Mark send this email:
I tried your rye starter formula and think
it is great. I've made other starters with
white flours and combinations of flour but
this was the fastest and easiest and had
the least amount of waste. I have got to
believe if someone followed your directions
it would be as reliable as any mail order
starter (I've never tried one though.).
I made bread with the baby rye starter today
("Pain de Meteil au Levain" formula
is found at www.bbga.org/formulas/meteilaulevain94.html
-I substituted rye for whole wheat starter).
and had decent results, any short comings
were those of this baker and not of the starter.
I would like to comment on the flour comparison
however, I thought you might have jumped
to conclusions without weighing all the evidence.
Flours are difficult to compare without the
science at your finger tips.
However comparing baking results of a flour
that has malted barley to an unmalted flour
is unfair if you don't take that into account.
Malted barley has enzymes which aid in breaking
down the starches into simple sugars which
provide more food for the starter organisms
which will make more gas and in turn leaven
your loaf faster.
When master bakers select flour they are
far more concerned with the quality of the
protein than they are the quantity. In general
for artisan, or hand crafted breads the protein
content should be around 12% and the wheat
would be hard red winter wheat.
Spring wheat is higher in protein but lower
in protein quality yet is more common. (The
miller is capable of testing and adding whatever
might be necessary to enhance his product,
even hazardous substances like potassium
Thankfully King Aurthur has never used these
types of sustances and I respect their products.)
I'm sorry if I've gone on too long. I really
enjoyed making the baby rye starter and will
hang on to it to bake another day and again