The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Whole Wheat &/or Flax Seed Starter????

jcorlando's picture

Whole Wheat &/or Flax Seed Starter????


I'm making a Sourdough starter, rather small at 15g flour and 15g water.

What are you thoughts on using King Arthur Whole Wheat
or fresh Flax seed ground to a flour?

It would probably change the tastes, but would it work??

Also, I live in Annapolis, on the water.
It's cold here (mid January), but air smells clean and fresh
(unlike my condo which is warm but smell like a bachelor  LOL..

So I'm leaving the starter outside to pick up whatever
fresh yeast is blowing out there.


Any thoughts?

From a newbie Sourdougher,

In Annapolis.

jcorlando's picture


Awesome picture.

I ended up adding with a WW & AP Flour, both King Arthur.
But I didn't know about the pinapple juice trick to lower the PH.

I'm just going to let this sit for a couple days and let nature take it's course.




dlassiter's picture

Very nice. I've been playing with natural yeasts myself for a while. I once bought some SF sourdough starter, but I'll never do so again! The native yeasts I seem to have do a great job of making sourdough.

One question I've always wondered about. Are these native yeasts actually from the surrounding air, or are they perhaps just hiding in the wheat, deposited there in the field or in the mill? That is, are they really native to my kitchen (in Texas), or maybe native to Montana? Might be interesting to heat sterilize the wheat before doing this, or heat sterilize the bowl and water and let the mix do it's stuff while well sealed from the air, and see what happens.

That being said, I see no reason why different kinds of wheat would behave differently, unless the "native" yeasts are actually coming from the flour.

Tricks I've heard to make this work better are to avoid using iodized salt, and, as above, some slight acidification. Adding a little sugar is helpful too, but perhaps not for purists. People worry about chlorination in the water, but really, if you're going to leave the mix out for a few days, that chlorine will depart naturally. In fact, if there were yeasts in the flour, and you wanted to stick with local yeasts, chlorinated water would be a great way to start!

Are there any good treatises on wild yeasts for a baker written by a yeast biologist?

K.C.'s picture

The Flax seed offers more potential problems than benefits in my opinion.

Add it to your final dough once you've made a starter without it.