I have a question about the consistency and texture of starters. I have a starter I cultured myself that is a 60% white / 40% rye. I also recently received some of Carl's 1847 Oregon Trail starter that is a 100% white starter. I keep both at 100% hydration at room temp with 12 hour feedings. My rye starter is like a thick pancake batter consistency - a little elastic but mostly batter-like. On the other hand, the white starter is very elastic -it's still very wet but when I spoon some out, it sort of breaks away from the mass and holds together in little globules intead of flowing from my spoon. If I slap my spoon against the mass of starter again, it pulls the little bits of starter off cleanly. Unappetizing as the comparison may be, the texture is very much like that play slime that kids like to play with.
What kind of consistency is/are your starter(s)? Could the texture of my rye starter simply be due to the lack of gluten in the rye? I started wondering if it could have too much protease somehow or even one of those bacterias that feed on the protein in the flour. It doesn't turn completely liquid-y so I think it might not be that.
I haven't tried baking with the white starter yet. My rye starter has produced excellent pan breads but the dough made from it seemed quite extensible when I tried making boules and batards. It didn't want to form a nice tight skin to hold it's shape. I used a small percentage of rye in the recipe and a high protein bread flour, but I may have let it go too long in the bulk ferment, so maybe that broke down the gluten. Any thoughts?