Which wheat for sourdough…and did mine already die?
Posted: 23 January 2010 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  2
Joined  2010-01-23

Hi!  I’ve very much enjoyed TBB and finally decided to dive into making my first sourdough starter.  I found organic rye flour, and followed the basic instructions.  I used mineral water from Italy (figured it was good and dechlorinated), and at first the thing was totally alive - it grew to 4 cups after only about 36 hours!  Then it deflated around Day 3 and has ceased to produce any significant rise after feedings.  I’ve been feeding it unbleached bread flour (KA brand).  The color looks good and it smells like a loaf of sourdough bread.  It even produces lots of bubbles on the surface, but alas, no after-feeding expansions…and I’m nearly to day 7.  Is this normal?  Did my yeast population die out too rapidly around day 3 when I didn’t refresh it during the height of its activity?  I have toyed around with the idea of mixing in some rye flour back into the jar to “kickstart” growth again, but right now am just letting it sit on the counter and rest.

Also, while trying to research this topic, I found one individual who stated that different yeasts are attracted to different flours.  I believe the basic gist of the assertions was that if you want to make a rye bread, you should use a rye-based starter…for a summer wheat bread, use a summer wheat based starter.  Is there any substance to this?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 January 2010 12:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  535
Joined  2008-05-03

Shamro-c, welcome to the forum! 

I think your starter is fine.  If it’s bubbling and it smells good then it’s alive and kicking.  You do not need a rye ‘mother’ for rye bread unless you are baking for someone who is allergic to wheat.  You can easily convert a white starter to rye, whole wheat, etc.  Most of these bread contain some white bread flour anyway and the percentage in your ‘mother’ won’t make any appreciable difference. 

Feel free to add some rye flour in if you feel like it, but I think you are probably ready to try a loaf.  Go for it and tell us how you get on.  Good luck!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 January 2010 03:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  865
Joined  2008-03-09

Yes, welcome Shamro-C. So pleased you checked in with us. In support of and adding to Annie’s comments, what you experienced is completely normal. In fact, it’s evidence that you have developed a happy little colony of microorganisms with good balance/synergy among the wild yeasts that provide leavening and the various strains of Lactobacillus that provide flavour.

In the first 24 to 76 hours, it’s the yeast that predominates. It reproduces faster, so you see lots of leavening but you would smell and taste very little acidity. In short, almost zero sourdough flavour. Bread-friendly bacteria to the rescue!!! A few days more and they’ve caught up, reproducing themselves and in the process, the lactic and acetic acids that give sourdough its wonderful flavour. Lactic (like yoghurt) and the sour (like vinegar). Warm environments favour the lactic and cool ones, the acetic. So you can alter the balance, depending on how much tang you like in your sourdough.

But first things first, go for it!!! Make some bread. Follow Rose’s recipe as is, and do let us know how you get on!

p.s. I hate to think of how many starters have been thrown out needlessly around the 4th or 5th day, because people thought they must have done something wrong. downer When you’re first starting a culture, it takes at least 6 days to develop sufficient vigor and flavour. A couple more days wouldn’t hurt.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 January 2010 01:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  2
Joined  2010-01-23

Wow, thanks for the snappy, quick replies!! smile  I’m very happy to now be a part of this forum - I have known about the site for a while, and was looking at it again while getting back into making loaves of bread on a regular basis. 

Thank you also for the very useful and encouraging info!  I’m looking forward to starting my first sourdough loaf, though it will probably have to wait for my next off-day (next weekend).  I will be happy to let you know how it turns out - and I really hope it tastes better than the store-bought ones…my wife doesn’t generally like sourdough, but I’m hoping to convert her! wink

Profile
 
 
Posted: 31 October 2010 07:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  6
Joined  2010-10-31

Another question

My starter is acting almost exactly the same as the one mentioned above. It is on day seven and while it rose in the first 3 days it hasn’t risen since but it is bubbling and smells good. Glad that I read this because I was going to throw it out… glad to know it’s alive.

Because it is on day 7 now, some mold/spores have started growing around the inside rim of the glass container that it is in. Does this mean that I should throw it out? They only started growing last night, but is it unhealthy?
I took out half the starter that did not touch the mold (the mold was above the level of the starter) and mixed it with the flour/water and placed it in a clean bowl, let it rise for an hour, and then in the fridge. Will this be ok?

 Signature 

My Blog: Dorm Room Dinner

Profile
 
 
   
  Back to top