The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Gumbo's picture

Biga Help and Questions

February 22, 2013 - 10:37am -- Gumbo

Brand new to bread making and anything to do with flour in general. Just started culinary school at the local state college and am now hooked on making bread. I find this forum to be an excelent source of information and could spend all day exploring.

I'm on a quest to make a French Bread with a high acetic acid content - I like the flavor and aroma. After going through this forum I discovered that a Biga or low hydration preferment would favor the production of acetic acid - no sure if thats correct but would appreciate it if someone can tell me if I'm on the right track.

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.

poorlittlefish's picture

Do I replace hooch with equivalent in water?

January 27, 2013 - 3:18pm -- poorlittlefish

After finally managing to cultivate a starter able to produce successful loaves, I've been storing it in the fridge and feeding it once a week by discarding half and adding equal weights of (white) flour and water.  I noticed that the starter was becoming thicker and it dawned on me that I've been pouring away the thin layer of hooch that accumulates on top, without adding extra water to compensate.

Born2Bake's picture

Mature Culture, and when to build the Levain, as well as other questions

January 10, 2013 - 10:10pm -- Born2Bake

I know to use a culture that rises and falls predictably after feedings.. I understand that much, however. When a recipe calls for the use of a "Mature Culture" to build your levain does it mean...

A)  Use the culture at the deflated unfead state to build your Levain that sits for 12-16 hrs.
B) Use a culture that has been fed, built up until it is at its peak height and would float on water- use that to make your levain that will then sit for 12-16 hours.

Anonymous's picture

Is there a standard or convention for how refresh/feeding ratios are written?

May 13, 2012 - 7:43am -- Anonymous (not verified)

When feeding/refreshing a starter, you often see ratios written like this: 1:2:2, 4:2:1...n:n:n.

Is there a standard or convention for how these ratios are written?

  1. starter:flour:water
  2. starter:water:flour
  3. flour:starter.water
  4. flour:water:starter
  5. water:flour:starter
  6. water:starter:flour


gmagmabaking2's picture

Naming your Starters?

February 12, 2012 - 6:50am -- gmagmabaking2

I have read where people name their starters... I was calling my the beasties... (as in yeastie beastie)... but after reading a really pleasant book wherein the pets were named Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy... I decided I like those names for my starters.   So my white flour starters are Goodness and Mercy and the Whole Wheat one is Shirley.  Quite funny I think.

pollyanne's picture

Tartine Starter

February 14, 2011 - 2:36pm -- pollyanne

Hi - beginning sourdough baker - though quite a bit of commercial yeast experience

If I am trying to listen and observe my starter, for when to feed, do I feed it when it has doubled and seems fresh and alive?  Or wait until sometime later, when it apparently will fall and/or get hooch on top?  My question is regarding regular feeding, either to keep it going, or to rebuild it to then use it to inoculate leaven.

Thanks for any information.

ajkessel's picture

Feeding ferment (Bertinet method) - how much to take out/replenish?

February 13, 2011 - 11:55am -- ajkessel

I'm doing the best I can to follow Richard Bertinet's sourdough method set out in "Crust." One thing I'm quite confused about is the volume of ferment. I bake about once per week. Bertinet suggests you should have 800g ferment; take out 400g for two loaves, and then refresh with an equal mass of water (i.e., 400g) and twice the mass of white bread flour (i.e., 800g). So after taking out the 400g and feeding the ferment, I have 1200g of mixture. If I kept this pattern up, the ferment would just keep getting larger and larger.

freshbaker86's picture

feeding dough?

November 29, 2010 - 8:46am -- freshbaker86



Im new to the forum and bread making, but I worked for a guy at the weekend making pizzas and he gave me the left over dough. He said feed it tonight and every few days with flour and sugar or honey and it'll survive as long as you want it, just break off bits when you want it.


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