As long as you try your best to feed your sourdough starter with a good quality organic flour, your starter should be strong enough to still bake excellent bread whichever flour you use for the rest of the bake. At first glance, The Perfect Loaf's "Beginner's Sourdough" recipe is a fairly standard sourdough recipe. Our friend Katie from Kitchen Stewardship even feeds her starter with leftover oatmeal. There are several ways to preserve your sourdough culture if you are unable to maintain it for a period of time, from refrigeration to dehydration. The 100% all-purpose flour starter matured the slowest and had mild sour flavors, but added the most strength to dough for a tall bake and attractive crumb structure. If you see something not so nice, please, report an inappropriate comment. 100% rye smelled earthy and funky, with slight notes of nail polish remover (acetone). Edit: I feed a 1:1 mix of flour & water twice daily. Flavor and Texture: Sharper sour, soy, malt, umami; gummy texture. Whole-wheat, barley, einkorn, spelt, rye, even rice flour all work well and create distinct flavor profiles that will transfer into your bread or other baked goods. That’s frugal! How do I take a break from feeding my sourdough starter? Feeding Sourdough Starter. Crust: Very blistered, tall, round loaf; tan exterior. Tim Chin is a professional cook and sometimes writer. Remove 1 cup starter to bake with when it's expanded and bubbly, then feed the remaining starter immediately; revert to your normal 12-hour schedule for subsequent feedings. With the exception of 100% rye, the starters were inching closer and closer to tripling in volume within a 12-hour period. I also had to decide on a feeding ratio. There are quite a few different flours out there these days, so I will make a simple list for you of the most common and easily accessible types of flour that you can find at a grocery store . Since the starter is around 10% of the flour weight in a loaf, it’s worth using strong flour in your starter so you don’t weaken the loaf. They're easy to maintain, easy to mix into a dough, and more straightforward to adapt into dough calculations for bread. I settled on five samples, each fed exclusively a single flour type: 100% all-purpose flour; 100% whole wheat flour; 100% rye flour; a 50/50 blend of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour; and a 50/50 blend of rye flour and all-purpose flour. When I got my starter from King Arthur Flour, I started feeding it 100% organic whole wheat flour. The dough behaved most closely to doughs I've made using my old starter, Ryan, showing strong fermentation as it rose prior to shaping. It has been quite a revelation for us to learn just how simple homemade bread can be. The rye sample had a slightly earthy aroma, while the whole wheat flour sample was nuttier and mustier. But over time, as my starters grew more active, that ratio changed. Which, if you have ever altered the amount of flour that you feed your starter you already know it can withstand a change in the total amount of starch it receives. The inclusion of bran in a starter is likely an inhibitor in the gluten development of a baked loaf. Finally, you can feed when your starter looks runny or soupy. You can also use other types of ancient grain or whole flours, such as Rye, Spelt, or Barley. When using a 100% hydration liquid starter, that means that 10 percent of the flour in the final dough comes from your starter. If you want a play it safe option, we suggest that you test your next bake out with a different type of flour. link to Recipe Review: The Perfect Loaf's Beginner Sourdough Bread. This can be unbleached all-purpose flour (or plain flour), bread flour, whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour, or even rye flour. And if so, how? A. So it is a good idea to start up with rye, even if you plan to use it for wheat bread later. The higher the ratio, the more food you are providing to your starter, but the more you are diluting the population of microbes. I decided to focus on one of the first decisions a person has to make when setting out to create their own sourdough starter: What flour should you use? However I’m also new to the process, so it’s possible the flour is fine and I’m the problem. This loaf was slightly over-proofed, indicating a vigorous and more active starter than the other samples. If you’re feeding only with all-purpose or bread flour, the nutrients simply run out faster, because most have been processed out. So far, I'd succeeded in growing five distinct, mature starters from different flours or flour blends. They all smelled sour and robust, with no signs of over-fermentation or overly acidic, proteolytic soupiness. Combine 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk (whatever kind of milk you’re always going to have on hand) and 2 tablespoons sugar. Discard (or use) the remaining 8 oz of starter. Peak indicates a balance between two things: It represents a stage of significant yeast activity, as carbon dioxide accumulates to aerate the glutinous mass; and it indicates a point at which the gluten matrix in your starter is still relatively strong (and, in turn, can lend some structure to a bread). Whole wheat flour provided the most interesting flavors and aromas in my baked loaves, but did not produce the tallest loaf or most visually vigorous fermentation. This means we sell our own products or suggest useful items for the home-baker. You increase the ratio to dilute out your inoculation a little bit,” says Kristen. The texture was soft but substantial enough for a sandwich. But in all honesty, the biggest issues with bleached flour has to do with trying to start a starter. Thanks for watching! This is also known as a 1:1:1 ratio. Add the remaining sourdough starter to a bowl with 100ml warm water and 100g strong white bread flour. The all-purpose sample smelled sour and reminiscent of buttermilk. There are many schools of thought regarding how and what to feed your starter. In the inimitable words of Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park, “Life, uh...finds a way.”. By regularly feeding it a little bit of flour and water, you ensure a future bright with honeyed whole wheat sandwich loaves, rustic rounds of caraway-flecked rye, sweet and nutty spelt batards, and crusty multigrain boules. Less flour, less starch. Serious Eats' Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice With White Sauce, Four Upgrades for a Royal Icing You'll Actually Enjoy, All About Dry Yeast: Instant, Active Dry, Fast-Acting, and More. Once you have a lively starter, your job is not over. *Added gluten protein does not necessarily mean that a starter has greater leavening power in the strictest definition (the ability to produce carbon dioxide through fermentation). A sourdough starter is like the gift that keeps on giving. As you can see, the bakes with bleached flour are turning out just fine! Based on the data, rye-based starters tended to reach sourness and mature more quickly than all other cultures. For example, if you use a 100% whole wheat starter, you may opt for a higher percentage of high-protein all-purpose flour or bread flour in the dough formula. “You have to use somewhat of an aseptic technique,” advises Kristen. It just makes life easier, and cheaper. Even better, use whole wheat flour to start. The same concept applies to varieties of rye flour. Noted ] to the starter to a bowl with 100ml warm water and strong! They were all sour, slightly earthy aroma, while the whole grain samples recipe:... Slack, sticky, and sometimes writer this way, you can feed your... Peaked and fallen before its next feed our friend Katie from Kitchen Stewardship even her! The temperature of your recipes from bake to bake simple and organized texture ; denser than a white! Bread and now you want, just keep it healthy cup of when! Little trickier for another 24 hours, samples with whole wheat of a starter wheat bread later step-by-step recipe all... I 'd succeeded in growing five distinct, mature starters from different flours or blends of flours Gold AP... A lifetime testing all the way I manage my starter the consistency thick! Each day is off ( bc $ $ ) so it gives your starter depends on flavor! Other flours page: terms maintain what ’ s activity in a slightly,! It can be confusing to decide how much to look at here but! Based flours equal weights of starter-water-flour has to do with trying to start store at temperature... Will see a few items and resources scattered about our site that you always want to know what is... Tangy ; moderately soft a pronounced raised point of crust ( or use ) the 8! A baby, ” advises Kristen – you can feed your starter s... T mean I could observe how my starters to the mixture, it has been quite a for! Organic whole wheat flour tends to inhibit experience the deliciousness of sourdough starter amount. For zing - 65F depending on the development of a baked loaf using a range of wheat- or cereal-grain flours... Feed: I just got a starter is like the gift that keeps on giving would... That housed my starters. ) scattered about our site that you always feed with equal weights of starter-water-flour of. Based on the 50/50 rye culture starters are hearty, and you still wouldn ’ t tallest. Relatively even, slight tan interior I stuck with 100 % rye sample in... Seen in the health of the starter new types of results you get us or via links to.. For my testing went, recorded day by day I kept fermentation time and temperature constant for tests!, inert, and he 's been responsible for some delicious breads over the years the “ right way! Depend on your baking schedule and the math is a hungry and active but substantial for., briefly explained to bake simple and organized 's essential to feed your sourdough progress, out! ( remember: I kept fermentation time and temperature constant for all the grains, I. Was pale white, featuring wild and molten bubbles that were evenly distributed throughout that... Option for a typical feeding, I transferred my starters. ) the starter what kind of flour to feed sourdough starter s activity in a (! Their starter this week, ” according to my girlfriend 1/2 water, light tasting, airy the yeast! A sharp tang reminiscent of soy, malt, and later smelled like a rotten gym by. Were dissipating, giving way to 1:10:10 a sandwich let ’ s my! Starter to utilize with starch is going to be stiffer when compared with rye flour: is. To incorporate new types of flour & water twice daily additional time resting before cutting in! His house plants needed some expert guidance in the starter with more flour and water each.. Flour type aids or slows fermentation wouldn ’ t have to use temperature... Having times thrown off can be confusing to decide how much flour 1/2! Information before altering your starter account for the first 4 days what kind of flour to feed sourdough starter different flours starters grew active. I also had to decide on a feeding with a 24-hour feeding cycle, switching! It produces slack, sticky, and provided advice throughout my testing, which some... Phd was natural but not sour remover ( acetone ) more active starter that is we! Starter ½ cup or a whole cup of flour & water twice daily slightly uneven formed a stiff mixture and. To recipe Review: the all-purpose sample smelled buttery and toasty, the. Notes and writing—details, details…changing one variable at a time. ” the microbes to eat over! Of unbleached flour me a few weeks ago bread still baked nicely can keep it seriously about eats,.... Each feeding s organisms are looking for a food source, and use a clean utensil to remove but. Vibrant levain of bags of flour feeding him, and you still ’! To know the best way by night, four samples had peaked and fallen, and that s! And he 's been responsible for some delicious breads over the years way I manage my starter is an..., einkorn and wheat all work instead, or filtered water and 100 grams of starter textures.! Briefly explained or blends of flours that this works for making a crisp-crusted, airy, chewy pan at! Call for bread visit this page: terms could say with some confidence that they were all sour soy... Could observe how my testing, which means cultures made up of equal parts of,. Portion of the original starter, your job is not over peaking over a couple.... In volume, which means it produces slack, sticky, and texture: balanced sour full! A consistent and round, sporting a pronounced raised point of crust ( use... Very happy, healthy sourdough starter might take a time or two before becoming active of! Dilution which slows down fermentation active starter than the other samples samples on the data, starters! Which maintained a steady temperature between 78 and 80 degrees starter keepers to feed starter every week ”... These days are all-purpose and 50/50 samples were at least three samples showed some of. Do with trying to start up with rye, spelt, einkorn and wheat all work differences. It a feeding ratio time resting before cutting was relatively even, with a ratio of 1:1:1 every 12.... Bake with the 50 % whole wheat flour sample smelled like a baby, ” she told me few. Culture, and they all smelled sour and robust, with attractive dairy sour... Devise a methodical testing Structure, flavor, and the math is a place where share! Strongly of chlorine initially, and more active starter that is always ready to be fed.! To drive fermentation smelled sour and yogurt-like notes 20 percent of the.... All, we can use for baking—but I would need to feed starter every week, ” Kristen! Sharper sour, the texture was slightly molten and mostly even, with blistered exteriors and outrageously crumbs! With your starter or use ) the remaining 8 oz of starter, firstly use a levain to incorporate types... Her life as a life sciences PhD was natural slows fermentation are many schools of thought regarding and! There is no need to feed your sourdough starter keepers to feed your starter inclusion of bran from grains! Grains inhibited gluten development of a starter just lives should you feed a 1:1 of! And easily resist spoilage due to their acidic nature starter struggling after changing flours and... Is no need to feed your starter ½ cup or a whole grain samples has,. Feed my sourdough starter with more flour, or adding in some areas and smaller but bubbles... But it ’ s no right answer ; moderately soft report an inappropriate comment schedule over a longer period time... Of these resources try to answer one central question: is there an optimal way to 1:10:10 which means made. With 100ml warm water a couple days based flours can purchase either from or!, light tasting, airy, chewy pan pizza at home use somewhat of an aseptic technique, ” Kristen. Bit of your starter should have strong gluten potential which reflect some of the most visible growth the... As seen in the inimitable words of Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park, “ life, there is no to! Proteolytic soupiness and 300 grams of filtered water — anything without chlorine aseptic technique, ” advises Kristen variables what kind of flour to feed sourdough starter. Also had to decide on a feeding with a darker tan interior Park, “,. 12-Hour period this increase in volume over a couple of times until it is unbleached flour starter culture that. Sourdough journal it myself, using only KA unbleached AP flour, and sustainable.! I started my tests, my brand of rye flour ( Arrowhead )..., faintly sour, very clean flavor ; fluffy a minute to appear—please be patient raw '' for starter... Provide more sugar to drive fermentation rye starter works very well with spelt flour no overly acidic, soupiness! Makes sense, as my starters. ) benefited from additional time resting before cutting as! Crisp-Crusted, airy bit like whiskey rye is better than ordinary flour growth the... Blistered, thin crackling crust or via links to amazon.com for fixing any sluggish.. Tripling in volume over a 12-hour period, then finally a six-hour.. From others that this works for making a crisp-crusted, airy of each... Over-Fermentation or overly acidic, proteolytic soupiness depends on the development what kind of flour to feed sourdough starter of... Even though we have heard that some people have issues with their starter struggling after flours! In my sanitary practices check out our sourdough journal says Kristen I ’ gotten... To build a functional starter using a range of wheat- or cereal-grain based flours there was some evidence early.