The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

starter question

metropical's picture

starter question

I have a small bit of no yeast starter that was given to me but the instructions are rather cryptic.  Perhaps someone can translate.  It's a rye & ww starter as I remember, and it's only a couple of ounces.

The note attached says:

100% white

60% water

20% Sourdough

12 hours



100% 1/2 ww, 1/2 white x .0022= weight

70% water

10% SD

 total wt is 400/180=.022


the  2nd part says " take total wt of starter you want (IE 400g) divide by percentage (IE 180) then multiply by each % for wt."


some of which makes sense, but how do I use the little starter "sample" I have? 

chez-jude's picture

Based on your starter sample, my guess is: 

Weigh your starter sample.

If starter is 20%, then: 

White flour (100%) is 5X the weight of the starter.

Water (60%)  is 3X the weight of the starter. 

metropical's picture

k makes sense.


give me liberty and a 5lb bag of flour

bwraith's picture


Normally you have to "feed" a starter periodically. In this case, it sounds like the notes suggest maintaining a firm starter in one of two ways. You can maintain it as a white flour starter fed by taking 20 parts starter, 60 parts water, 100 parts white flour (by weight) every 12 hours at room temperature. Or, you can take 10 parts starter, 70 parts water, 50 parts white flour, 50 parts whole wheat flour every 12 hours at room temperature.

When you are maintaining the starter, you will tend to throw out the remaining old starter each time you feed.

For example, if you want to maintain 180 grams of new starter, you would take 20 grams of old starter, add 60 grams of water and 100 grams of flour and make a dough out of it, place it in a jar at room temperature. You would throw out the remaining 160 grams of old starter unless you want to use it to make bread. The new starter will rise, peak, and dip in the middle, if the temperature is warm enough and the starter is healthy. That should take 12 hours, and then it is time to feed again.

You can refrigerate your starter if you want to set it aside for a while and not have to maintain it every 12 hours. There are a number of threads on this site about maintaining starters where you can get more detailed information.

To use the starter to make bread, set aside 20 grams of starter to keep your starter going. You can then use the remaining 160 grams of starter to make sourdough bread.

A simple recipe might be something like

160 grams sourdough starter

1000 grams flour

650 grams water

22 grams salt.

Mix ingredients and knead. Allow to rise by double in about 6 hours. Form 2 loaves. Allow loaves to rise for about 2.5 more hours. Bake at about 425F for about 30-45 minutes.


metropical's picture

thanks very for the detailed feeding explanation. 

I'll look here further.

give me liberty and a 5lb bag of flour