The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Wholewheat Starter

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PetraR's picture
PetraR

Wholewheat Starter

Today I took  100g of my 100% hydration Wheat Sourdough Starter and fed that with 100g of Whole wheat flour and 100g of water.

I wonder, should I go for a 100% Wholeweat Starter or a 50/50 made of Wheat and Whole wheat?

At that point I am not sure, if anyone has any advise that would be great.:)

ElPanadero's picture
ElPanadero

That's a lot of starter (300g). Are you baking daily?

Are you using preferments for all your breads that require starter? If so, imo it makes little difference what your starter is made of. With preferments you will start with a miniscule amount of it (10g ish) and build the volume up using whatever flour the recipe calls for. By the time you reach the recipe volume you won't taste the original starter.

On that basis I only keep 1 starter and it happens to be a rye starter. If I bake a white sourdough I will use a preferment, starting with 10g of it. So if say the recipe wants 125g starter and I am going to bake 2 of these loaves then I need 250g of white stater, so it goes like this:

10g rye starter + 10g white flour + 10g water = 30g
then it builds with more of the same
30+30+30 = 90g
90+90+90=270g

So in that final 270g of starter there is just 10g rye starter and 130g white flour. It will look white and you will not be able to tell there was any rye in it.

In the end then, chuck whatever you want in your mother starter if you are going to use preferments as above. It really doesn't matter at all.

EP

PetraR's picture
PetraR

I do bake every 2 days:) we are a family of 6.

I just wanted to know if 100 % whole wheat or a mix of 50% wheat and 50% whole wheat is better.:)

 

 

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

As you bake so frequently, I would seriously consider maintaining two starters for a week and see if you have a preference for the one or the other.  Whether it is the difficulty of maintaining it, or the difficulty of baking with it, you may find one preferable to the other and you might as well try them both out since you will be using it quite a bit!

ElPanadero's picture
ElPanadero

In that case it does come down to taste and maintenance success so I'm in agreement with DaveEsq.

Much depends however on what loaves you are generally baking. If white sourdoughs then keep a white starter, if wholewheat loaves, then go for the mix or a pure WW starter. I don't think there's a "better" one as such. I do see different activity with different flours as many others do. Rye I find consistently results in a good active starter. Use whatever works for you.

PetraR's picture
PetraR

I prefer baking loafs with both whole wheat and rye and wheat flour.

So I think I just stick to my Rye starter and do not bother with converting some of my wheat starter into a whole wheat or whole wheat/ wheat mix.

Thank you so much for  your help again:)

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I found that a whole wheat starter didn't keep as well in the fridge, as an all purpose flour starter.  And by that, I don't mean its leavening properties as much as, it just looked gray and unhealthy. I have learned that this is nothing to be concerned about, but still, I prefer the whiter starter because it looks cleaner.

PetraR's picture
PetraR

I have my 15 month old wheat starter * Gordon * which I love dearly and which gives me great bread, but I also love my Rye Starter * Ryan *.

I think I just do not bother with converting some of * Gordon * into a whole wheat starter since I already have my * Ryan * too.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

One white, one Desem WW and one whole rye sour -and they were all liquid ine too.  Heck, I had 1,000 g of the stuff in the fridge.  I think when people are starting out with SD and aren't used to it and don't realize that they only need a small amount of one stiff starter and can build any kind of levain from it for any bread they are making, they end up with a total hassle for maintenance and throw a lot of starter away - at least I did and I was baking 3 times a week then.

I am so glad that I don't do that any more.   I love a no maintenance starter, not being chained to it, that is less than 100g and doesn't need any maintenance at all.   I can bake any kind of bread with it - and have done so,  A semi white one tomorrow from 10g, of rye sour starter that is 8 week stored in the fridge - no worries (and that is twice what I usually use).  Could easily last another 8 weeks too but it will finally be gone and refreshed back to 100g way before then.

I'm pretty sire I was using mire flour to feed the beasts than i was using in bread making :-)

Happ Baking

Kiseger's picture
Kiseger

Hi Petra, I have turned my starter into a 50/50 wholewhat/white mix and have a second starter of 60/30/10 white/wholwheat/rye mix.  These are closer to my flour mixes for bread as I am always drawn to the wholewheat/rye bread or the mixes that include spelt/kamut/einkorn etc.  I prefer to use a starter that is closer to the final levain build or bread I'm going to make, not sure this really makes a massive difference but it works for me.  Both are 80% hydration but easy to convert for first/final build.  I find they both are more "active" than the white starter I began with, and keep better but that may be because I'm getting better at maintaining them.  I guess it's down to what you prefer.  I keep small amounts, refreshed and into the fridge so I try not to waste!   To be honest, I'm with DAB on keeping one going rather than two - unless you're baking all the time.