The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

100% hydration

LisaE's picture

Maintenance Starter Feeding Ratios

February 1, 2013 - 11:38pm -- LisaE

Hello all,

I captured my own wild yeast and have kept it alive and I think happy for about 8 weeks or so. I have been reading so many different pieces of advice about feeding for maintenace and have never seen anyone else feed at a ratio of 1:6:6. I was wondering if anyone had any insight on if this is a bad idea or just another way to feed it.

I have tried 100% hydration, 66% and 50%. I found that 100 percent gives me good bread and seems to be very stable. 66% was fine but soooo sticky! And 50% just smelled like vinegar and I never baked with it.

dabrownman's picture

We have wanted to take up Michael Wilson’s ‘Spelt Challenge’ of 100% white spelt at 100% hydration ever since we saw his fine post.  In our case we milled the whole grain and sifted it to 78% extraction.


We like whole grain breads and hate to throw the sifted out portion away. Michael suggested that we could put it back in on the last set of slap and folds to try to minimize gluten strand harm.  So that is what we did and we also added 40g (dry weight) of spelt sprouted berries while we were at it since we love sprouts as much as whole grains.


Even though this isn’t an equal challenge since our whole grains would be more thirsty and thus the dough easier to work with, it was still a sloppy mess but oddly not that difficult to work with like rye would have been.


The bad part of the process is that our 15 year old Krupp’s coffee grinder that we have used to grind grain gave up the ghost.  We usually watch how hot it gets and how much grain we put in it at one time but my apprentice ignored both on the last grind for this bread.    Right as we were about to say done – it was.


The bread came out as flat boule as the last 100% hydration bakes seem to end up.  These breads really should be baked as a ciabatta or in a loaf tin rather than deflating them when transferring from the basket to the hot DO.  But we thought we would give it one more try to get it to spring in the oven.


The bread baked up a nice shade of brown but not the dark color we usually prefer - higher oven temps and less time covered might give us a better crust.  It did blister a little though.  The crumb was much more open than we thought it would be as was the pervious kamut flat boule and it was soft and very moist.   This bread is even more delicious than the kamut was and is its best quality.  It is a fine bread for sandwiches or even  dirtlocks.   We like this bread a lot even though it too took the flat boule route as the kamut did before it. 



If you make this bread you want to start the sprouts 2 days before you need them because unlike rye which sprouts in 24 hours these take 48.   Just soak them in water for 3 hours, drain them and spread them our between damp paper towels and cover with plastic wrap so they don’t dry out.  Finally cover them in a kitchen towel so no light gets to them.  Re-dampen the top paper towels at the 24 hour mark and 24 hours later you will have perfect spelt sprouts.


The spelt levain was developed over two, (3) hour builds from our kamut starter and then refrigerated for 24 hours.  It was then removed from the fridge and allowed to further develop on the counter for 2 hours.

The 78% extraction flour and the extraction were autolysed separately for 2 hours. The salt, VWG and malts were autolysed with the 78% extraction.  We wanted the VWG to make sure we had some gluten in the final mix and was very glad it was there.

The water was a combination of Shiitake mushroom re-hydration water, spelt soaker water and RO water.  Since the water equals the flour weights it was split up between the two autolyses based on weight of the flour and the bran.

The dough flour autolyse and the levain were combined in the KA mixing bowl and mixed on KA 2 with the paddle for 4 minutes.  The dough hook was then used and the dough was kneaded for 10 more minutes.  The dough was then placed in an oiled, plastic covered bowl for 10 minutes.

2 sets of stretch and folds were done 10 minutes apart with each set being 25 stretches.  Then 3 sets of French slap and folds were done for 10 minutes duration each and 10 minutes apart with the dough being rested in the plastic covered bowl between sets. At the beginning of the last set of slap and folds, the bran autolyse was incorporate.  Half way through the last set, the sprouts were incorporated.  The final 5 minutes of slap and folds fully incorporated the bran and sprouts.


We were really surprised that the slap and folds were so easy.  A light oiling of the granite countertop was all that was needed to keep it from sticking.  After 20 minutes of slap and folds the dough was very extensible and the dough would hold a ball shape for the shortest period of time but you could tell the gluten was starting to come together.

a Lunch grilled chicken sandwich and fixin's with tofu, re-fried beans, red pepper, carrots, celery sticks, salad with tomato, half a peach, red grapes with corn tortilla chips, Brownman's Red Salsa and Pico de Gillo.  Red breakfast with apple butter and caramelized minneola marmalade, strawberry, watermelon and red grapes.


Once the sprouts and bran were worked in, the dough behaved better but still would not hold a ball shape for more than a few seconds.  The slap and folds really weren’t difficult or the exhausting chore we thought they would be in the end.  It was really kind of fun to do them once you got in the rhythm. 

Last night's sunset was something to behold. 

A cloth lined basket was heavily floured with rice flour and used to house the nearly un-shapeable dough as a semi, sort of ball.  It was immediately housed in a trash can liner and placed into the fridge for a 12 hour retard and proof.

We think that this dough should be proofed in a loaf pan but since we planned on baking it in a hot DO we needed a transfer agent and the cloth lined basket was the needed transfer vehicle.  We hoped that the cold would help give the dough some additional structure to make the transfer a success.  We won’t try to slash this dough since it is so wet and figure it will spread in the DO.

The Big Oven was fired up to 500 F with the DO inside.  The dough transfer went as well as expected but it did stick to the cloth liner somewhat – no worries – and it did spread faster than peanut butter sitting in a DO on a hot fire in the hot AZ sun.

We turned the oven down to 450 F after 10 minutes and baked it for 22 minutes with the lid on.  We then turned the oven down to 415 F (convection this time) and baked it for 10 more minutes, turning it 180 degrees after 5, with the lid off before taking the bread out of the DO and testing for temperature. 

The middle was 209 F so we turned off the oven and left the bread on the stone to crisp the skin for 10 minutes with the door ajar.  The bread was then moved to the cooling rack and then onto.  Total baking time was 32 minutes not including the rest on the stone at the end.   The formula brings up the rear as usual.

100 % Hydration, 100% Whole Spelt Sourdough










Starter Build

Build 1

Build 2



Spelt  Starter





Whole Spelt




















Spelt Starter





Whole Spelt










Starter Hydration





Levain % of Total










Dough Flour





Whole Spelt





Total Dough Flour










Water 330, Mush R 120, Soak 62





Dough Hydration










Add - Ins





Red Rye Malt





White Rye Malt





VW Gluten





Spelt Sprouts















Total Flour w/ Starter





Total Water w/ Starter





Tot. Hydration  w/ Starter





Hydration w/ Adds





Total Weight





% Whole Grain







bsimson's picture

wondering if anyone can tell me how to convert nancy silverton starter to 100% starter?

smarkley's picture


Pain Météore

I was really inspired by Tim's Meteorite bread.. and decided to try one myself, this weekend.


Here is Tim's blog post, if you have not seen it.

The original inspiration came from Farine..


Tim's bread looks great, I don't think mine came out looking as good... I wanted to make sure that I had a great dark color so modified the recipe *liberally* by adding coffee and molassas.


Once I had the goopy mess out of the fridge and divided it into two... I got a little scared it would spread so much that it would not fit on the baking stone! So I put one of the loaves in a dutchoven. The other loaf was done on the baking stone. Also, I wanted a cratered look to it... so in the spirit of the whole project, we picked a few small rocks from the garden, washed and sterilzed them. Then pushed the rocks(well oiled) down into the dough while it was proofing, and took the rocks out before baking,  since I did not want explosions in the oven. Deciding we wanted a little variation in color, I sprinked a little flour over the surface.


As you can see from the pics, it came out plenty dark.. and has a great semi-sweet old fashioned flavor. I was totally ready for this bread to taste terrible and had a nice surprise. Note: my wife and I were giggling about making this bread the whole time, we worked on it. And since the recipe was modified so much, we  decided to name it -- Pain Météore


Here is the highly modified recipe:


300 grams   King Arthur AP flour

300 grams  Stone-Buhr  WW flour

120 grams  Sour Dough   100% hydration

300 grams  Water

300 grams  Coffee (cold)

1/4 cup - 75grams  Molasses un-sulphered

8 grams Yeast        Active Dry

12 grams Salt        Sea Salt




1. Mix all ingredients

2. Stretch and Fold 4 times over the next 1.5 hours

3. Chill overnight

4. Divide loaves in two

5. Placed rocks in the dough

6. Let proof for an hour 

7. Pull the rocks out

8. Bake.. 500 degrees for 40 minutes.


What a goopy mess!


Putting some rocks in the dough, what was I thinking???


Ready to Bake


The Finished Loaf


The second loaf... baked on a stone


The crumb shot


Have fun, if you decide to try this... and make sure you take the rocks out before baking! 



Oh... and I promised my wife and daughter I would do more serious baking tomorrow!

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hi All,

Just wanted to tease you a little with what I'm working on right now. 

100% Hydration 100% Whole Wheat No Knead Bread


450g WW (Gold Medal)

50g Malted Barley Flour

100g Firm SD Starter (60% hydr)

500g Water

10g Kosher Salt

1/8 tsp ADY

1111 Total Dough Yield



3:15pm - Mix all ingredients in large mixing bowl with wooden spoon, cover let rest.

4:40pm - Turn dough using French fold method in bowl with wet hands, cover let rest.

5:20pm - Turn dough, cover and let rest.

6:45pm - Turn dough, cover and let rest.

7:35pm - Turn dough, cover and let rest.

9:00pm - Shape dough as follows: flour linen lined banneton with WW flour.  Turn dough in rising bowl with wet hands using reverse letter fold so that smooth side remains on top.  Transfer dough floured side down into banneton, place banneton in large plastic bag to proof.  Arrange baking stone and steam pan in oven, preheat to 550F.

10:00pm - Try to turn the dough out onto peel but dough sticks majorly to banneton...  I manage to scrape it out onto the peel and shove it in the oven...  I get a little bit of oven spring, but it's pretty much a pancake...

10:45pm - it's out of the oven now.  I'll cut it open tomorrow morning, but I don't have high hopes for this one...

Verdict: Fail for now...  I'll try something tomorrow...


Smita's picture


- Used my 100% hydration starter.

- Two builds to reach 8 oz active starter. The starter smelled fruity, not sour. Bubbles about half a centimeter big.

- Final dough: 2 cups whole wheat flour (365 from Whole Foods) and under 1 cup AP flour (King Arthur), 1 tsp wheat gluten. 

- For DDT of 76 degrees, added 1.5 cups water at about 90 degrees.

- 30 minute autolyse. Kneaded till windowpane.

- 45 minute rise, stretch and fold, 60 minute rise.

- Shaped into boule, plopped into floured banneton. Overnight retard (10 hours).

- Baked at 450 in Le Cruset (15 mins), turned oven down to 440 (20 mins), lid off (10 mins). Total = 45 mins.

- Internal temperature = 200 degrees.



- Lovely crumb and crust. We like this a lot, in terms of flavor and whole wheat flour content.

- My goal is to be able to make this consistently, and also get better at shaping.

- I would also like to introduce diastatic malt and see if I can decrease the AP flour. Need to do some reading from Hamelman's Bread in preparation.

- All comments and feedback welcome!

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Hi All,

This is a little out of order, but it will have to do.  Here are some pics of a 100% Hydration Whole Grain Muesli Bread that I baked on 1/21/10 in response to Vincent Talleu's post here:

I will try to post the recipe when I get home tonight.  The basic proportions are 95% WW, 5% Rye, 15% Muesli, 100% hydration based on the WW and Rye flours.  Enjoy!

Recipe: 2540g total dough weight

95% WW Flour - 874g

5% Rye Flour - 46g

15% Muesli - 138g

15% Raisins - 138g

6% Agave Syrup - 54g

10% Firm Sourdough Starter - 92g (60% hydration)

2% Kosher Salt - 18g

125% Cool Water - 1150g

3/8 tsp Active Dry Yeast


0:00 - Measure out and mix all ingredients in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, place into well oiled plastic container and cover.  Dough will look like a gloppy batter.

0:05 - Cover and let rest (autolyse) 1 hr 55 minutes.

2:00 - With wet hands, turn dough (stretch and fold) in oiled container, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

2:30 - With wet hands, turn dough (stretch and fold) in oiled container, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

3:00 - With wet hands, turn dough (stretch and fold) in oiled container, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

3:30 - With wet hands, turn dough (stretch and fold) in oiled container, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

4:00 - Turn dough out onto well floured surface, divide into 4 equal pieces (635g each), place in lined baskets well dusted with coarse wheat bran.  Proof for approx 45 minutes.  Place baking stones on 2 levels in oven (top rack should be on the 2nd space from top, and botton rack should be on bottom space), place steam pan in appropriate place in oven, preheat with convection to 550F for 45 minutes.

5:00 - Place loaves directly on baking stones using a wooden peel (2 per stone), add 1 cup of boiling water to steam pan, close door.  Turn oven down to 450F, turn off convection, bake for 18 minutes, rotate loaves between the stones, bake for another 18 minutes.  Loaves are done when internal temp reaches 210F.

Notes: I used Gold Medal Whole Wheat Flour, Arrowhead Mills Organic Rye Flour, Bob's Red Mill Muesli.  Also, I think I lied a little... The hydration is actually 125%...

Good luck!  Please let me know if you have any questions...


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