The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Levain to Liquid Levain? Using "Local Bread" by Daniel Leader

greg1790's picture

Levain to Liquid Levain? Using "Local Bread" by Daniel Leader

New to making Starter Dough Bread - I have an active Starter Dough (Stiff Dough Levain) but if I want to use in a recipe calling for Liquid Levain how much water should I add to it?

I assume that the stiff dough levain can be used by adding water.

Stiff Dough Levain proportions are > 45 Levain 50 Water to 100 Flour (Baker's %)

Liquid Levain proportions are > 37 Liquid Levain 130 Water 100 Flour (Baker's %)

 So can I just add 80 plus Water to the Stiff Dough Levain to make Liquid Levain

 Does this make sense?

 Thanks in advance for any help - Greg


pjkobulnicky's picture

It depends on how quickly you want to convert/refresh. The easiest way is to seed a small amount of the new liquid levain with a wee bit of the stiff levain. Give it time and it will bubble up. Then refresh that liquiid levan at the proper proportions.


In general, one keeps a stiff starter because it stays in good shape longer. No matter what, you want to refresh it before you bake, maybe several times. 


Paul Kobulnicky

Baking in Ohio

bwraith's picture

You can take 24g of your firm starter, add 13 grams to it, then feed it as above 130g water and 100g flour.

Slightly longer discussion... 

The reason to use 24g of starter is that this amount would have the same amount of flour in it as the 37g of starter at 130% hdyration. Adding 13g to it brings it to 37g, then proceed as normal. Of course, you don't really have to add the 13g separately. You can just feed 24g with 143g of water and 100g of flour.

Slightly more...

Maintaining a starter routinely as liquid or firm may result in somewhat different flavors and maybe even different culture organisms altogether over time, so this procedure doesn't necessarily exactly duplicate the author's intentions, if they specify a liquid starter maintained as liquid routinely.

Even so, most of us don't maintain many different cultures with different hydrations and flours. Most of us just change the flour and hydration for the levain called for in a recipe over one or two feedings previous to making the bread. It is not unusual to have and maintain two starters, a whole wheat or rye or other whole grain starter and a white flour starter.

greg1790's picture

Okay - I will give it a go - 1 levain is enough for me to take care of - Greg