The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Central Florida Sourdough

Arbyg's picture

Central Florida Sourdough

Hello all,

This is my second bread post on TFL and I'm loving this site!

I would like to thank everyone for sharing their breads because it's getting me excited about bread again. I have been out of the bread business for 3 1/2 years and this site has motivated me to make bread again. I am sure it will lead me back to my passion. The starter I used here is 100% hydration made from dark rye that was later replaced with white flour. I learned this starter from Hammelman which I attended his course over 12 years ago. I feed it in small quantities in morning then later before bed. Simple recipe enjoy.

1000g bread flour

35% starter


69% total hydration

Mix for 3min slow speed let rest for 15min mix med speed 3min

Fold after 20 min twice then again 1 hour later, proof until double divide let rest for 30-45 min then shape

I like to retard my dough for 8-10 hours but make and bake makes great bread as well

I bake at 450 10 min then reduce to 410 for about 35 min

I have not experimented with much of the elaborate steaming techniques found on this site, so I just dump two 1/2 cups of ice cubes during first 10 min 


frenchcreek baker's picture
frenchcreek baker

Hi there,


Thanks for posting your photos and sharing your simple recipe. 

You mentioned you replaced the rye with white flour for  your starter. Do you have more info you could share on that? 

I too am a new member to the site. Look forward to reading more of your posts.

Happy break baking,


Arbyg's picture

Hi Anne,
The starter goes as follows.
1c organic whole grain rye flour
1c water (very thick pancake batter) mix together let sit for 24 hours
day 2: add 1c rye and water to original mash
day 3: throw out 1/4 of mash add 1c rye and water
day 4: throw out half of mash add 1c of white organic bread flour and water
day 5: by day 3 you should start seeing some bubbling, remove half of mash and add 1c white flour and water
day 6: if your starter is bubbling and foaming after 12 hours start feeding every 12 hours instead of 24 (continue to remove half of starter and refreshing it with 1c white flour and water)
day 7: by this point you should have an active starter (feed again at 12 hour intervals) bread can be made by day seven or eight
note: if for some reason you are having trouble with starter you may on day one soak 1/2 c of organic raisins and use water for rye mash
Rye starter for me is a very pure classic starter with a slow fermentation
Raisin starter is a little faster and more active I actually blended both starters and have been making bread with for 12 years commercial and home
To maintain keep a small plastic one cup container and feed in morning and before bed(if you make bread often) if you make bread once a week you may want to stiffen to 65% hydration and store for a few days then refresh it twice before making bread
Thier are many many formulas and variations of starter and maintance but the most important factor is a great starter takes about 8-10 hours to peak with a 30% starter to flour mixture and a stiffer cooler starter usually gives you a more acidic bread (the famed pain au levain has a multiple amount of short builds because French don't paticularly like a too acidic loaf
Anyways I can go on and on but hope this helps

frenchcreek baker's picture
frenchcreek baker

Hello there,

Thanks so much for the detailed reply.

I had a low maintenance, hardy rye starter for years and even managed when relocating from the East Coast to successfully transport it via car across the U.S. for four days during the Winter (perhaps to the dismay of my friend who, on day two, sniffed and asked, "What's that smell?"). Sadly, one day I forgot to return it to the refrigerator and left home for two weeks in the summer. My starter rests in peace in a Washington state landfill now.

I have finished grieving and plan to use your formula to return to bread baking. 

I like the twist of mixing the raisin  with the rye. I think the combo makes good sense in terms of activity. It will be interesting to see how the combo works here as opposed to Florida. In my limited experience starters seem to thrive here in the Northwest compared to the East coast. Must be all that rain! Mainly, I am curious about the nuance in flavor a mix of those two starters. 

I realize duplicating the characteristics of your vintage starter is an impossible mission. However, since I am starting over from scratch, I thought this time around I will try to be more precise as opposed to my hap hazard method of altering my starter. Do you refresh your starter occasionally with raisin starter?

Is there anything else I should know before leaping again into the mix?

Thanks so much for your willingness to share!

Happy baking,


Arbyg's picture

Hi Anne,
In reply no, I have not needed to supplement my starter since it's birth. I once asked Jeffery Hamelman the question(do you think an old starter is better than a fresh one ?)His reply "I make a new starter every couple years". Vintage advantage is it will mutate to it's surroundings, so it may taste different then the bakery next door. I use to keep a dark rye starter for rye bread, liquid white for sourdough and stiff levain for my flavored breads like Jalepeno chedder, chocolate cherry etc. Finally, just remember starter is like an athlete the more u feed it the better it will perform.
Happy baking