The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

substituting one starter type for another

caryn's picture
caryn

substituting one starter type for another

I have a question about whether you can easily substiute a biga starter  (a starter made by adding a very small amount of yeast to a flour and water mixture) with a liquid sourdough starter.  The reason I am asking is that I have been used to making a lot of breads with Hammellman's formulas that use a sourdough starter. but recently I have started making some sandwich breads out of Amy's Bread (revised edition) that use a biga starter.  I have no problem using the biga for these breads.  They have come out really well- I especially like the oatmeal bread with pecans.  I highly recommend it. It's just that I feed my sourdough regularly (because I don't want to risk losing it!!), and it would actually be easier for me to use that rather than create a biga for the sandwich breads.  I understand how I can exchange a thick starter for a liquid style, so I could adjust the sourdough for a corresponding hydration, but I am wondering if the sourdough would work as well.


Has anyone done this routinely?  I could just perform my own tests, but I am wondering if any of you has done this already. I would appreciate any input on this.  Thank you!

Jeffrey's picture
Jeffrey

Of course, no trouble at all.  Just try what you want, if it works do it again, if not try it again.

caryn's picture
caryn

Thank you Jeffrey!  So you have subsstituted sourdough for sourdough?  Well, I will just try this next time.  Probably don't have too much to lose!-- maybe a couple of loaves of bread...and hopefully not.

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

and it always works. Those kinds of wild yeasts -solid, liquid of one flour  type  or another- are really interchangeable.

Carilee's picture
Carilee

Since my starter began really working, I have been substituting it for the commercial yeast in every bread I've baked.  It works just as well.  One of our favorites is Hamelman's Oatmeal Bread on page 234.  My most recent conversion was his Five-Grain Bread on page 238, which I made to compare to his Five-Grain Levain that I had baked just prior to that.  They both turned out well, except for winding up with too much salt in the Five-Grain Levain (oops!).

caryn's picture
caryn

Thank you both, nicodvd and Carilee.  I will try this the next time I make Amy's Oatmeal Pecan bread.  I really recommend that you try that recipe as well.  


Carilee- I think the some of Hammelman's breads do have a bit extra salt.  I know that when I have made one of his multi-grains- I don't recall whcih one right now, but it was saltier than some of his other breads, but it was still very good.