The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Still Feeling confused but ready to continue's picture

Still Feeling confused but ready to continue

So, I took my starter from the refrigerator yesterday and added equal amounts of water and flour (by weight) I added about 3 oz extra water because I had added SO much extra flour to my starter in the past that it was completely stiff. I fed the starter 3.6 oz each water and flour again last night and this morning, so now I have a nice happy bubbly starter. I would like to make a poolish and let that sit for a while, so how much starter do I add to my flour? I know I need 1/3 of the amount of flour for my bread recipe but I am not quite sure how much starter to use, also, how long do I let this sit and if it will be too late to make bread today can I refrigerate it for tomorrow? Thanks!

LindyD's picture


 how much starter do I add to my flour? 

Hope this isn't too late, but the recipe you are using will tell you how much sourdough starter you need.    

What do you plan to make with the poolish?'s picture

Well, It may be too late yes, I added 1/13 c. flour to my starter. I have decided since reading your post that it was a very bad idea so I took out 240 grams ( which is what my recipe called for) It said 1 cup or 240 grams, it is so flour heavy right now that it didn't even equal a cup. But I was just getting ready to weigh in the water and  flour that the recipe calls for. This is for about a 60% hydrated starter, mine obviously isn't even that now. Any advice? 

LindyD's picture

There are several recipes at TFL for sourdough whole wheat, so am unsure which one  you are using.  At any rate, if the recipe calls for 240 grams of sourdough, you would take that amount from your sourdough (which needs to be at peak or just about peak) and mix it in according to the instructions.

Just don't immediately add all the water the recipe calls for.  Holding some back during the initial mix will allow you to adjust the hydration of the dough.   You'll get better results adjusting the water versus adding more flour.

Happy mixing and baking!'s picture

I tried to upload an image but it didn't work, I may have to resize it to help it along, maybe next time. My crust was perfect, nice and brown, a little crusty but not too tough. The loaf was a little bit heavy, a touch doughy. I may need to turn the oven down about 50 degrees and maybe you have some other suggestions. The recipe was very dry, I had to add more water than it called for. I have made alot of regular yeast bread so I do know what dry dough is, I did notice that the dough was very stiff, which had me a bit confused, I know I am no expert so maybe you would know. I may have kneaded it too much with my Bosch universal it just seemed to take for ever to have the right gluten content.

I notice my bread is very sour, is this normal? Much more sour than I am used to from the stores



Cherri's picture
livingthehomest...'s picture

I am planning to make my first loaf of whole wheat sourdough sandwich bread. The recipe on this website. Once I can make a successful loaf my plan is to make 4 at a time, is it okay to quadruple the recipe or will it mess with the rise?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Zero, zip, nada.    A Poolish is made using commercial yeast.  Equal weights flour and water, in cups that means about half a cup water to one cup of flour with a pinch of yeast and 6 to 12 hrs sitting.  A poolish is not mentioned in the linked ww recipe.

The recipe is listed in baker's % quadrupling the recipe is easy. I notice that salt is listed as 10g (which is 2 teaspoons, one teaspoon is about 5g)

One cup of water is aprox. 240g of water

One cup of flour is aprox. 125g of flour          See the difference?

Sour may indicate too little yeast activity in comparison to bacterial activity.  It could also mean that the starter amount in the recipe was too low in the beginning.  How is the starter behaving?  Are you letting it peak before reducing and feeding?  (has nothing to do with doubling)

If you list everything put into the bowl using grams, then the weight and hydration is easy to check.  Divide the water weight by the flour weight and multiply by 100.  The recipe is for a 75% hydration dough which is not dry.  So I would list and add up the weights.