The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Rye Flour Starter

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SDbaker's picture
SDbaker

Rye Flour Starter

Beginning of experiement, start of day 1:

Ok, I am following the basic BBA recipe using rye flower.  I did splurge on organic rye flour and bottled spring water hoping that might speed up the process.

 Day 1:  1 cup rye flour   

             3/4 cup water

Curious why the recipe calls for covering the mixture with plastic wrap.  Isn't part of the desired result capturing local yeasties?  Or, is it that the rye flour has such a high amount of natural wild yeast nothing more is needed and coving the mixutre helps keep out unwanted pathogens?

SD Baker.

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

glad you are on the way to your own starter!! Um, what's T+O rye starter?

SDbaker's picture
SDbaker

Time Now is +0, tomorrow will be +1, etc. 

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

it's been so long since I thought that way..my Dad was Army for 21 years..

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

Hi SDBaker,

Tampa should be a great spot to get a starter going!

The yeast in any starter comes from the flour rather than the air. So you're not depriving yourself of yeast by covering the starter up; it keeps it from drying out and nasty critters (flies and such, not really pathogens) out.

 

Susanfnp

http://www.wildyeastblog.com

SDbaker's picture
SDbaker

Susan, thanks for the blog website.  That is an impressive knowledge base!  I will add this to my homework list.

By reading your note above, it would seem that methods claiming to capture wild yeast are not so?  Some folks use the organic grape idea..myth busted?

 SD Baker

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

Oh goodness, I hope "homework" doesn't have the same connotation for you that it does for my kids... :-)

Even a cursory glance around TFL or the cyber-baking community at large shows that there are a million different ways of getting starter going, and I would never presume to say that one is better than another if each produces something that will raise your bread.

That said, I was taught (and this has been wholly consistent with my experience) that yes, the grape thing is a myth (i.e., not necessary to produce a perfectly wonderful starter, though won't hurt it either).

Susanfnp

http://www.wildyeastblog.com

SDbaker's picture
SDbaker

 

OK, Day two is here (end of one full day).  Volume increased approximately 25% from 8 oz to 10 oz in my measuring cup.  I presume some of that increase is swelling due to water absorption but I did notice most of the increase took place in the last 10 hours.  I am guessing at least some of that increase was carbonic gas.

Upon stirring, the original mass was relatively elastic and not stiff. 

Recipe for day 2:

All of day 1 contents

1 cup unbleached white flour 

1/2 water

SDbaker's picture
SDbaker

Day three (end of two full days) and things are definitely taking off!  There was approximately 25-30% volume increase and stronger aroma although not the bright acetic scent of a mature starter. Yesterday also had an increase in aroma.

 

Recipe for day 3:

1/2 contents of day 2

1 cup unbleached white flour

1/2 cup water

I am rather pleased so far - in two days I already had significant activity.  Today was even better.  Only day #1 had rye flour so after each refreshment, it is slowly converting to a white flour starter.  Will keep you posted!  I feel like a baker from ancient times.

SD Baker

SDbaker's picture
SDbaker

I didn't even get to name it!  Sad.  After I switched from rye flour to unbleached white flour, the starter became sluggish, only providing 25-30 percent rise max.  I waited another day before refreshment.  I did the two day wait twice, and today noticed the beginnings of a hint of pink on the top and an smell, that although not exactly bad, was definitely different.  Sent her to make bread with Davey Jones.

 I am the first to admit this area of baking is very new to me (and very interesting), I've always used the same starter in my bread that I got from KA and kept it going.  Thanks for the advice, I will try again!

SD Baker

 "If you have only two pennies left, buy a loaf of bread with one and a lilly with the other"  - Chinese proverb

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

SD Baker, I have 2 starters started (grammar?), one SourdoLady's pineapple juice version and one my original live yogurt and whole wheat flour. The yogurt one is supposed to sit in a warm place until it feels like becoming a starter, and it was not doing much of anything so I added some ap flour this evening. The pineapple juice one sprang to life today but after feeding it this evening it appears to have liquid on the bottom. I will persevere with the feedings and hopefully one of them will make it. I hope you will have success next time. I remember going to Tampa three weeks after coming to America and not believing it was possible to drive 500 miles in a day! We were living in Atlanta at a Howard Johnson's at the time. My sons soon discovered Stuckey's and we made lots of potty stops. There was a huge tomato growing area south of Tampa, can't think of the name. Good luck with the starter, A

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think we started around the same time but I haven't let mine go. Try again, this time use some Florida orange juice, rye and with summer heat, don't wait 2 days to refresh. 24 hours max. You also don't need to use so much flour. Try 1/3 cup flour, and by refreshing save about two Tablespoons. Add about 1/3 cup liquid and keep it "loose" for the first couple of days, then thicken up as demand for food increases. When it starts to smell sour, that's also a sign to refresh at least every 12 hours and feed at a higher ratio of flour to starter. Try it, I'm rooting for ya!

Mini O

halinva's picture
halinva

I am trying to make rye bread.  Hopefully in a bread machine.


I have spent virtually hours on this website as well as others to find a succinct way of doing it - but, I keep getting different suggestions.


First -  the starter:  I'm making the starter from a recipe I found in a book I just purchased:  "Adventures in sourdough cooking & baking".  It calls for both white flour, 1/4 cup, Rye flour, 2 cups, warm water, 1 1/4 cups.  Mix, cover and keep at 85 degrees for 24 hours.  At this point the book goes on to other starters and recipes.  It doesn't tell me what to add to the starter, white, or rye, or when to add.    Since I don't have the facilities to adhere to the 85 degrees criteria, I've just let the starter work longer.  Lapsed time has now been about 36 hours or so.  The starter seems to be working well.  Has doubled in size and gotten bubbly.  I've stirred it down a couple of times.  It, however, doesn't really have a sour smell.  But I am not discouraged.


Okay, when should I start adding flour and water?  White or Rye?   (For Rye bread).


Another confusion:  When I add the flour and water, do I add it to ONLY a cup of starter?


Being a real Newbie, I'n not entirely sure how this "Questions" option works.  I noticed my only other question which I submitted a couple of days ago was emailed back to me but not listed in the "New Content Summary" of questions and comments that is also emailed to me.  If I'm coming off as sort of retarded here, I'm sorry.  LOL.


Is there a good book for Sourdough baking with Bread Machines?


Thanks, Hal (on the York River in VA)

Yumarama's picture
Yumarama

You don't need anywhere near that much flour to start a starter, unless you're planning to start up a bakery (and even then, you're just getting it going, you would bulk it up later).


Visit Starting a Starter - Sourdough 101, a Tutorial to see the kinds of amounts and steps you need to get your starter going and details on the next several days.


That book obviously isn't giving you enough info so I think it's safe to say ignore what it says regarding starters. Since you say your starter is showing signs of life, go in that thread and talk about it, see where you might be as far as what day you'd be equal to.


The bread recipes may be fine but the starter info is vastly deficient.


 

dulke's picture
dulke

Baking in a bread machine is a bit tricky - the cycles on the machine are generally geared to commercial yeast, which is predictable. Sourdough starters can vary widely on how vigorous they are. Also, the quantity you use in any recipe will affect how long it take the dough to fully rise. I've used my machine for mixing the dough, but not for baking. I do have a bake only cycle, and I imagine I ould let the dough rise in the pan and then bake it, but I would rather bake on a baking stone, so I don't do that.


If ou were going to bake in the machine, you might want to opt for a recipe that uses starter for taste and yeast for the controlled rise.