The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to use my Starter?

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Tinapoy's picture

How to use my Starter?

Thanks to TFL and Debra, I think I finally made a good starter using the Pineapple juice method I found here. After a few tries with water I found out about the Pineapple Juice will make it start properly skipping the OMG Yuck smell caused by bad bacterias. Now I'm on day 6 and I don't really see my starter double in size that much or fast but it does smell yeasty. So this afternoon when I got home I tried to feed it again with pineapple juice and flour and it has risen within 3 hours its double now I think and I hope its a good thing. I'll continue with water tomorrow and see if I can get it double again with just water. Then I'll keep doing this for a week more before I try to bake with it.


So here is my question if I have an ordinary recipe that doesnt require a sourdough starter and wants to convert it into one. how do I substitute the yeast that the recipe calls for into a sourdough starter. Any particular conversion for mass. I'll practice on what I can find easy with sourdough but sooner I'll want to know how to use it on different recipes. I hope somebody could help me here and I'll try to find answers also on this forum. Thanks.

flournwater's picture

I often use my starter as a supplemental ingredient in formulas that don't call for starter by using it in the form of a pate fermentee, poolish, biga or just as a replacement for some portion of the flour/water component in the formula in the published recipe I'm working with.  The starter's age and experience brings a bit more flavor to some of those breads.  I use whatever amount of yeast the bread formula calls for, irrespective of the wild yeast in the starter, and all works out just fine.

Yumarama's picture

For your very first forray into sourdough using a brand new and unproven starter, it's probably not the best idea to add the extra headache of converting a yeast recipe to any possible issues you might cross just handling a new leavening method.

Particularly when there are plenty of excellent and proven sourdough recipes available already that will give you the proper ingredient amounts and times for sourdough starters.

Save the converting stuff for that point when you are a little further along and have a fairly good handle on the ways of sourdough.

You'll already have enough "spinning plates" getting used to sourdough without adding another bunch trying to work around converting.

Keep things simpler for yourself for the first while.

slharder's picture

I've had good success using the NYT noknead recipe and just adding some sourdough starter in with the flour.  I went for a large loaf, so I just used the original noknead recipe (left it slightly dry) and then added a cup of sourdough starter (leftover from a pancake meal).  The starter added a nice complexity and I did get a bigger loaf.