The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Blending flours for sourdough

flourchef's picture
flourchef

Blending flours for sourdough

Hi everyone,

I'm a chef, passionate about bread, doing my best to offer real good bread to the our clients in the restaurant.

I had a couple of questions I was hoping someone could answer.

Are there any advantages/disadvantages of maintaining a sourdough with a blend of flours? For example feeding a sourdough a mixture of wheat and rye flour - and I mean continuously feeding it this mix of flours.

Another similar question is: Is it common practice to build a dough with more than one type of sourdough, e.g. blending wheat and rye sourdough in the same recipe. Is there any pros and cons?

 

Thank you!

/ john

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

as long as you keep the mix constant over the feedings there should be no problems. Several TFL users feed their starters that way.

I prefer keeping a whole rye starter and a white high gluten flour one, totally separate, but only because a rye starter makes nearly impossible making panettone and friends.

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

can greatly enhance the flavor - it always depends on what you want

See e.g. 

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20593/mr-hamelman039s-pain-au-levain-mixed-sourdough-starters

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/28511/my-ultimate-caraway

Another possibility: A classic German white bread uses a mix of  rye starter and yeasted preferment (poolish like).

http://baeckersuepke.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/weisbrot-zum-selber-basteln/

 

clazar123's picture
clazar123

on how much of a purist you want to be. Some folks swear that they get much better results having a whole wheat starter for whole wheat bread and a white flour (AP or Bread flour) starter for white bread. There are situations that most agree that a whole rye starter( or sour) is necessary for the success of some rye loaves.

Some folks cover all the bases and do a 70-20-10 mix for their starter. That is 70% AP-20% whole wheat and 10% rye. I think a lot depends on how you use your starter and how often. Rye flour can give a sluggish starter a kick start but you really have to watch it gets enough food cause the little beasties really multiply when rye is used.

I use a generic AP flour starter and as long as I keep it fed and happy it performs very well for me. Rarely, I have done a rye starter (sour) for a special rye recipe but more often than not I make a lower percentage rye and use my regular starter.  

Traditional Pannetone takes a really strong and well fed starter and that is usually a white flour (AP) starter. I make a delicious brioche using my AP flour starter.

So experiment ans see what works for you!