The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Error in Handbook?

dwcnmv's picture

Error in Handbook?

Ok so I've been looking at this for 30 minutes trying to prove that I'm wrong. Maybe someone can explain it to me.

In the Sourdough page it shows the following formula:

White flour: 100%
Salt: 2%
Water: 72%
30% of the flour is in the starter. (I’ll give two recipes, one for starter at 100% hydration and another at 60% hydration)

Then you have the absolute numbers:

White flour: 500 grams or about 4 cups
Salt: 10 grams or 1.25 tsp

  • Using a wet starter: 210 grams or 1 cup MINUS 1 Tbs
  • Using a stiff starter: 270 grams or 1 cup +3 Tbs

Starter: Two options

  • Wet starter (100% hydration) 300 grams or 1 ¼ cup
  • Stiff starter (60% hydration) 240 grams or 1 cup

Assuming a wet starter wouldn't that make 650 grams flour and 360 grams water making 55% hydration? Not the 72% in the formula. The formula even states 30% flour in the starter so I'm thinking the flour is supposed to be 350 grams.

What am I missing?

All at Sea's picture
All at Sea

... is stating that 30% of the flour is used in the starter. So 500grams of flour in total (not 650 grams)- but 30% of that 500 grams is prefermented in the starter. That's 150 grams taken out and added to 150grams of water to make the 100% starter (or pre-ferment).

Check that sneaky little phrase in the recipe:
30% of the flour is in the starter

So Water total is 210 grams (in dough) + 150 grams (in starter) = 360 grams.

Flour total is 500 grams (150g of that 500 used in starter - or preferment as I would prefer to call it).

360grams as a percentage of 500 grams is 72%

Voila! (or clear as mud?) ;0)

All at Sea

dwcnmv's picture

Gotcha. From the perspective of a beginner it seemed confusing to have all of the ingredients with absolute numbers except the flour.


Ford's picture

I'm thinking you're right!

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

At least not as written.

I should confuse things even more with a BBGA spreadsheet.