The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Trying a rye starter...

foodslut's picture
foodslut

Trying a rye starter...

...in accordance with "Artisan Breads at Home", and am using locally grown and stone milled organic whole grain rye.  I'm finding that the 100% hydration formula leaves the mix looking more like putty than a poolish I'm used to seeing.  Should I continue the same ratio, or should I add a bit more water to make it more soupy?


Thanks!


Tony

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Stick to the 100%, it will get thinner as it ripens.  The "puddy" will loosen up with the bubbles and turn into "marshmallow cream!"  (minus the sugar and the brighty whiteness)   :)

foodslut's picture
foodslut

.... I'll keep at it, then, and report back if there are any more problems.


Thanks for that!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

... anytime.   I better go feed mine...

foodslut's picture
foodslut

Here's what things look like at this pointm (1st photo shows growth - above bottom of masking tape label - since last feeding yesterday):




The good news:  it is more like a loose marshmallow fluff in consistency (thanks MiniOven).


The (bad?) news:  it's not smelling "fresh," "yeasty" or "sour" - it's more of an earthy smell, very similar to baked ham actually.


Keep going or start again?


Thanks!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

regularly or twice a day.   It only takes a little bit to keep going. 


Nutty, cheesy, or fruity seem to come more to mind but I will settle for sweet and spicy (hint of cloves, vanilla & pear).  Keep going!  I assume you used some of your established started and fed it rye flour.  A good way to go.  Looking perky! 


Mini  :)

foodslut's picture
foodslut

...routinely discarding 1/2 and adding rye flour/water to replace weight of discard.


Still not "fruity" smell, but I'm willing to be patient.


Thanks for the reassurance, Mini Oven!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Hmmmm.  I hate to tell you I keep just a rounded teaspoonful.  I end up adding 4 to 5 times that amount of water (up to 10 times) and then rye flour to paste consistancy.  Going for fruity?  Yes!  Let's go!  


Anytime, Mini 

foodslut's picture
foodslut

.....if it works for you that way, I may try it - nothing to lose, really, if it still isn't smelling fruity.


Will keep you updated - thanks again!

foodslut's picture
foodslut

Now, as of day 6, it's still looking like the pix above, and it's starting to have a bit of acidy smell in the midst of the "ham" smell. 


I think it's ready to put into "hibernation" while I hunt the best recipe to use it with.  Just to be sure, one more feed and into the fridge, or feed-sit a bit-then-fridge?


Thanks for your patience!

foodslut's picture
foodslut

....and it's starting to smell sweeter and fresher (NO hint of "meatiness" now), with just short of a yeasty smell.


Can't wait to try it out!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

to leave the starter out of the refrigerator.  What say you?  Tried it out yet?

foodslut's picture
foodslut

....but right now, I'm being a bit conservative keeping it in the fridge.  I'll likely try a test recipe this weekend.


BTW, I'm torn between the 1-2-3 formula debated elsewhere here at TFL, or a Russian Rye Bread as outlined in Whitley's "Bread Matters":


1)  production sourdough:  50g liquid levain+150g dk rye+300g water - combine and keep in warm place for 12-24 hours.


2)  final dough:  440g production sourdough+330g rye (light or whole)+200g water+5g salt - mix all ingredients, scoop into baking pan, final proof (2-8 hours) followed by 500F x 10 minutes + 430F x ~40-50 minutes.


The latter seems quite wet, almost like a poolish at the end (???), while the former is pretty easy to remember - flour:water:levain = 100:67:33 - leading to an approximately 72% hydration, which I'm very comfortable with (my regular straight dough baguettes are 70%).


Any thoughts?