Question on Starter Hydration

I've seen a few references to hydration and noted a good explanation at Shiao Ping's recipe entry.


"Bakers percentages are relative to flour weight (flour equals 100%) and every other ingredient is a percentage of this. Flour from the Starter is not counted"


That same entry refers to "White Starter @100% hydration".


When it comes to starter is this referring to the refreshment phase of mixing 1:1 flour:water to feed or is it making reference 1:1 to make a "sponge".




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farinam's picture
farinam 2013 May 12

Hello tassie,

As she said, she keeps her 'stock' at 100% hydration and also uses that for her levain.  She also comments that if you use a 'stiff' starter/levain and follow the recipe you will get a slightly different hydration for the final loaf.

The basic idea of Baker's Percentages is to allow easy scaling of recipes to a given mass of flour and that is why the flour in the starter is not considered for BP's.  The main effect of the starter ingredients is on the calculation of the final hydration of the loaf and they probably should be included in that calculation and many people do.  Obviously it makes no difference if you are using yeast because the mass of yeast is so small relative to the total mass. I don't think many 'amateur' bakers actually use BPs anyway as they really only have a place in big changes to recipe quantities.

Good luck with your projects.


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