The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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kranieri's picture

In need of a new starter - Seattle, WA

December 13, 2012 - 12:09am -- kranieri

Hi - 

I just made the move to seattle and had to leave my starter behind. I now am in search of a new starter and would prefer not to build one up from scratch again so if there are any seattle people out there who have a little starter they are willing to part with i would be so grateful. 




mareblu's picture

Robertson: Amount of starter to discard when re-feeding; Amount of starter used to make a levain

July 21, 2012 - 1:09pm -- mareblu

Though I have had success with Tartine's Country Bread, I am still confused by Robertson's directions on three points:

1.  Regarding feeding the starter.  Even after the seed culture has been successfully transformed into a healthy starter, it appears that Robertson discards 80% of his starter before each regular feeding (Tartine, p. 46) whereas others simply re-feed by adding to the existing starter at a ratio of 1:2:2 (starter: flour: water by weight) without discarding.  Am I reading Robertson wrong here?  

Schola's picture

Hydration of a starter

February 19, 2012 - 6:00am -- Schola

How can you work out what is the hydration of your leaven? I made my normal sourdough recipe the other day but used a mixture of flours to use up opened packets.  This time the slashes did not open up well and the bottom of the loaf had a big tear in it. Could the starter have been too wet? I do this as a hobby in a domestic kitchen and have to fit the process round my other kitchen activities and I don't have digital scales. So far I have been quite successful in my measuring/weighing/guess work. 

Any help would be appreciated thanks.

eula's picture

Help, I added too much leaven. How do I fix?

January 31, 2012 - 8:59am -- eula

Hello! This is my first time making sourdough and I'm making Tartine's country loaf. I received a lively starter just a few days ago and I made the leaven last night. This morning, it was doubled in size and passed the float test. In my just gotten out of bed state, I forgot the step where I'm supposed to measure out 200g of leaven and used the entire thing! The leaven was made with 1 Tbsp starter, 200g water, and 200g 50/50 white and whole wheat flour mix. The dough is now almost done autolysing.

kristakoets's picture

baker's math and leaven percentages

July 13, 2011 - 1:01pm -- kristakoets

Hi all,

Two questions for all you experts :-)

#1 Regarding baker's percentages....For my Desem-type loaf (not made per own bastardization, mostly from Alan Scott) if my flour weight ( in this case 100% whole wheat) is 375 g and my leaven weight is 225g (100% whole wheat, 100% hydro) and my water weight is 283g and my salt weight is my overall hydro  81% (if I calculate in the weights of water and flour in my leaven) or is it 75% (if I do not calculate the weights of water and flour in my leaven)?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven


Whipped egg whites are often used to leaven pancakes, light cakes, baked or steamed desserts.  I didn't have Chia seeds in 2009 when at the time I made the suggestion to Sharonk, and completely forgot about it until I stumbled across it today.  Egg whites work in that they are whipped until stiff making a protein foam and then ingredients (grated nuts, flour an the like) are folded in or it's folded into batter.  Either way.  If chia gel were strained so the seeds don't plug the nozzle, and placed in a pressure container for whip cream and charged with CO2 gas, the extruded chia foam (think unscented shaving cream) might be used to hold ingredients as they bake or are floated over boiling water.  Well folks, I've got Chia seeds thanks to Shiao Ping.  Sharon suggests  "To make chia seed gel, take 2 tablespoons of chia seed and mix it into 8 ounces of water.  Stir with a whisk or fork every 5-10 minutes for a half hour... let the chia seed gel sit for 12 hours before using." 

The Plan:  I could substitute it for stiff egg white in a regular gluten recipe and find a starting point.  As far as gluten free recipes go (you can see where this is going... gluten free, egg free, yeast free)  I wouldn't know what to add to the foam or even if it would work.  (Maybe when I get that far....)  I have acquired chia seeds and can make the gel, and do have the container and gas but have no idea what to do next.  (ok, no plan.)  I suppose if the gel keeps two weeks in the fridge, I have two weeks to play around with it.  I was just wondering if Sharonk or anyone had some suggestions where I might start...  (Hint hint) 

First I want to make seed free gel, then pressurize it and test the properties of chia gel foam.  Bake it, boil it, steam it, fry it.  Seeing what happens.  Sound like fun?

It is Carnival Tuesday, anything can happen!


Melany's picture

Tartine Country Loaf - Leaven

February 27, 2011 - 10:45am -- Melany

I'm approximately 25 days into feeding my Tartine starter (every 24 hours - 150g flour mix, 150g water, 75g starter).   The starter was residing on my kitchen counter (approx. 69 degrees).

Last night I progressed to making the Leaven (1 Tbs. of the starter mixture, 200g flour mix, 200g water).  This morning I did the float test and it sunk.  I then waited 30 minutes (placing the mixture in a warmer place) and the mxiture failed the float test again.

jennyloh's picture

With the starter that I made a week ago, I finally got to try a recipe using Dan Lepard - The Handmade Loaf.  White Leaven Bread Pg 28.

I halved the ingredient as I was not sure how it'll turn out.  With the freshly made starter,  I just did 1 refrehment.  Made a little too much,  and the rest went to making muffins and pancakes.

Ayway,  it was quite an experience.  I wanted a good well developed gluten,  and I wanted to nice holes in the crumbs.  I decided to do more rest,  stretch and fold and add my salt last.  

Thursday night:  Prepare Leaven.

Friday night:  Prepare dough - did a few 1/2 hour stretch and fold.  I almost forgot the salt,  added in after my 2nd or 3rd stretch and fold.   Shape - was really really careful not to burst those bubbles that were forming,  retard in fridge - wasn't sure about this step as I didn't want to over proof the dough.  But I needed my sleep.

Saturday morning:  Final baking - Heated my oven with cast iron skillet (since I had difficulty finding a baking stone,  this is a good alternative). I score the dough,  should have scored deeper.  I was not sure whether to steam the oven,  as the book only described to spray water on the dough.  I went ahead to steam the oven as well, every 10 minutes, squirt on the iron cast skillet.  I had difficulty sliding the dough from my pizza peel onto the skillet,  one of the ends drooped down,  tried to push it but was too late,  that portion would not budge.  Well,  I went ahead anyway.  Turning every 10 minutes as my oven couldn't turn with the skillet sitting on top of the turntable.  

I was really really pleased with the outcome.  The dough had a great oven spring, browned nicely,  and there were open crumbs,  and you can see the stretching of the gluten.

Even my father was happy about the outcome (he had been staying with me for the past month), and not exactly giving me compliments on my other breads so far. I think I can add a little more salt...The bread was not sour at all,  but has a nice fragrant to the taste.  





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