The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Converting Sourdough Recipes To Yeast Recipes

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KMIAA's picture
KMIAA

Converting Sourdough Recipes To Yeast Recipes

My husband will not eat sourdough bread.  I have Nancy Silverton's Book and it appears that all or most of the recipes calls for starter.  How can I change that.  The book is a gift and I don't want to exchange it, if that is even possible.  The book is Breads From The La Brea Bakery.  Any thoughts.  I tried the search engine but it comes up with converting yeast to sourdough and I want to do the opposite. 

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Substitute flour(s) and water equivalent--by WEIGHT-- to the flour(s) and water quantities in the prescribed starter replacing the starter. The most accurate substitution will be accomplished knowing the weight of the flours and water. Also add the appropriate amount of yeast for the amount of dough you're making. It's basically that simple.

But, of course, nothing is ever really simple.

I'm not familiar with the book you're using. If the ingredients are listed in in volume measurements, e.g. tsp, Tbs, and cups you should convert prescribed volumes to weight.

King Arthur Flour publishes a fairly complete conversion of various various baking ingredients here:

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe/master-weight-chart.html

There might also be some confusion about the ratio of water and flour in the starter needing to be sorted out. Hopefully, the quantities of flours and water in the starter are published in your book. Hydration Percentage--a useful metric from Baker's Math--may be stated. If you haven't already learned it, Baker's Math is well worth learning. Fortunately, you can find a tutorial on Baker's Math herein. Click on "Handbook" at the top of The Fresh Loaf home page, then click on "Section II: Bread Basics"; Baker's Math is the first tutorial in Section II.

As to commercial yeast quantity I suggest you start with IDY: Instant Dry Yeast . Typical two or three loaf recipes usually prescribe 5 to 7 cups of flour, and one packet of IDY.  1 envelope or packet of IDY weighs 1/4 ounce or 7 grams which equals 2 1/4 teaspoons (11 mL). If you're bread making--from mixing to removing baked loaves from the oven--time is around five or six hours duration that's a good ratio to start with. If you double a recipe, double the the yeast. If you get into making breads that begin with a poolish or biga, or you do chilled overnight slow fermentations you're going to have to learn to adjust yeast quantities. There is plenty of good advise and examples here on TFL, and most poolish or biga based recipes prescribe how much yeast, flour and water they should contain, and how long they should mature before making the final dough.

Good luck,

David G

 

KMIAA's picture
KMIAA

David, thank you for the information you provided.  I just got the book and thumbed through it.  Your post is most helpful.  Will copy and keep this information.  At least now I will be able to use the book and choose what recipes I want to try.  I haven't any clue why my husband will not eat or try sourdough bread.  As far as I'm concerned it would be much better for him since he has type 2 diabetes and he won't give up eating bread.  Am going to print this info out and keep for future use. 

davidg618's picture
davidg618

I'm pretty sure I've read diabetics tolerate sourdough whole grain breads, in moderation, very well. My wife takes a loaf of sourdough 50% whole wheat to our dog groomer each visit. Here husband is a diabetic, and reports it's become his favorite bread. And their 5-year old son loves it!

David G

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

Have you ever asked your husband about his anti-sourdough stance? If he just doesn't want the sourness, it's pretty easy to make "sourdough" without the "sour" flavor. There are loads of examples on this website. It is completely possible to make bland bread like you buy at the store from a sourdough starter. It's also easy to make lots of delicious bread in various styles using the same starter.

KMIAA's picture
KMIAA

about the sourdough bread.  He just doesn't want it.  I had a sourdough starter and kept it maintained but finally gave up since he doesn't want to eat sourdough bread.  Why I don't know.  I can't fool him and make some and tell him it's regular bread since we are retired and he's home with me and knows when I'm making bread.  Sourdough is what he should be eating but he won't. So I don't bother with it at all now.  I just make him what he likes but I hate for this book to go to waste, so will follow the instructions for converting.  Thanks for all the input on this.