The Fresh Loaf

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Using sourdough starter

bigos's picture

Using sourdough starter

I'm studying Mr. Hammelman's Bread book witch is amazing and full of knowledge but I'm still confused about using sourdough starter in no-yeast recipies.Why I have to mix sourdought starter with flour and water, wait 12 - 16h and mix a dough? Isn't it just a feeding a starter? Can I just mix final quantity with rest of igriedients and leave it for rise/proof/bake ?


Example recipe from

  • 1 cup (227g) ripe (fed) sourdough starter
  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) lukewarm water
  • 5 cups (602g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, divided
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  1. Combine the starter, water, and 3 cups (12 3/4 ounces, 362g) of the flour. Beat vigorously for 1 minute.

  2. Cover, and let rest at room temperature for 4 hours. Refrigerate overnight, for about 12 hours.

Why Can't I just use 929g of starter (227g + 340g + 362g) and mix with rest of ingriedients? Is it kind of 'leaven, levain'? 
LittleGirlBlue's picture

Most people don't keep 929g of starter on hand.  I keep only 55g.  Each time I feed it the discards go in a bin in the fridge, which I could let accumulate until I had 929g in it.  But altho that discard works great in some recipes, it is not at its peak of activity and therefore not ideal for making bread.