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Sourdough Rye Bread

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I got a good starter on the second try, when I followed the instructions exactly. It doubles in size every three or four hours instead of every twelve, and I couldn’t wait – I had to try a loaf of sourdough rye with the seventh generation. It may be a total failure (inedible) but I wanted to see what happens, so I started a loaf rising when the dogs and I got back this morning. The starter is on the ninth generation now, and at least one guy says that the starter will be stable and good if you feed it every 12 hours for 30 days, which would be the sixtieth generation.

I worked outside today, and was in the process of planting two flats of St. Augustine plugs in the small sparse areas when the most exciting thunderstorm we have had for a long time hit – it was one of those where the rain looks like sheets of curtain waving in the wind when you look at the house across the street, and you can’t see the house very well. I got wet enough that I decided to stay inside for the rest of the day.

Right now the loaf had risen for 12 hours so I knocked it down, shaped it, and put it in the oven with the light on to rise again. I’ll bake it around 10:00 and find out what happens today. Using only a fourth of a cup of starter (two ounces) to rise 20 ounces of flour is a lot less than most writers recommend, but keeping the starter in a small container has a lot of advantage. If it’s not enough it’s easy to multiply by just feeding it every four hours. The only advantage is the long (18 hour recommended) first rise and the long (two hour) second rise. If this doesn’t work, I’ll double the starter until I get good results.

This is the web site I have been using, and it’s a mistake to use vinegar instead of unsweetened pineapple sauce:


The starter recipe works great if you use pineapple juice, and I used whole-wheat flour out of the cupboard. After the vinegar fiasco, it was wonderful to see the thing foaming and covered in bubbles after the third day.
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