Sourdough Focaccia (Yeast Version too)

(SingKevin) #21

It is probably like pounds vs kilograms… whatever you are used to will be easiest for you.

I like the way I describe percentages for three main reasons (other than my personal view of the aesthetics of having different percentages depending on starter vs. instant yeast):

  1. It shows you very clearly the hydration percentage.
  2. No guesswork on the hydration level of the starter. I assume your recipe uses 100% hydration starter, but your ratios do not confirm this unless you read the description of how you calculate the formulas. Most recipes will not include the textual description of how to amounts/percentages were determined.
  3. The percentages for salt and other ingredients never change and are easy to calculate (i.e., salt divided by flour rather than salt divided by (flour + half of starter)). For example, I use 2% salt as a standard ratio and can evaluate all recipes against this. I think having a single universal percentage for all items has great value for non-experts like me.

(maplesugar) #22

Hi, anytime my starter isn’t so great smelling, I feed a tiny amount of it with rye flour and get it really excited, and then I feed it with King Arthur bread flour, which has malt added, and it not only holds longer, it develops a great smell.

(wendyk320) #23

Thanks, Maplesugar! All I’ve ever fed my starter is whole spelt flour. It would be interesting to try some other flours. I’m pretty sure that the problem I just had was that I’d been neglecting my starter grievously, not feeding it often enough and not feeding it enough when I did feed it. Lesson learned. I have in the past kept a small quantity of starter, about 1/4 cup or so. I’m now keeping even less, maybe a Tablespoon, and doing 2-3 feedings the day before baking and using all but a Tablespoon of the starter in the bake. I’ll see how that goes.

(Melissa) #24


The reasons you give make total sense to me.

Certainly when I find myself with less starter, it’s a bit easier to recalculate the rest of the numbers if I’ve got the flour and water totaled.

But sometimes there is a strange conflict between what is simple for beginners, and what is logical for more experience bakers.

Maybe for my next recipe I’ll go the other route :slight_smile: