The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Rye Seed Culture

kathunter's picture

Rye Seed Culture

I'm very new at this artisan bread making but I'm very determined to do it right.

I've been trying to make a seed culture using the recipe in Peter Reinhart's ARTISAN BREADS EVERY DAY.  For the first batch I used all rye flour and pineapple juice.  It bubbled, barely, at one stage, but never quite bubbled like the recipe said it should and it never double in size.  I did go ahead to the second stage - Mother Starter.  But it was incredibly sticky and smelled nasty.  It was like sticky putty that did not thing with water. I went ahead and put it in the refrigerator as instructed.  It's still there, 4 days later. I'm not sure if it's OK to use.

I started a second seed culter same as above.  It looked like it would progress nicely until I got to phase 3.  Again, it's not increasing in size and the only bubbles are on the bottom that I can see through the glass bowl.  I put it in the oven with no heat but out of cold drafts. Well, my husband accidentally turned the oven on for dinner prep, and well, I think I cooked the starter before turning it into bread.  Should I discard that? 

I just started a third seed culture using white bread flour and water as instructed by Peter Reinhart's above mentioned book.  Any tips to make sure this one progresses as it should?

Should I discard the first two?




Chausiubao's picture

You have two options, you can keep feeding your starters until they calm down and start behaving, or you can start again (though the starter you heated up is probably dead). 

I don't know how much you know about sourdough starters and mothers, but let me tell you, my first starter was grown with white bread flour (high gluten), and water. It took me 10 days of daily feedings to get it under control, but in the end it was a wonderful starter. 

It is of course, easier, if you use pineapple juice, and rye flour seems to be good for sourdough starters, so you can use that route as well. 

The best advice I can give you is to not give up, and to not start making a mother starter until your seed culture can double of its own accord. 

(If you'd like I can send you my sourdough starter tutorial, a little something I've been working on, and you can see how I do mine)

LindyD's picture

Debra Wink's pineapple juice thread will assist you. I believe Mr. Reinhart acknowledges her work in his book.

You'll find the thread here

The three linked threads at the bottom of her post are worthwhile reading.