The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Swopping sourdough starter for biga/pate fermente/poolish

Lesley R's picture
Lesley R

Swopping sourdough starter for biga/pate fermente/poolish

Just idle curiosity I suppose, but I was looking at some sourdough recipes and wondering if they could be used by swopping the sourdough starter with an equal quanitiy of biga/pate fermente/poolish. I appreciate that the fluid needed may have to be adjusted to have the right dough texture. The reason being that some of the recipes sound really good, but I want to get my head around yeasted doughs before I start on the sourdough journey...

I will completely understand if you all say "no way!"

Thank you for considering my question.


mrfrost's picture

Yes, it is perfectly doable for you to make your own versions of recipes as you please. I do it all the time. Haven't baked with yeast in over a year, but used to convert sd to yeasted recipes frequently. I make my versions of recipes with what I have, or desire to use, be it sd(sourdough) to yeasted, or yeasted to sd.

Just remember, when it comes time for judging said outcome, it's now "your" recipe. You will probably like your results just fine, assuming you have had good results in your bread baking so far.

In following with the way many/most recipes with yeasted preferments seem to go, a little more yeast- 1/2 to 1 tsp, or so- is added to the main dough. There are many possibilities though.

Lesley R's picture
Lesley R

Thank you so much for that- I will go and play!

dabrownman's picture

Just add up all the liquid and flour in the recipe including the SD levain and keep it the same in your recipe.  You can take some of the flour and water say 75 g each and add a pinch of yeast to it and let it ferment on the counter for 8 hours.  By that time the poolish / biga is ready yo make bread with the rest of the ingredients,  You can also just take the flour and water in the SD levain portion of the recipe and add pinch of yeast to it an let that sit for a fee hours too. 

  You can convert the other way as well, from yeast to SD, by doing the same thing - just take some of the flour and the water and add SD seed to it, wait a few hours for it to double and away you go .

Happy Baking