rye/spelt/uh-oh... (hello, I'm new here, and I'm worrying about my bread...)

cAtdraco's picture

Okay.  So in general I think I'm doing pretty well with this sourdough business.  I'm intolerant to wheat but can tolerate both rye and spelt quite well, so figured I'd give sourdough a try.  My first loaf, a 100% rye loaf, was a bit dodgy: absolutely delicious, but a bit small and dense.  I figured it was a young starter and a bit of inexperience, so I was still quite happy with that effort.Yesterday's loaf was an absolute winner!  I ran out of rye flour, so I used my rye starter with some spelt flour, and obtained this little marvel:It was just as delicious as it looked, and I'm very, very pleased with myself.Now here's my dilemma.  Being out of rye flour, I fed my retained starter with spelt flour, which should be dandy.I fed it yesterday afternoon, and within a few hours it had bubbled up nicely then receded back down the jar.  This morning, it seems rather liquidy and sad, and reeks to high heaven.  I understand that a strong sour smell is quite normal, but the bubbles seemed to have all floated into the ether.Nevertheless, I've mixed it up with some more flour and water to create a new loaf today.  I'm just biting my nails now, though, wondering if I've somehow stuffed up my lovely starter?  Or maybe it will just behave differently because it's a) still a young, unstable starter or b) because it has spelt in it now?Ideas or reassurance both gratefully received.  :)  After 45 minutes, my batter is showing signs of life, so I'm hoping that by around midday it will be good to make into dough... my goodness, it's like raising children!  Full of hope and angst... ;)

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TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2008 January 28

I keep in my fridge several jars of white starter and rye starter (I know, I know...I'm so afraid of losing my babies); I'm afraid I don't have any experience of keeping a spelt starter. Just hazarding a guess, I don't think you stuffed it...rather you starved it, lol. Rye (and I guess spelt too) tends to peak faster than plain flours. If you don't intend to make a lot of starter, just dig out a teaspoon from that jar of deflated starter, and feed it again according to the hydration you want. I'm sure people miles more qualified than I will be chipping in.Congrats on your delicious loaf! BTW, I'm loving spelt...and just made a spelt oat blueberry apricot quick bread for brekkie.

cAtdraco's picture
cAtdraco 2008 January 28

My word, that's a tasty looking bread!  Fruit loaf of some kind is fairly high on my list of things to bake - I do miss having raisin toast for breakfast.  After I made yesterday's successful loaf I had an ecstatic moment where I realised I could make for myself all the breads I've been missing - fruit loaf, bread rolls, even pizza bases.Yeah, I think you're right - I have a loaf of bread proving now, and things seem to be going okay with it.  I was feeding my starter 12 hourly, but it went a lot longer last night because I fed it last when I made my bread dough, which was early afternoon.  So I guess that unless I keep it in the refrigerator, I'll need to feed it a little more frequently.  Easy enough to do!I'm keen to keep a 100% rye starter again - I really liked the bread I made with it yesterday, so I think I will also be taking up the habit of keeping multiple starters. :DThanks for your help.  :)

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2008 January 28

Actually, it's not a problem catching your starter on its way down, as you'll be feeding it with more food when you mix your bread dough. Keep baking and keeping posting your loaves.

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