The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hydration

K99mn's picture
K99mn

Hydration

after several failed attempts at sourdough I arrived here for inspiration. I’ve been hand baking for about four years in tins with easy yeast very successfully but the inigma of sourdough is passing me by ,so I’m checking everything I do and I’ve just come across a recipe on here that uses ‘150g starter @100% hydration ‘ can someone please explain what this means.

regards

k99mn

Janetmv's picture
Janetmv

150 grams of 100 percent starter would be a starter that is equal parts starter, water and flour. So for example 150 grams would be 50 g starter, 50 g water and 50 g flour. 

K99mn's picture
K99mn

many thanks Janet, just been reading some of these starter posts.....omg I have a lot to learn ha ha

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

Like Janet said, it is a starter that is half flour and half water by weight (assuming the original starter is also 50/50% water flour). A lot of us though will take a bit of our starter which can be all kinds of different hydrations and feed it so it approximates 100% hydration. So you could take 20 g of starter and feed it 65 g of water and 65 g of flour.

Or do a 2 stage starter where you again take 21 g of starter and feed it 21g each water and flour. Let that double then feed it 43g each water and flour. Not quite 150 but close enough. 

You can go nuts (or have tons of fun like us bread geeks) doing all kinds of builds but the bottom line is that the resulting starter/levain is half water, half flour by weight for 100% hydration. 

Oh and wait till you get into the 80% hydration recipes...,😂😂😂

alfanso's picture
alfanso

Danni is both a bread geek and nuts 😊.  

But I agree with her (because I'm also nuts).  To me the easiest way to think of it is if you need, let's say, 150g of starter/levain/... you can follow this procedure using a 100% hydration starter.  This is a most typical starter that many in the TFL crowd use.

Take as little as 10g or 20g of 100% starter, add 80g flour and 80g water.  Yes, this will yield more than your needed 150g.  But it has two advantages.  

  • The 180g you just built  will allow you to ensure that you maintain some freshly built starter for a next time.  If you had any leftover base starter, add this excess to it.
  • And, it is often next to impossible to scrape out all 150g from the vessel in which you build your starter/levain/...  This will ensure that all of the needed starter will be available for your final dough.
Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

take the water weight and divide by the flour weight then multiply by 100 to get % (same as moving the decimal two places to the right.  

Example:   take 50g water and divide by 50g flour, the result is 1.  1 x 100 = 100%