Frozen rye flour for sourdough starter?
Posted: 19 January 2011 09:10 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi, I just read the LA Times article (linked to on Rose’s blog) on ‘Old World Breads’ and saw a comment from a reader there that mentioned that rye flour that had been stored in the freezer would not work for sourdough. Any thoughts on this? I just started my first sourdough starter last night, using rye flour that I had stored in the freezer (I freeze or refrigerate all my whole grain flours because we heat with wood and the humidity and temperature of our house fluctuates a lot. That, and I run out of room other places). Is my starter doomed? Should I buy a new round of flour and start over?

Another tangentially related question: the only rye flour I can get at my local co-op is whole rye. How will this work for sourdough starter vs. medium rye? Will I have to add more liquid (since the whole grain will absorb more)?

Any thoughts appreciated. Of course I am totally nervous about my sourdough’s well being already and it isn’t even started yet!

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Posted: 20 January 2011 08:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Thanks, I do suspect that my starter is a non-starter. I may give it a little more time before trying again with some new rye…. if that doesn’t work, I’ll give the grape method a try. The only grapes available around here in winter are imported from South America and as we avoid non-local produce I usually don’t buy them on principle. But my desire for sourdough rye will probably outweigh principle cheese

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Posted: 21 January 2011 09:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks for the input. I think the original was a bit too stiff…. But when I checked it on Day 3 (following the instructions from The Bread Bible) it definitely smelled interesting (a tad citrusy and overall nice and alive) so I decided to carry on.  For the second feeding I stuck to the whole rye (based on your comment, Gene, thanks!)—this time a new batch from the Co-op that had not been in the freezer. Used more water so it was more liquid this time and put it in a warm place. Lo and behold, I think it’s working! It expanded up to the 16 oz mark on my mason jar today. Tonight I fed it some bread flour (King Arthur ‘Special’) and poked some holes in the plastic in case it decides to overflow tomorrow. This is very exciting; I think I may have a live starter!!

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