The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Buckwheat Starter Advice

Anonymous baker's picture
Anonymous baker (not verified)

Buckwheat Starter Advice

I'm making a buckwheat starter and working on an idea for gluten free sourdough with family members in mind who cannot eat gluten. 

I'm going into day three and things are seemingly going well. No issues with activity. In fact I'm experiencing a faster response then a "normal" sourdough starter. All good however...

Apart from it rising differently the biggest difference is in the smell. Something I'm not used to when making other starters. The overwhelming smell I'm getting (I'm only up to the 3rd day) is smoky flavour. 

My questions are... What is normal and what should I be expecting? Is this smell leuconostoc in nature? What will a mature viable starter smell like? Etc. 

Any tips greatly appreciated! 

Thank you. 

clazar123's picture

There was a poster a few years ago that wrote up her experiences making GF starter. (Laura T. ??) She did talk about a funky aroma that then passed but I believe the typical odor of GF starter was different from wheat-based. Also I seem to recall the appearance was quite different with a distinct separation of layers. I don't know if what grain she used.

I can't find the post I was looking for but here is another interesting read to follow up on:

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

New type of flour and different a different type of odour to a wheat or rye starter. Doesn't smell typically leuconostoc but rather unfamiliar. Or perhaps this smoky smell is bad bacteria peculiar to buckwheat. It's entered into the days 3-4 quiet period and curious as to what it will smell like when it matures fully.

Thanks for the further reading.