The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


runningknows's picture

commercial yeast vs. starter

June 20, 2010 - 6:58pm -- runningknows

Lurked for a while, but now I have a question.... My starter's going quite well, making decent bread with it, nothing fancy but much better tasting than the local stuff for sale. My question: I've been using my starter as leavening for all of my baking right now (which I'm thrilled about) with much thanks to Andrew Whitley.  When should I use commercial yeast rather than the starter?  How do I know the difference?



jennyloh's picture

Liquid Levain - How do I know its ready?

June 14, 2010 - 3:44am -- jennyloh

I'm wondering if anyone can proivde me insight as to how do I know if my levain is ready?  I'm trying to make Vermont Soudough by Jeffrey Hamelman.  My kitchen is measuring 28 degree celsius.  Much higher than the recommended temperature.  The levain looks healthy and bubbly. It's been in my closed cool oven (not on) for the past 6 hours.

jennyloh's picture

I think I'm being ambitious here.  Building starters, and started with 3.  Actually no,  I didn't start with 3.  I started with 1 full rye.  50g/50g,  following by a 1:1 ratio and then 1:1:1 ratio by the 3rd day.  I realised too late that I was going to build a giant and alot of wastage. I decided to split them into 3.  

I wonder if they are ready or I should just go on feeding them? Looking for advice.


Rye Starter - Day 5 without refreshment yet.

I took out about 160g from this rye starter and then added 50g/50g.  I think I should have thrown out more.  It's not as bubbly as the one that I added whole wheat.


Starter 2:  Added White flour - Day 5 without refreshment (using Dan Lepard's % of white leaven formula)

80g of initial rye starter/100g white/80g water

It's more bubbly and seems to have tripled.  Is this ready?


Mother Starter (Peter Reinhart)

I actually read wrongly and used Reinhart's formula on the 4th day.  But it's also very bubbly.  Should I continue with this formula to create the mother starter as per Reinhart's formula?

80g rye starter/60g whole wheat/20g water


Looking for suggestions and advices.

Doc Tracy's picture

Sourdough Nutrition

April 26, 2010 - 9:56am -- Doc Tracy

Does anyone have any data on how much sourdough starter changes nutrition in bread? I'm curious to know how much the starter converts carbs to amino acids and other nutrients. I guess it would be very difficult to calculate because it would depend on length of fermentation, original quantity of starter, number of yeasties and other buglets in the starter. But, just wondering if anyone has done any sort of research/calculations of this sort?

I couldn't find anything on this when I did a web search.

Thanks, Tracy

Julie_R_Mac's picture

How do I use a starter in place of a dry yeast?

January 17, 2010 - 3:56pm -- Julie_R_Mac

I have created a great starter that I've been using in sourdough recipes effectively, but I've heard I can use the starter in other non sourdough recipes in place of the dry yeast these recipes call for. Is this true? If so, what's the coversion rate? For example, if a recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast, how much of my starter would I use in stead? Thanks so much!

Igwiz's picture

Sourdough Start Question

September 25, 2009 - 4:18am -- Igwiz

Hello everybody.  My name is Thane and I just signed up.  I've been baking on and off for most of my adult life, but just began baking regularly about 3 months ago.  I've decided to venture into sourdough, so am building my own starter (I like to start things from scratch).  I've been following Maggie Glezer's advice in "Artisan Baking," but had a question for you more experienced yeast catchers...


phxdog's picture

Active Dry Yeast in place of 'Captured"?

June 24, 2009 - 9:40am -- phxdog

At the risk of committing heresy, I wonder if instant or dry active yeast could be the basis of a good sourdough starter. Here's my reasoning:

I'm told that dry active yeast has been 'engineered' to be very active and supplies a very high concentration of yeast to make bread rise quickly and consistantly. Intant yeast is very easy to use but works so quickly that it sacrifices the depth of flavor one gets with a long, slow ferment.

ema2two's picture

Stiff and Liquid starters and baking Rye bread

December 14, 2008 - 5:29am -- ema2two

OK, can you stand more newbie sourdough baking question from me?

I know you can have stiff (50-60% hydration) starters and liquid (100-125% hydration) starters. I read Bread by Jeffrey Hamelman and he makes reference to being able to convert your starter between the different hydration states, and in an appendix gives specific directions about how to convert a liquid starter to a stiff starter. He doesn't explain how to convert from stiff to liquid. Can this be done successfully?


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