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To Jay , Rye boo boo. - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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To Jay , Rye boo boo.

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  • To Jay , Rye boo boo.

    I started a new thread to answer your question about my rye fiasco. I did not want to hijack Bills thread.

    Well this is my sad story. You know I keep three starters white, rye and w/w.

    I planed to bake a bunch using my white starter that uses little starter % per pound. I wanted a few W/W but I wanted to work on my rye's again. (searching for that "One") and doing it right.

    So I started to build the white and the rye and delayed starting the W/W because I did not need that much starter. Now my W/W starter is thick and looks like a wet dough, the rye is like tooth paste. Well I went to use my W/W and it was like tooth paste. It was not normal at all. The smell was off, the texture was off so I started to think I switched the marked lids between the rye and W/W. I inspected what I thought was the Rye and the smell and texture was also off. I could not tell the difference between the two. After fermenting the color, smell, texture got almost identical. I even tried to take a small amount of starter and wash it out hoping I could tell the difference in the sediment between the two.

    So how could I screw up that bad. Started to think I built up my rye with W/W or built my W/W with rye...To this moment I don't know if I even made a mistake. Now I'm standing there with my starters not knowing for sure what is what.

    I always keep a backup set of starters so I feed them and now have a for sure rye and W/W mother starter again.

    So I took what I thought was the rye build and proceeded with the rye bread. 66% rye. I don't know if I fed this once with W/W or not. I adjusted the dough with more white flour and instead of slashing I docked.

    The loaf I got was great in flavor and texture. Had great strength so it was nice and round and did not slack at all. Like I said it was one of my best rye's yet. But I don't know if I can reproduce it.

    If I did not make a mistake in my feeding of my rye starter I can reproduce it. If it has W/W in the mix I will need to work on that.

    Next bake I'll try again using all Rye. I'll keep a loaf in the freezer to make a comparison.

    Sucks getting old and having senior moments.

    So that's the story

  • #2
    Re: To Jay , Rye boo boo.

    Interesting! In order to keep my number of starters down I just keep two - a mild starter that I feed white flour and a sour California starter that I usually feed WW and occasionally rye. I don't personally sweat the minor contamination of flour in a dough begun with the wrong starter. Example, if I start with 40 grams of WW starter that is 20 grams of WW. If I expand it to 200 grams using rye I add 100 grams of rye and then take that up to 1600 grams at 60 percent hydration (for simple calculation) I have 1000 grams of flour - of which WW is 2 percent. I don't worry about it much. (And the real answer is I usually do an extra expansion so the actual contamination is around .5 percent.

    I sympathize though! WW and rye can get downright confusing though the feel is USUALLY different...but...I can sure see how it could get confusing - and especially if you crossed the flours and got two WW/rye variations.

    I am going to guess that you inadvertently got WW in the rye and vica versa. Main reason is the textures were so identical. Also may explain why the rye was so good (I assume that includes oven spring) for a bit of WW would add some gluten to help hold gas and give more lift. But who knows!

    Funny story! I haven't had that problem - YET. But we have all had our booboos to overcome. Sounds like you made a winner out of it.

    I need to make some rye! Haven't done so in quite a while!

    Thanks for the smile!


    • #3
      Re: To Jay , Rye boo boo.

      I do understand your % of contamination and know that over time it would all wash out. I know many people that use just one or two starters and inoculate it to another flour type.

      I don't have the science for this but I believe that keeping a starter in a rye or W/W environment long term develops a different starter that has noticeable traits in a bake. If I made two rye's one using my white starter and the second with my rye starter the end result would be very noticeable.

      This is my simple minded way to explain my thinking. If my starters were people living in different parts of the world. If I took my Florida starter person and dropped him in to the north pole and said go to work. Or took my country starter person and dropped him off in down town NYC and said go to work. They would have distractions that would take away from them doing a proper job. So by keeping my starters in their natural environment I think they have developed the skills needed to thrive.

      I could be crazy,

      No not so much on oven spring. I also think I under proofed from what I normally do. Or I have just been over proofing all along.

      I would offer you my last rye formula but...:-)