The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starter Flour / Dough Flour Interaction

mathandbread's picture
mathandbread

Starter Flour / Dough Flour Interaction

Hi Everyone - I'm just starting out with sourdough bread. My first few loafs were made with an all whole wheat starter (about two weeks old), combined with dough composed of 1 part whole wheat, 9 parts white bread flour @75%-85% hydration. While delicious, they were somewhat dense / "gummy," with very poor oven spring and no ear. I then created an "offspring" starter, fed with 100% all-purpose flour (now about a week old), and a dough composed of 100% white bread flour @75% hydration, which rose beautifully in the oven and has a nice ear! 

My question is... does a whole wheat starter interact poorly with a primarily white dough, as it is not used to this for its feeding? Might that be my issue, or do you all have any suggestions in this regard?

Thanks!

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

is going to be more powerful than a white/refined flour starter.

The bran has enzymes that convert starch to sugar. Sugar supercharges fermentation.

your dough made with WW starter, and some WW in the main dough, was likely over-fermented.  Over-fermented leads to lack of oven spring.

I used to use my home-milled Ww flour in my starter, but fermentation kept getting out of hand. so now that my starter is many months mature, i always feed it only white/refined flour now, either AP or bread flour.

mathandbread's picture
mathandbread

Interesting, thank you! Strangely, I got almost no noticeable rise during bulk proof or cold proof with the WW starter, but did with the white. That is why I was assuming that the WW starter might not "like" the white dough... but you don't think that should be the case? Maybe there's another variable at play which I'm missing!