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 3. Beginner Batter Breads
 quinoa and mold
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Ekahler
8 Posts
Ellie
Cashmere Washington
USA

Posted - Jul 07 2022 :  1:10:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi there,
So on my first bake day I decided to try out batter breads for the white whole wheat and quinoa flours. As expected, the rise wasnít that great, but Iím hoping that improves with time. They were also both SO sour, but especially the quinoa. It was kinda bitter too. Now I know Quinoa can be bitter, but we often cook this very same quinoa and eat it and it tastes fine. So Iím curious if all quinoa flours will be somewhat bitter? I am using Kirkland brand organic white quinoa and am just blending it in a vitamix to make flour. Yesterday was my second bake day and i struck out on my own a bit and made pancakes and savory muffins with half quinoa and half brown rice. The texture was AMAZING! And the flavor on the pancakes was actually pretty good, but the muffins are still bitter. I guess Iím wondering if I should keep this up in hopes that the flavor will become milder later or in a different mix, or if I should ditch it? Quinoa isnít exactly cheap, which has been my reluctance to try the other colors of quinoa. My motivation, though, is that my dad is gluten free and itís been years since heís eaten ďgood breadĒ and the texture the quinoa gives is something I havenít seen before. Anyway, Iíd love some input!

AlsoÖmold. Iíve tried really hard to do everything as perfectly as possible, but I found mold in the whole wheat started the other day. Just a very small bit on the edge of one, kinda up on the side. Given the very small quantity and location, I took some of the starter out from the other side of the bowl and restarted with that and threw the rest out. I donít know if that was a good move or not, but I am watching to see if any more mold develops on that starter and so far so good. Iíve been watching them all like a hawk since then and today I found a little on the outside of one of the other bowlsÖso we moved and sterilized and all that. My theory of why it is happening is that starter is getting other places when we feed, but since it is isolated there from the main ďbody,Ē it doesnít have the protection of the rest of the mother and therefore mold can develop there. So weíre trying to be way more careful about not getting anything dirty. But Iíd also love any input I can get on this topic!

Thank you!

Ellie Kahler

Ashley
647 Posts
Ashley
MOSCOW Idaho
USA

Posted - Jul 08 2022 :  10:06:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The sour flavor should balance out as your mothers develop. Lacto-bacteria (producers of lactic acid and responsible for the sour flavor in sourdough) are hardy and take hold faster than wild yeast. As you stir and cultivate your mother, these two will balance out and the sour flavor will be much less distinct. You'll know that this is happening when the smell of your mother has less zing and more of a yeasty beer smell.

I'm sorry to hear that your quinoa breads are bitter. This one has me a little stumped because you're milling your own flour from a grain you also cook with and know not to be bitter. While developing recipes for the book, we definitely had a run-in with bitter quinoa, but found that it was from pre-milled quinoa flour. Once we started milling our own, the breads tasted like quinoa. This is discussed on p. 196 of the book if you haven't already read it.

Regarding the mold issue, I'm glad you were able to catch it early and isolate and sterilize everything. There are two reasons I can think of that mold would start to grow. The first is that too much time has passed between feedings. Two feedings per day should make this a non-issue, but since we are in the summer months, and especially if you live in an area that is particularly hot, it could be that the good bacteria present in your mother are exhausting their food supply well before the next feeding which creates a window for mold to grow. If you think this is the issue, if possible, I would suggest sneaking in an extra feeding and stirring your mothers a little extra at each feeding (extra time spent stirring will also help aerate them and aid in balancing out the wild yeasts and lacto bacteria).

The second culprit for the mold would be that your wheat flour has an additive such as barley malt. This ingredient in particular has always been problematic for us. No matter how many times we've tried, with extra stirrings and feedings, flours with barley malt added always wanted to mold.

I hope this information is helpful for your troubleshooting! I'm always here to help in any way I can, or to be a sounding board for ideas.

Ashley Ogle
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Ekahler
8 Posts
Ellie
Cashmere Washington
USA

Posted - Jul 10 2022 :  2:51:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Thank you so much for you advice, Ashley! I think that the warm temperatures could be an issue contributing to the mold problemóI will try more vigorous stirring and more feeding. I donít think the flour has barley malt in it though.
And yeah, I donít know what is up with the quinoa. I think part of it is that my dad is really sensitive to bitterness, so maybe itís partly himÖcause I donít always find it so bad. Iíll keep seeing what I can do though and am sure Iíll be back on here again in the future!

Ellie Kahler
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