The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

100% hydration starter

stevx's picture
stevx

100% hydration starter

have been using my starter for a few months and I am happy with the results considering my limited experience

when I feed it I keep 100g of old starter and add 50g water and 50g flour

would this be called 100% hydration ?

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

Hi stevx -

Yes, hydration is based on what your refreshing with typically, assuming you have the same hydration to begin with. Hydration is the percentage of water to flour, so here you have equal weights (50g and 50g). That is 100%. 25g of water mixed with 50g flour would be 50% hydration. To figure out a hydration that isn't easy to memorize, just divide the flour into the water, then move the decimal point over 2 places:

25g water divided by 50g flour | 25 / 50 = 0.5 (move decimal over 2, add a zero for the blank spot) gives us 50% hydration

40g water divided by 50g flour | 40 / 50 = 0.8 or 80% hydration

If you have some 'other' hydration starter to begin with, and you want to make it 100%, you can just do 2 or 3 refreshments at the new 100%, and your retained starter will slowly change and balance out at 100%. At such a small gram weight, it will change fairly quickly. In lean doughs, the hydration of the entire dough mass will be dividing flour into water, but with rich doughs, you have to factor in other liquids. Milk, eggs, honey, anything that isn't 'dry' will add to the hydration by the amount by which that ingredient itself is hydrated.

- Keith

 

Davidkatz's picture
Davidkatz

Thanks!

Getting to work on this asap...

I want to bake tomorrow.

 

David

stevx's picture
stevx

thanks Keith that explains it well

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Hi SteveX!

I used to follow a similar feeding schedule (keeping it in the refrigerator and using approximately weekly). It was my experience that the starter slowly lost vigour using that routine (without additional feedings). As a result, the preferment might look pretty active and good but the results would be less than desired. I have since gone to a 50 grams starter plus 50 water plus 50 and the extra flour gives the starter relatively more food to work on and it seems to stay more robust. I also have gone to a multiple feed to insure the starter is at peak performance. (I.e. feed it in the evening of Baking Day (BD) -2, the morning of BD-1. Then make the preferment the evening of BD -1, and prepare final dough on the morning of BD. All of these feedings are left at room temp. The new "starter" is taken and fed when the preferment is mixed.) This ensures a reasonably stored and active "starter" will be fully active at baking time and is likely to give you more consistent results. It is a bit more trouble but for me the results are worth it.

Bood Luck!

Jay 

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

Good catch, Jay... I was focused on the hydration question and didn't really note the feeding amount versus age of the starter.

Steve, you are currently feeding 2:1:1 (starter:water:flour), which means the combined weight of your water and new flour equals the weight of the retained starter. This is good for a young starter, or a lazy/stressed one, to get population levels up. If your starter is relatively healthy, you should be doing 1:1:1, assuming you are looking at ~12 hr refreshment cycles at counter temps. You need to double the water/flour to 100g each, -OR- reduce the retained starter to 50g. Where you are right now, if you are going 12 hrs or more, your culture is starving by then.

- Keith

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Hi Keith!

I thought your comments were solid. For various reasons I seem to find the expansion ratios important so I picked up on it!

I agree with you!

Jay

stevx's picture
stevx

thanks for the responses

I will be adjusting my feeding

another blog recommended the 1:1:1 and it had me questioning if my 2:1:1 was correct 

its good to have a place to go for answers