The Fresh Loaf

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How To Add Starter to Recipe?

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CJRoman's picture
CJRoman

How To Add Starter to Recipe?

If my recipe does not currently use a sourdough starter but I want to incorporate one...how to I add it without changing the hyrdration levels? And, must I also alter salt/sugar/fat/etc in the presence of a starter?

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I want 10-15% of the weight of the dough to be SD levain.  So if my yeasted recipe has 500 g of flour and 350 g of water for 70% hydration.  At 15% levain you would have 128 g of levain.  This levain i would make at 70% hydration so the flour would be 128/1.7 = 75 g and the water would be 128-75 = 53 g of water.

I don't know what kind of starter you have but I keep 80 g of 66% hydration starter in the fridge.  So to build this 128 g of levian i would use 3 stages.  I would take 10 g of starter (6 flour and 4 water) and feed it 10 g each of flour and water.  Since it is summer time i would feed it again 3 hours later 20 g each of flour and water giving me 70 g of starter (36 g of flour and 34 g of water).  3 hours later I give it the final feed of 39 g of flour and 19 g of water and then wait till it doubles and is ready to use.

The only thing to remember is to reduce the dough flour and water you add to the levain to make the final dough by the  75 g of flour and 53 g of water.  You don't change anything else.

Happy baking

davidg618's picture
davidg618

I found it simply by using the search function on the right hand side of the TFL banner above.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/5569/converting-recipe-uses-instant-yeast-sourdough-starter-recipe

David G

CJRoman's picture
CJRoman

I guess my confusion is...that this starter recipe I have says to discard a cup...feed 4 ounces of water and 4 ounces of flour. Repeat twice a day for a week.

Now, I have my bagel recipe at 55% hydration. And sometimes I make a LOT of bagels.

So, how can I "convert" this bagel recipe to use the sourdough started....and....if I'm constantly discarding and adding back the same weight...I'm always going to have the same mass, so, do I need to make a much bigger started when needed? Do you just add more flour and water and let it rest???

vtsteve's picture
vtsteve

Yes, the 'discard' is just for non-baking maintenance of the culture. When you want to bake, you figure out how much culture you need and 'build' a batch of that size (or use saved discard, if it isn't too far gone). If you need a very large final build in relation to your 'seed' starter, it's a good idea to do a 'multi-stage build' so you don't dilute your seed culture to the point that alien organisms can take hold. I keep about 30 grams in the fridge between builds. When I'm going to bake, my first stage build takes it from 30g to 300g, and the second stage gets me up to the 6kg that I need for a batch (20 loaves). The whole process takes about a day.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

If you wish to use your starter "discard" for baking, there should be no problem doing so. There are several creative ways to use all of your starter and never discard at all. For some people, it's English Muffins, others, sourdough pancakes. For you, CJRoman, it can very well be bagels. The simplest way to do it is just to count the flour and water in your starter "discard", and subtract that much from your recipe (as dabrownman said above). There are a couple things to consider. You don't want the starter to be a large percentage of the recipe. Sourdough does some things to the flour in the starter, so it is not the same as the flour you add to it for the recipe. Actually, it is pretty well used up. You're really using it for the yeast living inside it. Which brings me to the next point. Use the starter while it is active. Most advice I've read says to use it at its peak, or soon after. For me, that coincides with the time I'm going to feed (and therefore "discard") my starter. So, at feeding time is a great time for baking. I don't bake every day, so I keep old "discard" in a bowl in the fridge. I feed it a little bit of fresh flour and water, then seal the lid on it and refrigerate. The yeast becomes pretty much dormant, but it takes a little while for it to get to that state, so I feed it a little going-to-bed snack before stowing it away. It needs time to come to room temperature and become active before baking, though, so count that into your time schedule.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

by keeping 80g of stiff starter  (66% hydration) in the fridge like I do. and use 10-15 g of it to bake each loaf of bread,.  After a couple of weeks use the remainder to rebuild the starter.  No maintenance feeding, no discard - no muss no fuss.  I got tired of throwing away starter all the time.  I was often throwing away more than i was using - what a waste with folks starving in the world,

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

Another way to use starter in your recipe is to add it in addition to the recipe amounts. After re-reading your original post, I thought perhaps this is what you were actually asking for, so here it is. If your starter is a different hydration level than your recipe, then you will have to adjust the flour, to keep the hydration levels consistent with the recipe. Divide the total weight of your starter by one plus the hydration level (for 65% hydration divide by 1.65, for 100% hydration, divide by two, etc.). That will tell you how much flour you have in the starter. If it is not 100% hydration, subtract the flour amount from the total weight, to find the water weight. Divide that number by the desired hydration level of your recipe (For 65% hydration, divide by 0.65). That tells you how much flour you need for the amount of water you already have in the starter. Subtract the flour amount you already have in the starter from this number, to know how much more flour to add to make the starter the same hydration as your recipe. From that point, you can treat your starter as a scaled-down version of your recipe. If your recipe is measured by weight, this is easy to do. Divide everything down to be the same Bakers Percent as the recipe, compared to the flour. For instance, if the recipe calls for 600g flour, and your modified starter now has 150g flour, you would put 1/4 as much of everything your recipe calls for (150/600 = 1/4). Then, add all of that to the recipe.

Obviously, this is not as simple as just subtracting the starter amounts from the recipe, and proceeding on as planned, but it works just as well. It's really useful to know how to do this, though, for at least one reason: if you ever accidentally add more of something to a recipe than what is called for, you should be able to scale all the other ingredients up to match it. I find also, that most recipes are at least a little forgiving, so I exploit that fact at times, by loosely measuring, or sometimes blatantly guessing the amounts to add to the recipe, to keep it close to the same outcome, while adding starter, and increasing the final volume. Sometimes it works out, sometimes I end up wishing I had been a little bit more careful with my math.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

is if the original recipe is sized to ft something like a tin, pullman or even a brotform.   Nothing like overflowing dough :-)