The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starters

  • Pin It
monicaembrey's picture
monicaembrey

Starters

In terms of whole grain starters, what does it mean when the recipe ask for a starter 150%?  What is the 150%?  Someone please help me.  I have used sourdough starter in regards to sourdough pancakes according to me Grandmothers coments.  Pinch of this, Dash of that ect.  You know eyeball stuff.  She never said percentages.

Monica

tomdrum's picture
tomdrum

the hydration (water content) of a starter is measured as a percentage of the weight of flour contained within the starter. For instance a 150% hydration starter is would have 150grams of water for every 100grams of flour, a 100% hydration starter would have equal amounts of flour and water so for 100g of flour you would have 1oog of water and a 50% starter would contain 50g of water for every 100g of flour. In bakers percentages (BP) everything is measured in reference to the flour weight. A typical bread formula, (and for simplicy I will use an example that uses fresh yeast and not wild yeast) might look something like this

Flour100%

Water 68%

Salt1.7%

Yeast1%

So for every hundred grams of flour you used you would add 68grams of water, 1.7grams of salt, and 1 gram of yeast.Simple really :)

Incidentally this is very close to the formula I used to make some very nice little bagguetes last night night.

Hope this helps

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

the hydration and the Bakers Percentage numbers are always based on weights, never on volumes.  So, 100g of flour and 100g of water, or 68 tons of flour and 68 tons of water, or any other matching weights of flour and water would be considered 100% hydration.

A cup of flour and cup of flour, or any other volume measurements, will not be 100% hydration since a volume of water weighs more than an equal volume of flour.

Paul

Maverick's picture
Maverick

I believe that last sentence should read "A cup of flour and a cup of water ... will not be 100% hydration..." Just in case someone were to read it and get confused. On a side note, on average this would be about 166% hydration. But that is only an average and not necessarily accurate.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Although physically true, my typo makes for a silly statement.

Paul

monicaembrey's picture
monicaembrey

Thank you very much.  Everybody has been most helpful.

monicaembrey's picture
monicaembrey

thank you so very much.  Everybody has been so helpful.

tomdrum's picture
tomdrum

You are most welcome