The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

I've got a great tasting but lazy starter

Anonymous baker's picture
Anonymous baker (not verified)

I've got a great tasting but lazy starter

Anyone who knows me here you'll be familiar with my habit of making new starters often and then adding them to my mother starter. I usually bake with them for a week or two to appreciate the flavour and then amalgamate them. Keeps things interesting. 

Two weeks ago I made a new 100% while rye starter. Nothing unusual at the beginning and it actually matured quite fast. But here's where things have gone different. Nothing suspicious when feeding the starter or building the levain. Seemingly quite strong and timings are usual. But when it goes into the dough it behaves out of character. My mother starter is strong and quick. This one loves to take its time. Where I usually have to jump the gun when using my mother starter with this one I can make other arrangements. 

Some of it has already gone into the mother starter but I'm keeping this one going for a few reasons. I am not giving in, perhaps it's good to have a dedicated rye starter and it produces a delicious loaf. Now don't tell mother but... *whisper* it's even more delicious then my other starter. 

Should I just learn to appreciate this one's character or is there anything else I should be doing? 

BreadBabies's picture

So, when you refresh it, it peaks quickly, yes? But when you use it with your dough it takes a long time?  Does it eventually do the job just more slowly or is it not blowing up your loaves as much as you would like?  Is it liquid or stiff?  How long does it take to peak and is it triple/doubling?

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

But Just last night I fed both starters and left them to bubble up side-by-side and my mother starter showed up the other starter and left it in its wake.

Eventually it does the job it just takes forever. Oven spring is fine but I'm getting some quite big holes in the bread (which is improving so not sure if its the starter or my shaping).

It is 100% hydration whole rye and takes a 8-10 hours with a not too big a feed. It doubles and stays peaked for a long time.

dabrownman's picture

But rye starters are slower than white ones for sure but the rye starter makes way better tasting bread and why that one is the one I keep - Very stiff in the fridge for weeks  - the NMNF way - makes even better tasting bread by a wide nmrgin too!

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

My mind is at ease. I'm definitely a convert now. What a difference when swapping for a rye starter. The very same breads I've been making are a lot tastier. NMNF is for me. Now to work through your post and get a schedule going. I might just add a little of my mother to the rye so that i have kept it going and it lives on in my rye starter and keep just the one. 

Thank you Dabrownman.