The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

sourdough starter on other types of flour

ag911's picture

sourdough starter on other types of flour

Ok so in a common wheat sourdough, there are a multitude of yeasts and bacteria and each sourdough has a slightly different combination of them due to water/air/flour/etc... but the main ones are always present. I can imagine that in other wheat varieties, like emmer, einkorn or spelt, the flora is very similar as well.

In Marco Gobetti's Handbook on Sourdough Biotechnology, he has a chapter on GF sourdoughs and how it has had very little research in terms of the population of micro-organisms in each cereal, legume or grain flour.

I am no scientist and reading books like these are very intense for me - so I'm looking to bind this kind of reading with experiences or hands-on knowledge. Does a starter on a different flour affects taste? What's the impact of bread volume and eventually on the health?

Have you worked with other flours? Have you tried mixing different starters in a single loaf? How did it affect it?

The common wheat and rye starters I have - buckwheat I have tried, ending with no volume at all and I'm in the middle of experimentations with rice and with amaranth. But would love to hear about your knowledge :)

alfanso's picture

You may wish to try using fine durum flour, otherwise known as semola rimaccinata, as a different levain.  About 2 years ago there was a flurry of activity on TFL about baking Pane di Altamura, a 100% semolina based bread.  If interested do a search on that bread to see what a number of others, including me, had done.  Although the instructions refer to using a biga, as the levain is built on an SD culture/starter, the biga is just as easily identified as a levain.

As far as mixing different starters in a single dough, look up the Hamelman pain au levain with mixed starters.  As far as mixed flours in a single starter, my standard starter/levain is a mix of AP, WW & Rye. 

trailrunner's picture

I mix different starters all the time. I have used as many as 4 in a single formula. I have a 100% rye always going and apple yeast water always bubbling away. I take out a small amount of the rye and feed it other flours. The best one to date has been durum. It is amazing how well it grows and how FAST it doubles/triples. Also you will be well pleased with the elasticity of the dough and the lovely gluten development with durum flour. I add it to  almost everything . I usually feed my AYW only white flour. Yesterday I took some out and fed it banana slices...whoa...bubbles galore and an amazing soft crumb on the banana quick bread I made ( not the sourdough I posted about). I haven't noticed any difference in any of my breads whether I use one or more levains. All I can say is you get complex flavors and durum is the best of all. 

ag911's picture

oh I haven't thought about durum - I will most def. try it! But it is still wheat though. Did anyone do some research or kept a log on the tastes and characteristics of different starters? Like making a white sourdough loaf using different starters and comparing? if not - that's my next experiment ;)

clazar123's picture