The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


bze deb's picture

Tartine Starter rising too quickly

February 17, 2011 - 12:43pm -- bze deb

Great forum!  I've started my Tartine starter.  I live in the tropics and my house is probably 80 degrees or so.  After less than 24 hours, my starter had grown right out of it's container - more than doubling in volume.  I decided this was a good thing and ignored it for another 24 hours.  When checking it today (after 2 days) it has separated.  It smells "sour"  and there are bubbles on the water.  I stirred it in, dumped the 80% and fed it, hoping it's okay.  Should I feed more frequently due to the heat here?  Should I have fed it after one day since it was already bubbling?

cranbo's picture

In researching another thread, came across this interesting article on preferments from Lallemand, in PDF format.

One interesting morsel:

The preferment minimizes the lag phase by providing an optimum environment for the yeast. The result is higher gas production later inthe process, especially in high-sugar doughs.

The lag phase is the "ramp up" phase that occurs before yeast reach their maximum productivity. The article has a nice chart. 

Here's another interesting one:

Yeast activation takes place during the first 30 to 60 minutes in all types of preferments. Longer preferment times are not necessary for yeast activation, and can have a negative effect because yeast start to lose activity once the available sugar has been consumed. The only reason for longer preferments is for flavor contribution or dough development.

I think they're referring to the activation of commercial yeasts here (Lallemand is a commercial yeast producer, after all). Yeast activation is sourdough I think is different altogether. 


iamonline's picture

Starters in Toronto?

February 15, 2011 - 6:56am -- iamonline

Hello everone,

This may be a bit forward, but I was wondering if anybody in Toronto has a lively starter that they would be willing to share a little portion of with me?  I've been having a heck of a time trying to get one started.  I had a very good one about a year ago but dumped it when I moved. 

I'm willing to pick it up from anywhere in the city!

Thanks for your consideration!


cranbo's picture

What is the maximum preferment percentage in finished dough?

February 6, 2011 - 12:21am -- cranbo

Most recipes I've seen at somewhere hovering between 20-25% of flour weight. I recently read someones recipe that was using a 30% preferment and I thought it was a bit high. 

At some point, I imagine, once you reach an upper limit (say 50%?) your dough quickly changes to the preferment.

So I have 2 questions:

Scott Grocer's picture

Help adapt formula for use with levain

February 3, 2011 - 1:38pm -- Scott Grocer

I've got a formula for a nice American style pizza dough that rises in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours, but I was thinking about swapping the instant dry yeast and long ferment for a levain so I could do silly stuff like make same day sub rolls or maybe even soft dinner rolls. Mostly I just wanted something to experiment with.

The problem is that I just can't seem to grasp how to adapt the formula. I was thinking about plugging say, 20% Biga (100% flour, 60% water, 0.2% yeast) into the following formula in place of the IDY:

am529's picture

Starter didn't rise after last feeding

January 28, 2011 - 12:36pm -- am529

I've had a starter going for about 2 weeks now I think, and it had been fine so far. I didn't know that much about sourdough starters when I first made it, so I used the recipe from a baking book I have (which is equal parts water and flour with one packet of active dry yeast). I've been feeding it twice a day and pouring off at least half every 2 to 3 days.

ramat123's picture

A question about retarding 30% starter sourdough

January 18, 2011 - 4:42am -- ramat123


Hi Bakers,

My question is actually two questions.

I am baking a miche of 40% bread flour, 40% whole wheat and 20% rye, 70% overall hydration, 2% salt, 30% starter and 18% grains.

Starter is 100% hydration (same flours %).

I've baked hundreds loaves with this recipe and now the questions are:

1. Most recipes in Hamelman calls for about 15% starter. Only rye recipe contains up to 30%. what does it mean to have 30% starter in the recipe. What would happen if I change to 20%? (tried, did not see a big difference).

Eli_in_Glendale's picture

Starter from Tartine Bread Book

January 14, 2011 - 3:09pm -- Eli_in_Glendale

Hi all, newbie here.  I am about 5 days into getting my starter going using the technique from "Tartine Bread." What an awesome book by the way.  I've got bubbles with each feeding, and a mildly foul aroma, but not much rise/fall as he describes.  Should I really be feeding it 100 grams of both water and 50/50 flour mix?  I feel like it's a waste, and not much seems to be changing from one feeding to the next.  I am feeding daily now.  Anybody else followed this technique with much success?  Thanks a million.

kranieri's picture

is an old but rehabilitated starter safe?

January 4, 2011 - 10:45am -- kranieri

hello all - 


i have an 83% hydration starter, however i went abroad for 4 months and forgot to do anything with the starter. i left it in the fridge and had dried it out a bit. 

when i got back the starter had a thick crust on the top and beneath that looked alright. 

i took about 1/8tsp of the good part and proceeded thusly for a couple days:


btw if it makes any difference flour is natural way mills 12% protein hard winter wheat. 



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