The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Difference rye and white flour starters

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

Difference rye and white flour starters

i generally use a rye starter for all my sourdough I use a 1:3:3 build over 3 days before bake and my starter needs feeding after 8 hours so it has vigour. What I’m wondering is will an a white flour starter hsve more rising power than a rye starter? I use 20% levain in my breads but due to cold setting in have found it harder to get open crumb in 9 hour time frame I have (from mix to bake). I have tried using warmer water, finding warmer spots in room to proof, etc but am now thinking I might be better off with a white starter and perhaps a higher percentage in mix.....any suggestions? Im in a commercial kitchen making 20 breads at a go so can’t use ovens or microwaves as proofing boxes......thanks 

wally's picture
wally

Are you producing mainly rye breads with a rye flour content of 50% or higher? If so, a rye starte/sour makes sense. But otherwise, why not use a white flour levain. Since rye is deficient in one of the components of gluten, you are going to get less rising power with a rye sour than a white levain, all things being equal.

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

i use a rye starter cause its a great starter to have, reliable, good flavour and smells of crab apples however my breads tend to be mixed grains with rye being the least present...i also have a 50:50 wholemeal:white starter so i miuiight start using that....and yes it makes total sense what youre saying...what i generally do is build rye starter with rye flour over four builds 1:3:3 and then make a levain using white flour and a rye starter using same ratio and then adding that to final dough....

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

starter to a wheat one.  It will still have some bugs from the rye adding a special flavour but your wheat dough will rise more.  Keep the Rye for rye breads or put into long storage as back up along with a converted wheat back-up.  You will be happy with the converted wheat starter.  :)  

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

I’m currently converting a little of my rye starter at the moment - does it make a real difference?

Queen of Tarts's picture
Queen of Tarts

I also keep a rye starter only, and feed it Hodgson Mill stone-ground rye. It's very reliable and has wonderful flavor.  Two days baking wheat levain-type breads, I take out some of the rye starter and convert it to a wheat starter.  The final dough will have some rye in it, but not enough to reduce the volume of the wheat bread.  I think it actually improves the flavor.

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

I have 2 starters but love my rye and use it for a mostly white (bit of rye and spelt) and a mixed grain. It brings a deeper current of flavour to the bread and is also vigorous, active and fast and I love it however lately my bread has been getting dense and im trying to figure out the issue - it has coincided with winter coming in and I bake through the night so it’s orobably temp but I was starting to doubt my rye starter and thought a white one Might make a difference....

i actually do a three feeding build (I need 1kg) and then make levain with rye starter and white flour so there’s a little rye in the levain 

Queen of Tarts's picture
Queen of Tarts

I think your instinct is correct that it could be a dough temperature issue.  I always have to make some adjustments during winter months, and I think the difference is the most pronounced for wheat levain made with no commercial yeast.  It suddenly becomes sluggish.  I think you are on the right track trying to find warmer spots, using warm water, etc.  Have you considered giving it a kick by adding a bit of yeast to the formula?  It could help you keep your schedule without sacrificing too much flavor.