I'm so excited I'm practically jumping up and down! (OK, maybe I actually did jump a little…)
I stopped in to Frankferd Farms Thursday at lunch to see if they had some rye meal (something between flour & cracked). They didn't, but said if I was willing to buy 25 lbs of it they could mill it however I wanted it. I agreed, and by the time I got home there was a message on my machine that it was done already! Although it turned out to be 27 lbs; the woman on the machine said she guessed it's not an exact science when they start grinding. But it was still only $16, so I call that a bargain. I picked it up Friday after a meeting, so now I think I'm ready to go!
The rye is gorgeous … I feel really down-to-earth, beginning to create my rye sourdough starter with freshly milled rye right from the farm.
So now today I'm venturing to create my rye sourdough starter from scratch. I've decided to use a combination of the instructions from Samartha's site and my Dr Oetker's cookbook. Nothing like experimenting on the first attempt! (pretty much my normal MO when it comes to baking)
Samartha said to mix 1/4C water & 1/2C whole grain rye flour in a 1-quart glass jar. My German cookbook said (in German) to mix 200g finely milled rye with 1/4 liter lukewarm water in a large earthenware bowl. So to compromise, I mixed 1/8 liter lukewarm water with 100g organic rye flour I had from a previous trip to Frankferd. The German recipe calls for moving from fine rye flour to begin, up to the coarser meal for tomorrow's feeding, whereas Samartha calls for rye flour throughout, I suspect because he didn't have access to the coarser grind, but I think I really want a more whole-grain finished product. I cut the German quantity in half because I don't want to tie up a large bowl this long, so I'm using a quart-size mason jar. Hopefully it won't overflow… The German recipe calls for 2-3 T of buttermilk also, but Samartha's recipe doesn't require any additional ingredients, so I'm going to try that.
They both say to set the covered mixture in a 75-85 degree location, so Al rigged up a shelf in the food dehydrator that should do the trick (see photo). I'll check it with the thermometer periodically for the first several hours to get the temp adjusted to at least 75. The German recipe says to leave it for at least 24 hours, and then feed it with the coarse rye meal and more water, and again after 4 days. Samartha says to add a little more flour & water after bubbles begin to form (12 hours), and again at 24 hours. I think I'll follow the German recipe at this point, but it might depend how it looks.
More later . . .