The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How much starter?

hs4816's picture

How much starter?

I've been given many recipes. One has 50g starter to 500g flour another has 320g starter for 800g flour (2 loaves). That's pretty different ratio of active starter. My first loaf was underproofed and I wonder if needed more active starter?

BreadLee's picture

You can try the 1-2-3 method.  Pretty straightforward,  plus alex is so cute explaining it.


OldLoaf's picture

If it was underproofed then give it more time during your bulk ferment.

 The reason for the wide range of starter/levain is because there are many different ways to make sourdough.  Some loaves can be made in a day and will use large amounts of starter/levain.  Others may take several days and use very small amounts of starter/levain.  There is no right or wrong way, just whatever way works best for you.  Generally, the longer the dough takes to ferment (proof/rise, etc.), the better the bread will taste.

 For what I would consider a traditional loaf, it’s typically 20%-25% starter/levain to Total Flour Weight.  Some bakers use the Total Dough Weight instead.  It’s a starting point.  Experiment and have fun!

 A suggestion for experimenting:  Only change one thing at a time!  It’s much easier to keep track of your results.

BaniJP's picture

It really depends how much time you have on your hands.

I use 100% flour, 60% water, 50% starter and 2% salt and my bread is baked within 9-10 hours (6 h bulk-ferment, 2 h final proof) after mixing the ingredients, which fits nicely on a weekend day. Maybe in the summer it's closer to 6-7 h.