## Sourdough Formula

I have been baking using formulas and percentages for many years. The last few years I have been working with sourdough in the winter‘s when time allows, which brings me to my question. I just started reading a book called the “Tartine Bread” and in the bread formulas listed in the book, The author does not include the water and flour contained in the Leaven in his percentages? Is this typical?

his formula calls for 1000 g of flour, 750 g of water and 200 g of leaven. He lists the water at 75%? If the leaven is 100% hydration, then it contains 100g water & 100g flour. In my thinking then the total flour for this recipe is 1100g and the water 850g or a hydration of 77.3%

Is there a standard for SD formulas in not including the contents of the leaven in the formula or is it a personal preference thing and so some do and some don’t? Or am i just to subtract the water & flour from the formula and only add 900g of flour and 650g of water to keep the percentages correct in the above formula example from the book?

In his final recipe everything is a percentage of the flour and the flour remains constant at 100% however it is written.

So his formula can be written two ways.

1:

Overall FormulaHe then preferments part of this formula and it's rearranged as...

2:

Final DoughThis still ends up with the same total flour and water.

It's preference. Hamelman does both. If the recipe says 1000g flour + 750g water + 200g leaven then that is what it's asking for. But as always the water is adjustable for the flour you're using. Adjust the water and the bread is the same. Change the flour and it's a different recipe.

Thanks for explaining it to me and the way you posed it, makes complete sense to me.

@hodgey:

The problem really only arises when some recipe gives percentages only, with no weights, and doesn't make clear which _system_ of percentages they are using.

As long as they give sample weights, you can then work the numbers and see what system their percentages are using, if they did not make it clear.

Most bakers here seem to go by the BBGA system of "total formula" and give % pre-fermented flour.

I like the spreadsheets that Danayo and Alfanso use, as those make sense to me. Those spreadsheets make clear the total (overall) flour, levain flour, and final-dough flour.

Those spreadsheets originate, if I understand correctly, from BBGA.

That stuff is explained here: https://www.bbga.org/files/2009FormulaFormattingSINGLES.pdf

That’s great information, thanks for sharing. What seems to make the most sense in reading through that is adding the total dough weight, which ultimately explains everything.

Also covered long ago on TFL. Check this post.

Personally I think Chad is totally wrong, but he makes nice bread!

Lance

I follow the Jeffrey Hamelman method where the amount of starter used to seed the levain is not counted in the totals. Easy to see how much flour and water is used in the levain and then subtracted from the final dough. He always gives the percent of pre-fermented flour. The amount of seed can then be used to perpetuate it. This is an example of one of my spreadsheets following his method. The layout is from the BBGA.

## formula example_1.jpg

Can I download this spreadsheet somewhere?

This a link to the spreadsheet in my Dropbox. Please download it before playing. You can alter any of the orange cells. You can replace the whole-wheat with whole-rye. I mill the day before.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/e9h924aqnczvw4e/Vermont%20Sourdough%20with%20whole%20wheat.xls?dl=0

Cheers,

Gavin

Thanks so much for sharing! I will be using it for my formulations moving forward.