The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Feeding with bread flour vs all-purpose flour?

jalavery's picture

Feeding with bread flour vs all-purpose flour?

Does it matter whether the starter is maintained with bread flour vs all-purpose flour? I started a starter about 2 months ago from a book that says to feed it with bread flour, but my local grocery store has had a shortage of bread flour, and I'm wondering if I can just switch the starter to all-purpose flour. Any advice appreciated!

gary.turner's picture

But, in my 20 yrs experience, feed the mother with whatever is handy. Yeast are ravenous little savages that will eat damned near anything you serve them.

When you start your build for leavening amounts, use whichever flour you're baking with.


BaniJP's picture

I second this (especially the "use same flour for leavening and bread"). I'm currently using a cheap instant wheat flour (dissolves easily into liquids, bought it by accident), works great.
As long as there are no preservatives or hard chemicals, you will be fine. Even switching temporarily to other flours like rye (I some time even used barley) works fine.

makoctopus's picture

Hello. Here in Brazil it is not common to find bread flour and wheat flour. Almost 95% of the markets have only wheat flour. Some places have specialty grocery stores that work with imported flour (however, they are very expensive).

So, most of the time we use a mixture of organic and rye flour to feed. For "pasta madre" or levain, I always use whole wheat flour because I keep it refrigerated (1 food per week). For white breads I update the levain 4 times: 60% wheat flour + 40% wheat flour, 40% wheat flour + 60% wheat flour, 20% wheat flour + 80 % wheat flour and 100% wheat flour finally (88% hydration).

I think that most important is to use organic options to work with less industrial chemestry.


jalavery's picture

thank you all - I appreciate the advice!