I am brand new to this forum and it has been several years since I made a sourdough. I have recently started reading about it again, and have a renewed interest and understanding of sourdough. My question is this...
I was reading Maggie Glezer's Artisan Baking Across America and have decided to try out the firm starter she describes. I calculate this out to be a 50% hydration starter. It seems most of the formulas I come across are using 100% hydration starters and was wondering how to do the conversion.
Do I just increase the water and decrease the flour used in the recipe? Or do I reduce the amount of starter and add extra water? In my mind, either would work. But I wonder if reducing the amount of starter would also increase the fermentation time.
Also, I was looking at her conversion process to go from batter-type sourdough starter into a firm one and I think her math is off. She says to mix:
Liquid starter: 0.5 oz (15 grams) - 30%
Water: 0.5 oz (15 grams) - 30%
Unbleached bread flour: 1.8 oz (50 grams) - 100%
Assuming a 100% hydration on the liquid stater, wouldn't that yield a 39% hydration starter? I thought perhaps she was reffering to those that use equal volumes (rather than weights) of flour and water for their starters. This is probably closer to about 150% hydration I think. But even using this high of a number, I come up with a 43% hydration starter.
On that note, I also notice that she actually refreshes the 50% starter at a 60% rate for some reason. So eventually it would be 60%. I think she does that to make measuring in grams easier. Would the 10% make a big difference in the later loaves?
Sorry for the long post, but my renewed interest has created more desire to really understand the whole thing.