Inspired by Charles Luce gluten free millet starter (following instructions in The Bread Builders, by Daniel Wing and Alan Scott) I startered a sourdough starter using amaranth...
I am repeating part of the thread below so that when I use the starter with gluten flours, it will not be confusing in Charles's gluten free thread. The discussion can be carried on here about using amaranth sourdough starter in gluten breads. I also want to try his recipe for millet bread but use amaranth starter. He has much more experience than I with gluten free breads and this has interesting and fascinating overlaps I'm only beginning to discover.
Nov 16 // ...to make a starter. It smells much like corn. For obvious reasons, I didn't rinse the grain first but put it directly into a blender to turn it to flour. Then I mixed 60g with 60g water and it sat 57 hours (instead of 48) 16°c to 17°c
Nov 18 // I added 60g more amaranth flour and 60g water, blended well 16°c.
I'm hoping it will make the amaranth tastier, milder maybe. This could be the "trick" I've been waiting for.
Nov 19 // I got life! I forgot it again, it is 24 hours since I fed it and it is bubbly and rounded and even a little bit risen! Amazing! Can't smell any "sour" still smells like wet amaranth (yuck) or wet corn but I know it is active. I stirred it and forced it to collapse. In stirring I can feel the bubbles or pockets of gas in the starter. Now to dump half and feed again but in the warmer room to help develop the yeasts. I will also start washing the amaranth and adding the water then blending before adding to the starter. The photos are before and after stirring:
Nov 20 // First thing was to smell my starter. Na ya... ... went for cooked rolled oats this chilly foggy morning. When I discard today I plan to try a glutinous 10 grain flour and we will see if it lifts it. I've not yet aquired xanthum gum and millet flour. I would be interested in mixing the amaranth starter in a palatable mixture of GF flours. Maybe the Montana Mix that Charles mentions and suggests on his blog. Amaranth can be quite strong in flavor and smells of Autumn. Wet leaves and mushrooms, truffle come to mind along with dry red wine and soaked beans ...thyme. Charles Luce seemed to also be in a similar lock of the senses and on the above mentioned thread writes:
...walked through my neighborhood, which is quite Hispanic, smelling the smells and thinking of your question. Potato starch flour comes to mind, as does banana flour, yuca (tapioca)flour and corn masa (used for making corn tortillas in Mexico). Maybe coconut flour too. Then I read that porcini (Steinpilz) work w/ amaranth...
I had read that amaranth was often combined with banana and chocolate, also seems to be used more in cakes and sweet recipes... I use a fine metal coffee filter for washing the grain. Coconut milk.... interesting.
Okay, it's evening now and I'm looking into my starter and the smell is....getting sour and the amaranth is taking on a milder smell. This looks promising! This is good! Ooo can't wait for the bread! I mixed it 1-2-3 120g starter - 240g water - 345g 10 grain flour autolyse and work in 1 tsp salt. Three hours in the kitchen then into a cool room for the night. To bake tomorrow. Better plain for the first loaf, then come more taste experiments.
Now I'm working on the remaining 120g of starter. I am rinsing 60g amaranth and will dry it before milling and adding. It dries nicely in a smooth dish towel, the grain doesn't seem to stick at all. This time I feed it 60g amaranth shortly blenderized (no water but the tiny seeds seem to slip avoiding the blades) mix well and after 3 hours tuck away into the fridge. I'm liking the smell of the starter, I really do.