Feeding Healthy Starter


I followed the directions by using part APF and Rye Flour to create and feed my starter.  Now that it is healthy, I need to feed it again.  After Day 8, it states to feed using equal parts flour and water, but doesn't specify the APF/Rye mix.  Can I safely switch over to all APF?  Thanks


farinam's picture
farinam 2012 November 16

Hello LAF,

You can do that if you wish.  The coonventional wisdom is that the rye flour carries all sorts of goodies that act as a tonic for your starter and maintains the activity at a higher level.  So if you change and over time the activity declines then a period of dosing with some rye would be in order again.

The other alternative, and this is what I do, is to build your loaf starter from your stock to suit the particular loaf that you are making.  If you want a particularly white loaf, then start with only a couple of grams from your stock and build it in  (say 3) stages (over 24 hours) up to the mass that you need with white flour (and water) only.  Then with only white flour in your loaf mix, the amount of rye present will be unnoticeable.

If the 'purity' is less important then you can build in one stage with white only or any other blend that takes your fancy.

Good luck with your projects.


LAF 2012 November 16

Thank you for the information.  I have been working on this project for almost a month now.  And after a starter that was not doubling ever, I ended up at this website, which is where I wish I would have started!  After following the advice for beginners, within 3 days I have this healthy, doubling starter.  I have yet to make bread with it though.  I was going to use a recipe I found on another site for "San Francisco Sourdough".  I have no care in the world if the starter is a portion rye, and while I LOVE rye bread, that is not what I want to make.  I don't want my bread to taste like rye, which is why I asked the question.  I also have read in many different places that once you get an active starter you can switch it completely to APF.  This particular beginners website doesn't specify.  I would have assumed that I should continue to want to use a small portion rye with the AP.  Thanks for the confirmation. 

I just fed the starter a small portion rye and a larger portion AP with water.  I will watch for it to reach it's peak and then I am going to make a loaf of bread :)  Fingers crossed all goes well and my loaf won't taste like rye.


farinam's picture
farinam 2012 November 16

Hello Lori,

Just make sure that you select and stick with a simple recipe for a while until you get the feel for the development of the dough.  I always recommend the Pane francesa recipe from SourDom's beginners blog as a good starting point.  It might require several bakes to start to get the idea but whatever you do - don't despair.  And feel free to get back for further advice.

If you are basing your stock starter on 10% rye flour and you take 90g and build it to 180g with white flour for your loaf starter there will be less than 5g of rye present in almost 600g flour.  I doubt that it would be noticeable unless you have the nose of a beagle.

Keep on bakin'


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