The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Startin Over,.?

prochef_313's picture

Startin Over,.?

I have a really good pizza dough formula using yeast, but I want to convert to a starter. What is the conversion factor,.?

RFMonaco's picture

Good info here.


Sourdough Jack's Technique To Convert Your Recipes to Sourdough

This basic method (with some of my (Joan's) changes) comes from Sourdough Jack's Cookery (1959) and is a reliable technique that will turn your favorite bread recipe (buns, breads etc.) into a very good sourdough one. You must have a good reliable starter. Try your favorite one loaf recipe such as white, anadama, oatmeal or any yeast white flour bread recipe (or buns and rolls ). All come out very well.

1. Place one cup of your favorite active sourdough starter in a large bowl with about 2/3 of the total flour called for in your recipe. Add all the milk or water to make a stirable thick batter. You don't want a dough but a batter.

2. Cover the bowl and set aside the mixture in a warm place for 14 to 16 hours. The longer it stands, the more sour it gets. This sponge mixture will get bubbly and light.

3. Now add all the additional ingredients (such as salt, sugar, oil, eggs etc.) called for in your recipe except the remaining flour. Do not include any yeast or baking soda- omit them! Please trust your starter. If the starter is bubbly and active, the recipe will turn out okay.

4.Add the remaining flour, mix and knead well by hand, adding additional flour only if needed to make a soft pliable non-sticky dough. Dough will smooth and elastic but just a bit softer than your typical yeast dough recipes.

5. Let the dough rest 10 minutes, covered.

6. Form your dough into a loaf (or loaves) and place dough in the pan(s) or make loaves the way your recipe instructs.

7. Let the dough rise, to the tops of the pan(s) or until light and puffy in a warm place. Patience- this takes much longer than standard yeast dough recipes!

8. Bake and cool as your recipe instructs. Your bread should have a nice soft interior, a good chewy crust and that special sourdough taste.


SourdoLady's picture

This is how I convert, and I find it is the simplest method for me:

The easiest way I have found to adapt a recipe without altering the ingredients too much is to take all of the liquid from the recipe, stir in 2 Tbsp. starter, add the same amount of flour as the liquid. Let this sit, covered, overnight (room temp.) Next day, continue by adding the rest of the ingredients, remembering that you already used the liquid and part of the flour. If your recipe calls for milk rather than water, use water but then stir in some dry milk powder after the overnight proofing is complete and then mix your dough.