Seed Culture - Bread Baker's Apprentice

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by ddick, Jan 19, 2002.

  1. ddick

    ddick

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    On page 229 of Peter Reinhart's book "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" there is a recipe for a seed culture to be used in eventually building a barm.

    The quantities and the description for Day 1 don't seem to align.

    Day 1 calls for mixing 4.25 ounces of dark rye flour with 6 ounces of water. The description says this will form a stiff ball of dough which you'll have to press into a beaker.

    Unfortunately the quantity ratio makes a slurry, not a stiff ball of dough.

    Any idea which is correct, the quantities or the description? I'm tending towards the description since the quantities given won't hold the rise described after the day 3 feeding.
     
  2. kylew

    kylew

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    Very curious. I gave it a try and had exactly the same result, a thick batter. I added flour (dark rye from Bob's Red Mill) an ounce at a time until I got to a stiff dough. It took an additional 4 ounces. I now have 14 oz. of seed culture rather than 10.25.
     
  3. kylew

    kylew

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    I sent this dilema to Peter Reinhart and here is what he said:

    Toss some of the first dough to reduce to the original amounts and then proceed. My dark rye flour absorbed all the water but yours didn't--it doesn't really matter, it will work either way but I can see this may confuse some people. Rye chops or another brand might have performed closer to mine, but plow on--it will be fine.

    The culture seems to have risen a bit, but not much. Ever onward!
     
  4. ddick

    ddick

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    Thanks for the responses. I tossed all but one cup of the culture I had after day 3 (it got thicker as I added each refreshment).

    On day 4 I cut the water to flour ratio to get to a the culture to more dough like consistency. This has now risen to over double in the last 12 hours, so I guess it's on to the barm.

    Again, thanks.
     
  5. kylew

    kylew

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    Cool! Peter mentioned that different rye flours will absorb water at different rates. that is what caused the slurry effect.
     
  6. kylew

    kylew

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    I did as I was told, and reduced the dough to 10.25 oz. When I fed it the first time it was off to the races. Rye ferments much faster than wheat so the growth was tremendous, as was the smell! After the second feeding the rye/wheat ratio is skewing in favor of the wheat so the growth has slowed. This is way too easy and low maintenance.