Starter problem

Colc's picture

Hello all, this is my first post so be kind to me.

I recently obtained a small quantity of starter as I want to be able to bake in my wood fired pizza oven.

I started to feed it about 5 days ago, I am getting a few bubbles (holes) on top and lots of small bubbles when viewed from the side, when the mix is stirred it looks like a honeycomb throughout the mix.

What  I cannot get is any sort of rise, I am keeping it on top of the frige and have tried it on the top of my set top box which is about 26c but no rise.

I am using Rye flour could that make a difference?

Any suggestions out there?

226 users have voted.


farinam's picture
farinam 2011 December 5

Hello Colc,

I have never used a rye only starter but, from what you are saying I am sure that you have got activity there.  There was another blog recently where a rye starter was not 'rising'. 

I'd be a bit cautious about keeping it at too warm a temperature.  Probably not enough to kill it from what you report but certainly enough to speed up the cycle more than somewhat.

If you are worried, try taking a bit of your starter and feeding it up with  wheat flour in a jug or beaker to your normal hydration and set it on the bench and observe what happens.  The wheat flour will give the mix some strength and the steep/narrow sides will give support and maybe you'll see some rise.

Alternatively, just go ahead and make a loaf and see what happens.  At worst, you'll have something to feed the ducks.

Let us know how you go.


Colc's picture
Colc 2011 December 5

Thanks Farinam I shall give that a try, BTW I am interested in your use of superfluous starter for Crumpets, could you provide your recipe?


esbkk 2011 December 7

Rye flour makes the most stabile starter and at 26C. should have doubled in about four hours - it probably needs more feeding ...

Colc's picture
Colc 2011 December 10

Thanks for those replies; I have just had my first bake in my Wood Fired Pizza Oven.

I was prepared for the worst but ended up with an acceptable result, Just had a couple of slices for breakfast.

The areas that require improvement are; slightly underdone, that is going to take practice in managing the fire, the crust was a trifle too hard, probably because I introduced too much moisture, I draped a wet towel over the inside of the oven door.

All in all I was satisfied with my first effort and looking forward to many more loaves.

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