a medium rye flour, and that it was a whole grain rye flour. I have read that the nomenclature for rye flours in the US is totally confusing, and I certainly believe it.
I mixed the sourdough phase, and it was a stiff starter consistency. I left it to ripen all day ,and came home to some thick moist cement consistency stuff in the container, which had not puffed or risen at all, and was far to thick to exhibit any gas bubbles.
The first few times I tried to mix the Glezer light rye using that same Hogson Mills rye flour, I got thick concrete that did not seem to ferment (using her formula of my white flour stiff sourdough starter with rye flour and water). When I made her's today, using the light rye flour (Bob's Red Mill), I got a much less thick rye sour, and it rose nicely along side the Handleman sourdough that did nothing, attesting to the temperature in the kitchen being acceptable for culture to grow.
I finally obtained first clear flour (got it from a local kosher bakery, after getting over my reluctance to go in and ask them to sell me some flour) and light rye (Bob's Red Mill, bought over the internet, as I couldn't find it locally anywhere!), and made the traditional NY Deli (aka Jewish Rye) in Maggie Gleezer's Blessing of Bread. It has about 10 minutes to go in the oven, and looks and smells amazing, if I do say so myself. Shaping is far from perfect, but you can tell what it's supposed to be, if you know what I mean. If I can figure out how to post a photo, I will make it my debut photo post here.
So here (finally!) are my questions:
1. Can I add water to the Handleman sourdough phase at this point and salvage it, or do I need to start from scratch (I can, I have plenty of the rye starter)?
2. If I add water, how much. Or, what consistency am I aiming for? He doesn't offer any descriptors.
3. If I start fresh, how much extra water should I add? Again, what consistency am I aiming for?
4. What flour do you use/recommend for "medium rye"?
Thanks, as always, for your help and suggestiong.