The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


cranbo's picture

Sometimes two + two = five, and you roll with it.

Reading a thread earlier today got me looking at the book "Bread Builders", including a section about about L. sanfranciscensis and dental plaque. Very weird. This got me thinking about some travel show I saw (Bourdain? Zimmern?) I saw a while back, where the host drank chicha somewhere in South America.

Sure, starters get going in all kinds of ways: wholegrain flours, whole fruit, pineapple juice. Now I've been reading with interest about fruit waters lately. 

This got me thinking: what would the outcome be of a chicha-inspired starter?

So goes my experiment:

  • 25g whole wheat flour
  • 25g rye flour
  • 25g spring water

Mix all ingredients until it's a firm dough (50% hydration seemed right). 

Tear off small quail egg sized pieces of starter. Chew each piece for 30-60 seconds...yep. Really was not unpleasant, kinda gummy, but becoming slightly sweeter as I chewed. Place each chewed piece in a small container. 

I let it rest for 2 hours, then added 25g more water and mix to make a 100% starter. Seems to me that 100% hydration starters are more conducive to certain bacterial growth, so this should be interesting. 

Gross? Yes. Interesting? Absolutely.

Day 1: It's been probably 12 hours or so. Not much activity yet. I wonder how different this will be from my usual starter, which was built about 2 years ago using the Silverton organic grape method.

Will the chewing have an effect? As a control, I'm going to do one using the same feeding, the same schedule, but without the chewing. We'll see what happens. 


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