Advice wanted for Pre-ferment Flour indications when using a Culture-Starter


(Steve Petermann) #1

I’m upgrading the spreadsheet I’ve been using to be a more complete tool for getting and modifying a bread recipe quickly that includes a pre-ferment. It will be on Google Sheets so anyone can use it and I’ll share it (free) here after I’m done with a few final touches. You won’t need a spreadsheet program to run it. One of the final touches I’m puzzling about is how to best think about the added flour amount in a pre-ferment when a culture-starter is used. Often recipes have the culture-starter amount as a baker’s percentage of the added flour, but I don’t want to use that because it doesn’t take into account the hydration level of the culture so the actual flour levels aren’t indicated. So instead, I’m weighing a couple of options. One would be to input the flour increase from culture-starter flour (say 4 times). Another would be to input the percentage of the culture-starter flour to the total flour in the pre-ferment (say 20%). Here’s a couple of screenshots (of that portion of the spreadsheet) for the two options. Both give the same pre-ferment formula. Any opinion on which would be more intuitive for the baker would be appreciated. Also, I’m using the term Culture-Starter so that people will know that’s from the sourdough batch they maintain. Is that understandable?

Flour increase:

% of total pre-ferment flour