The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Starting Out With a Stiff Starter

sourdoughincanuck's picture

Starting Out With a Stiff Starter


I recently converted a portion of my liquid starter to a stiff one.  I have been baking for years and decided to switch things up.  Now I'm feeling a bit lost.  I tried baking with it today using the King Arthur recipe and the first loaf stuck to my dutch oven and the second ended up being underbaked on the bottom.  Both smell and look good (from the top!) and have a nice crumb.  For now, the starter has moved to the fridge and is overtaking its container.  My questions are:

1. If I keep it in the fridge, it should be ready to bake after one feeding (assuming it doubles or triples and collapses), right?

2. I can use it in the method/recipe I use to make bread with my liquid starter but just have to adjust the amount of starter based on the amount of flour?

As for the second question, I'm trying to not reinvent the wheel.  If anyone out there has a method/formulation/recipe using a stiff starter that they like, could they please direct me to it?  Or, if there is a holy grail of stiff starter information, it would be great if I could be directed to that as well.

Thanks in advance! :)

gavinc's picture

I converted my liquid starter to a stiff rye starter about 18 months ago. Here is a link to my post back then: Solved my starter issue | The Fresh Loaf

Hamelman has since given some extra insight on this: Starter maintenance | The Fresh Loaf


Ming's picture

Every experienced sourdough baker has his or her preference in dealing with a 100% hydration (common) or less starter. For me it makes no difference performance wise whether it is stiff or soft. I like my SD starter in the 60-70% hydration range as that represents the hydration of a real dough that I bake frequently. To use my low hydration SD starter, I usually dissolve it in warm water first before mixing it to make a levain or to make a real dough. Have fun and good luck!