The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Is my new teff starter ready?

ess2em's picture
ess2em

Is my new teff starter ready?

Dear TFL folks, As a first time poster, I just want to start off by thanking you all for the awesome advice and information you share. My love and focus is sourdough breads, but I was recently asked to try and figure out GF baking for a friend who is has celiac. For some reason, I was drawn to teff, and proceeded to begin a teff starter. I began 5 days ago with 1 part teff flour, 1 part distilled water, and a few sun-dried cherries (I thought perhaps these would have more ‘bugs’ on them so to speak). On day 2, I removed the cherries, and fed the starter every 24 hours since. I have seen considerable evidence of fermentation since day 3, but I wonder how much of an increase in volume I should expect from a healthy 100% teff starter. This one appears to have increased by around 30% (the hard-to-see blue pen mark was where it was at roughly 13 hours ago after feeding).  

 What do you think? Am I ready to use this starter? And what volume can I expect to reach for a 100% teff starter? And how often should I expect to feed it? Thank you in advance for any advice you have to offer. 
clazar123's picture
clazar123

That is a nice looking starter! I have dabbled in GF baking but never in GF natural levain so I will impart some suggestions based on my limited experience.

First of all, I know how expensive teff flour can be, so my first suggestion is to work with a much smaller amount of teff flour and starter-I'm talking 1 tbsp. It is harder to determine activity but you will get there without taking such a big hit to the budget and enough starter can then be built for a recipe from that.

When I want to get my starter very active, I will get to the point where I discard and feed twice a day with the starter doubling in 3-5 hours. You can definitely make bread with a less active starter but it takes a longer time to raise the dough  and sometimes it either starts becoming very sour before it is raised enough. OR if the starter is not robust enough, it will just give up before the bread is fully raised.

Keep building but try with smaller amounts of flour. Nevr waste the discard-make pancakes, add to other GF recipes or how about injeera?

ess2em's picture
ess2em

Thanks so much clazar123! Hard to know if this one will get to the point where it doubles in 5 hours, but for sure I intend to try my hand at injera with the discard. It is a pretty costly venture, what I might end up doing is switching to a different less expensive flour. Maybe there’s a reason why people don’t use GF natural levains!

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

Please show us your injera when you make it!

Angelica Nelson's picture
Angelica Nelson

Seconded!  I'm also inspired by Idly/Dosa batter which is naturally gluten free and naturally fermented. That one uses cheap ingredients, even if you choose organic.

ess2em's picture
ess2em

I didn’t get a picture. They tasted alright with beef in berbere sauce though!

My main objective was really to bake the GF loaf from Laura T. That turned out fantastic.

 

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Do you have a link or recipe for the loaf?

ess2em's picture
ess2em

Yes! The link is here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/33470/overnight-sourdough-rice-teff-baguettes

I made some substitutions - sorghum for the potato starch works very well, and I used brown rice as opposed to white rice flour. I have not achieved the insanely open crumb they have, but that could have been because the starter wasn't quite ready enough. I suspect I will have some loaves today with improvements.

Also as Laura T. found,  I find that the mix of teff + brown rice flour for the starter is very active.

Angelica Nelson's picture
Angelica Nelson

That's a beautiful crumb, thanks for sharing the recipe you used.  I hadn't found that one when I was searching for gluten free on this site.  It's wonderfully simple compared to most GF recipes. Here are a few other pictures of GF crumb and recipes that might help give you ideas:

1.  If you haven't searched this site for Sharon Kane (sharonk) or hadn't heard of her, then please do, she shared a lot, and then started a business.  For a fee she shares her recipes now, and sells sourdough starters, etc through the mail.

2.  The sourdough class I took was from this bakery, and she has amazing pictures of her bread.  https://www.millefioribakery.com/breads  Incidentally she says on her personal blog that she was impressed when she traveled to Montreal because she saw so many beautiful gluten free pastries there.

3.  This site is hardly ever indexed on search engines, I don't know how I found it but I"m glad I did: http://theworldofglutenfreebread.blogspot.com/2013/10/baking-gluten-free-sourdough-loaf.html   Mostly the author uses commercial yeast but they also talk about sourdough in this article.  

Best wishes to you in your project.