'Training' sourdough cultures


 Hi all,

I recently came accross the idea of training the sourdough starter. A microbiologist friend of mine suggested I take pieces of dough from loaves I have liked and re-introduce them into the starter to influence the balance of the culture towards producing better bread.


Has anyone had any expereince with this?


332 users have voted.


panfresca 2011 August 13

The yeast and lactobacillus is inactivated at baking temps, so I don't see how this would work. Or am I missing something?

The closest I have heard to using other bread to influence your flavours is by using old bread in the mix - you heat it in the oven, then wet it and mash it up, incorporating it in the new dough. But it is purely a flavour thing.


farinam's picture
farinam 2011 August 14

Hello Snuffpuppet

I know of people who hold back a piece of dough to act as a seed for the next batch of starter but this is virtually the same as keeping some of your starter (except for a smidge of salt).

I think that it is more to do with what the culture is fed upon and temperatures and times that affect the taste that you get and the other characteristics of the finished loaf are determined by the handling and shaping rather than the 'character' of the culture used.

However, if you want to try the experiment, then by all means go ahead and be sure to let us know how it goes.


snuffpuppet 2011 August 14


As Farinam mentioned I meant holding back some of the original (unbaked) dough to re-integrate if the loaf looks good. 


Farinam, I'll do some more investigation. Maybe even try to rope my microbiologist friend into participating in a few experiments. Heh.


panfresca 2011 August 14

Yes, I understand that now... I should look it up, but is that called levain de pate? I tried doing it that way for about 10 days after reading about it. It does introduce a consistency to the results, and also addresses the concerns of those who don't like the thought of throwing out some of their starter every day. Ultimately I went back to the conventional method because I didn't necessarily want a part of "yesterday's bread" in today's loaf recipe - eg with different flours.

I think it would make good sense in a production environment, making the same loaf every day, but perhaps not so much for the home baker.

Merrid 2011 August 16

Paté fermenté, isn't it? But surely the culture will eventually stabilise anyway, and what you're re-introducing is more of the same.

Millciti's picture
Millciti 2011 September 27

 Been too busy this Summer to do much but Bake...  So are you talking about dough without improvements and salt?



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