The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Anonymous baker's picture
Anonymous baker (not verified)


So I'm making a buckwheat sourdough starter and it's a totally different experience. Smells are different to say the least. The overwhelming aroma in the first three days was a smoky flavour. Strong, and I guess leuconostoc in nature, but not like a wheat or rye starter. It did bubble in the first three days and got all spongy but now it's gone quiet (but not really as you'll see). The smell is maturing and while I can't pinpoint it it's not as smoky. After stirring it just now I can hear a fizz. Very interesting. 

My question for you now is... Red in a wheat starter is a bad sign. When my buckwheat starter rests after being stirred up the top, which is exposed to the air, goes purple-ly. Quickly disappears when I stir it up again with no sign of ever having been present. Is this the characteristic of buckwheat or should I be concerned? 

clazar123's picture

As I recall from years ago, buckwheat pancakes always had a purplish color and unique flavor. So I wouldn't be surprised if the starter is reddish or purplish. Buckwheat also has a unique flavor. Try grinding a small amount and making a pancake just to familiarize yourself to the flavor.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

You've just helped decide what I'm going to have for Sunday's breakfast. 

Starter still quiet but the smell is good. Patience is a virtue - I keep telling myself. 

dabrownman's picture

Buckwheat has a purple tinge to it - so no worries

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

I thought I might be growing another type of culture altogether. Confidence renewed.