The Fresh Loaf

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Levain build query! - First ever sourdough bake

lucia.mcc's picture

Levain build query! - First ever sourdough bake


I am attempting my first ever sourdough bake this week. My starter is 6 days old and has some really nice activity and had it's first rise and fall today .

I am planning on doing a small loaf using the 1:2:3 method. My query is ratios for my levain build. I want 120g of levain for my recipe. Do i use;

a) 20g mature starter + 50g water + 50g flour


b) 40g mature starter + 40g water + 40g flour

Is there a benefit to using one over the other or does it matter?

Hope someone can shed some light on this! 

Many thanks :)

phaz's picture

The 120g should be mature starter. Regardless of the feed ratios, it would need time to reach maturity.

foodforthought's picture

In theory, the 20 g batch @1:2.5:2.5 will take longer to reach maximum bubbly goodness, so probably good for, say, an overnight build...

I would expect the 40 g batch @1:1:1 to max sooner, possibly in 6-8 hours

Other variables, especially room temperature, could influence the fermentation rate, so hard to say from here. Your starter is still pretty young so maybe you should start two batches side by side and record your observations.



lucia.mcc's picture

Thanks for this Phil, that's really helpful. Yes I am planning of using my levain after about 6 hours.

Great idea to make 2 loaves using different levain ratios and compare outcomes!

Super excited to see how they turn out! :)