The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

I fed rye to a very inactive white starter and it literally skyrocketed overnight.

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anitasanger's picture
anitasanger

I fed rye to a very inactive white starter and it literally skyrocketed overnight.

I fed rye to a very inactive white starter and it literally skyrocketed overnight. It is about 3 weeks old, i've been keeping at room temp and feeding twice a day. I've had bubbles the whole time, but NO rise and fall. On a whim I feed it rye just for kicks. The next morning it had tripled in size. I fed it rye again today and it tripled in size in 2 hours. So, when making bread with this using white flour, will it taste like white sourdough? Also, why did the rye boost so much life into this starter? I'm amazed.

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

I had the exact same experience, but with a little whole wheat flour rather than rye, and it took my 'stagnant' starter into over-drive overnight.  Thanks to ehanner for that advice.  He said that plain AP flour is good enough for nutrients most of the time, but that it's good to give it a shot of WW once in awhile.  Nice trick to remember, and it looks like rye works the same way.  Not sure why it works, but I'm guessing there's a food v. nutrient v. metabolism thing going on.


Your rye additions will make the sourdough starter, and resulting breads, more sour.  Now that you've boosted your starter, you can go back to straight white AP flour feeding if you like or if you don't prefer the extra sourness from the rye.


I wonder if a prudent feed with WW (or rye) flour while trying to start a new starter might be a good way to boost it and hurry things along?   Hmmm....


Brian


 

anitasanger's picture
anitasanger

wow. thanks for the reply! It's nice to know that I have a method of revival. I cant wait to make some bread with it!


 


thanks again. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven


So, when making bread with this using white flour, will it taste like white sourdough?



Even better.  Gives a depth to the sour flavour.   To quote Mariane its like putting the starter on steroids.  Naturally of course.

Franko's picture
Franko

Semolina and spelt flour have a similar effect as rye in terms of an immediate boost in activity. The yeast cells are simply reacting to the higher percentage of available nutrients found in these flours that aren't present in typical white bread flours.


Franko

Mary Clare's picture
Mary Clare

I only rescue my sourdough from the fridge every two or three months.  Last time, I thought, since I started the sourdough with whole rye flour (which has lots of wild yeasts, etc. on the grain to begin with), why not feed some rye to it and see what happens?  I keep a firm starter and use 50 grams of flour to refresh it (using 10 grams starter and 30 grams water); this time I used 10 grams of rye, 40 grams KA bread flour. 


The starter indeed was very happy and in one feeding was full of life!  A good trick.


Mary Clare