The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Will I regret using dark rye AND sprouted wheat in my first starter?

Theresse's picture

Will I regret using dark rye AND sprouted wheat in my first starter?

I don't know what possessed me.  I kept reading so many conflicting things online and watching conflicting videos on youtube about how to make a starter and late at night I went to the kitchen for a snack (naughty) and thought "what the hell" so mixed these two flours together, added water and mixed it all up, trying not to think about it too much.  I ended up putting in more of the rye than the sprouted wheat because I'd realized I'd put in a bit too much water so I'd added more rye.  Then I had too much I thought so I split it into two containers instead of one.  To further complicate matters, two hours later I went down again and put just a tad more rye in to each container (don't ask - I'm a goofball - I think it was cause I was worried about having mixed the two flours and I wasn't sure sprouted wheat was a good idea) AND the water I used for any/all of this was tap water which happens to have chloramines in it rather than chlorine.  Oh, and I used warm-ish tap water at that, thinking that would be best for yeast to grow.  So at this point I'm figuring it may me a miracle if this stuff turns out at all, haha.

Mainly though I want to know if it's okay that I mixed dark rye with sprouted wheat!  It's not like mixing it with AP flour which I know is okay based on what I've read anyway.


isand66's picture

There is nothing wrong with using those 2 flours together. If you are really worried you can mix in some AP flour when you go to your first refreshment.

There are many posts on this site to guide you in making your first starter, with the most popular being the pineapple juice method but you can certainly try making it with just flour and water as well.  Not sure if the minerals in your water will hamper the wild yeast production or not.  Probably no reason for you to have 2 starters at this point so I would just keep one of them and see if you can get it to work.

kensbread01's picture

Think that if you just started your "starter" with a daily refreshment ritual you can be making bread in about a weeks time.  I rushed my first starter and had to supplement my dough with dry yeast, not advisable but okay as long as you put the yeast in the bread dough, not the starter.

dabrownman's picture

a tablespoon of orange or pineapple juice to the mix to get he ph down faster and limit the bad wee beasties that will permeate the culture for the first 3 days.  Then it will go dormant for a couple of days and you will think it is dead but it is just the good wee beasties taking over.  In a couple of weeks you will be able to make bread.

Rye and any other whole grain are best for starters.

Happy Starting

Theresse's picture

Thanks guys!!  Can I just add some of that juice as is or do I have to wait till I'm also adding flour (e.g. a day from now or however long I'm supposed to wait to start feeding it)?  

Is it bad to stir it so soon, either way?  It's been 14 hours since I made it and 12 hours since I added more flour to it in a moment of doubt/panic - haha.

placebo's picture

Conflicting info is, unfortunately, unavoidable with sourdough. Some common information is based on myths, like the belief that you're "capturing" yeast from the air, and it is often repeated by experts, who you'd hope would know better. You should always evaluate advice with a critical eye. Does the person really know what he or she is talking about? Do they have valid reasoning behind their advice, or are they simply repeating as fact what they heard somewhere else?

As you've found out, there is a ton of advice out there about how to make a starter. It can seem really complicated, but what it essentially boils down to is mixing flour and water and waiting. The waiting is the hardest part, actually.

Below, I've linked to two resources that I think are reliable. I like them because they give plausible reasoning and logic behind their advice.