Sourdough Starter & Bread



   I'm new to sourdough, even i have baked number of times but still can't get dough right. I have two starters, whole wheat and white starter and i keep in fridge and feed once a week. It's a dough starter, with 2:1 ratio (flour:water). I would like to know

  1. Is there a standard of using how much starter with sourdough bread?
  2. Usually on sourdough recipe, what is the percent of % hydration of starter and also % hydration for the dough?
  3. What should i do if i can't get window pane stage even i have kneaded for quick a whilte?



284 users have voted.


farinam's picture
farinam 2013 November 4

Hi seebee,

The amount of starter that you use can be quite variable but the amount will affect both the taste and the time that the dough takes to develop and prove.

Many people use starters at 100% hydration - that is equal amounts by weight of flour and water but many also use lower hydration even to the extent of just keeping back a piece of the final dough.  Dough hydration can also vary widely depending on the type of flour and the style of bread that you are making and can range from 60% to 90%.

A simple recipe for a 100% hydration starter and white bread flour is known as the 1:2:3 - one part starter, 2 parts water and 3 parts flour.  So 150g of 100% starter with 300g water and 450g flour (plus 10g salt) will make a medium/large sized loaf.  Increasing wholemeal will require proportionately more water.

The time that it takes for the dough to develop depends on time and energy - the less energy the more time.  With vigourous kneading using the 'bertinet/french' method (slap/stretch/flop) it can be as little as 5 minutes, with the 'english' method (push/roll/turn) it can be 15-20minutes or with stretch and fold (30-60minutes intervals) it can be two or three hours.

Hope this helps and good luck with your projects.


seebee 2016 February 2

Thanks Farinam. I'm now keeping my starter at 100% hydration, some times i will make stiff levain and leave it in fridge for few days before using.

Post Reply

Already a member? Login