Starter question


After making 2 loaves with a rye and white wholemeal starter (30/70 100 % hydration) I want to leave out the rye and just use strong white as the white loaf I baked turned out darker than expected.....should I start from scratch with a new starter or feed/seed the original.  It has been in the fridge for a few days now and I'm not sure how to go about refreshing it with a different feed, any help much appreciated....thanks

197 users have voted, including you.


farinam's picture
farinam 2012 October 22

Hello janisem,

One way would be to stick with your current culture and build your levain (loaf starter) from a small amount so that the rye ends up being a very small proportion of the loaf.  You can get away with starting with as little as a couple of grams.

A method that I have used is to build in three stages over a 24 hour period.  In an early blog of mine, I put up a spreadsheet that you can download to do the calculations to build up to whatever mass of levain you want.  You can also adjust the hydration during the process if you want.  Unfortunately, I can't give you a link to my blog at the moment but hopefully you will be able to find it by looking at my blog list.

If you want to change your culture composition permanently, then you can just cut out feeding it with the rye though a lot of people feel that having some rye in the mother culture serves to keep the activity up.  I use a 15% rye blend for mine and with a built up levain it is undetectable in a white loaf.

Good luck with your projects.


janisem 2012 October 23

Hi Farinam, I found your blog and chart so helpful, your experience and knowledge is invaluable to a beginner like me  I will try reducing my rye to 15% as you suggested and post my results.  Thanks so much!

Post Reply

Already a member? Login