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Adapting Recipes for 100% hydration starter

fncll's picture

Adapting Recipes for 100% hydration starter

I have an active and happy 100% hydration starter that I created using the old pineapple juice method.

I would like to bake some of the breads in Reinhart's "Artisan Bread Every Day" book, which uses a "mother starter" that is (I think) 66% hydration.

Rather than create a mother starter, I think I should be able to adjust the recipe(s) to use my starter, but I am unclear on how to do that.

For instance, the "Pain au Levain" recipe calls for 71g of mother starter + 142g bread flour + 85g ww flour + 151.5g water.

By my calculations the mother starter is about 47g flour + 24g water. But how to adjust for my 100% hydration starter?

mrfrost's picture

Simplest method if you don't want to convert a portion of your into his mother starter(taking your word for the "47 + 24" calculation, but that's not 66%*):

Take 94g of your mature, bubbly starter(this is also assuming that your starter is ready to be used for baking). Of course you want to have made more than this, so as to have leftover whatever amount of starter you keep on hand.

94g of your 100% starter = 47g flour + 47g water. So, you are at the correct amount of flour in the mother starter, but there is 23g excess water.

Now you just add the additional flour and water amounts you listed for the recipe, but of course, subtracting the excess amount of water in your starter, namely subtracting 23g water.

So to make the recipe, to your 94g of 100% starter, you will add 142g bread flour + 85g ww + only 128.5g of water(151.5 - 23).

Catching on? Good luck.

*24 ÷ 47 = 51.1%


the hadster's picture
the hadster

Thanks for asking this question!  And thank you mfrost for the answer!

The Hadster

dabrownman's picture

would have 42,77 g of flour and 28.23 g of water.  71g divided by 1.66 (100% flour and 66% water) = 42.77g of flour and 71 g - 42,77 g = 28.23 g of water.  Who knew baking bread would require us ti remember algebra?  don't seem to use it anywhere else:-)

Happy baking with algebra!

placebo's picture

First thing I'd do is recheck your calculations. At 66% hydration, you have two parts of water to every three parts of flour. There are five parts altogether, so one part would be one-fifth of the total weight. That means 70 grams of starter consists of 28 grams of water and 42 grams of flour. (I'd just ignore the difference between 70 grams and 71 grams, but if you want to be accurate, you'd have 28.4 grams of water and 42.6 grams of flour.)

MrFrost showed one possibility of adjusting the recipe, by holding the amount of flour constant between the 66% and 100% starters, and adjusting the amount of starter and water to compensate. With the corrected calculations, you would find you need 84 grams of 100% starter, which will contribute an excess of 14 grams of water, so reduce the amount of additional water by 14 grams.

You could also hold the amount of starter constant. 70 grams of 100%-hydration starter would contribute 35 grams each of flour and water. You'd be short 7 grams of flour and have an excess of 7 grams of water. Adjust the amount of flour and water in the recipe accordingly.

You could also hold the amount of water constant. To get 28 grams of water, you need 56 grams of 100% starter. In this case, the total amount of water will be correct, but you'd be short 14 grams of flour.

Personally, being a fan of symmetry, I'd go with keeping the amount of starter constant.