The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How do you work out how much sourdough starter to replace yeast

ColbaltBlue's picture
ColbaltBlue

How do you work out how much sourdough starter to replace yeast

Hello,

Not sure if I have put this in the right place, my apologies in advance. 

I was wondering if there was a technique or perhaps some math for replacing yeast in a recipe with sourdough starter?

I recall a baker once telling me that fresh cake yeast is commonly used in a bakery but not in a home kitchen. So in place if you were to use a recipe from a bakery and use active dry yeast, multiply it by 0.5. If you have instant dry yeast, multiply it by 0.3. They never mentioned the math for a starter though. 

I love the long ferment of my starter and the flavour it gives but I haven't worked out how to adapt a recipe that calls for yeast and replace it with my starter. Then further more adjust the timing of things such as the bulk.

How have others approached this?

Thank you

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

I think the best approach to use is to pretend the yeast isn't there, and then decide how long you want to ferment.  Some people like to use very small amounts to develop flavor and sourness over a long period of time, and some like to use high amounts to save time.  A good middle ground is 20% prefermented flour.

Here's a discussion of this that is pretty instructive.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/52218/percent-levain-vs-percent-prefermented-flour

ColbaltBlue's picture
ColbaltBlue

Thank you very much. I am not putting in the right keywords it would seem to search this website. 

Really appreciate the link

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

Searching on here is a challenge, since there are no advanced functions.