The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Newbie question about OR Trail Starter

CarmenC's picture

Newbie question about OR Trail Starter

Hi, everyone. Long-time lurker, first-time poster here. I just received some dried Oregon Trail starter from Carl's Friends yesterday, and I plan to start rejuvenating it tonight. The instructions on the website just use white flour and water, but some of the other sourdough starter recipes I've looked at use rye or whole wheat flour to start. Will I have a better chance of success if I start out feeding the dried starter with whole wheat rye flour? Thanks in advance.

alienbogey's picture

I can't answer your question about wheat flour for the starter, but for what it's worth I've had a Carl's Oregon Trail starter going for close to 10 years.  I got it going with white flour and water as instructed and these days replenish it with a cup of white flour, shy cup of water, and a quarter teaspoon of sugar.  


It's a great starter with a great flavor - good luck with it if you decide to try it with wheat flour.........heck, start half of it with white flour, the other half with wheat, and see how each goes. 


NOTE:  I erroneously said a teaspoon of sugar in my original post, I've now corrected it to 1/4 teaspoon. 

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

There is a difference between reviving a starter and creating one.


Whole grain flours have lots and lots of micro-organisms on them, so they are great for starting a starter.


However, you are not trying to start a starter.  You are reviving a starter.  You want to give the reviving starter the best chance to revive the way it was when it was dried.  And that means fewer competing microorganisms.


One of the Friends Of Carl, Dick Adams, would probably suggest using bleached white all-purpose flour because the critter count on that flour would be lower than on an unbleached flour.


I'd skip the sugar, but that's just me.





Trishinomaha's picture

I also received some of this starter earlier this year and just followed the instructions on the site to revive and it worked great! This is a great little starter and it doesn't take much to get it up and running. As stated above, it has a great flavor very quickly. Enjoy!



CarmenC's picture

OK, I started it last night with white flour as per these instructions. This morning, the tiny bit of starter-batter had a bunch of tiny bubbles and a little hooch. I stirred it back in, let him sit for an hour, and he was back to his "bunch of bubbles and a little hooch" state, so I've just given him a quarter cup of flour and quarter cup of water. He can sit and do his thing while I'm at work.

Thanks for the responses, everyone. :)