The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Amount of sourdough starter

Rmm7s's picture

Amount of sourdough starter

I am new to using sourdough. In Peter Reinhart's book on multigrain breads there appears to two different amounts of mother starter referenced and never explained.  I some recipes he take a small amount (2.5 oz) and adds it to the other ingredients in the biga.   Other times he just says to substitute an equal amount go starter for the biga.  I think I must be missing something or maybe I makes no difference.  Would appreciate any insights.


R.Acosta's picture

I'm no sourdough expert, so I guess someone correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like there may just be a different amount of starter used in each formula. Combining some with the biga preferment can be a way to develop a more complex flavor while substituting sourdough for the whole lot can yield something completely different tasting.

WoodenSpoon's picture

I agree, all sorts of variables can affect the amount of levain used, be it desired fermentation times, desired flavor and even things as simple as one recipe making a bigger loaf then the next, the bigger one will obviously need more to maintain an even ratio with the smaller one.