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How Much Sourdough to Use for Perfect Bread, Pizza, and Pastries

Table of Contents

Knowing how much sourdough to use depends on what recipe you will prepare, especially its fat, egg, and salt content. These ingredients are responsible for slowing down the fermentation due to several factors. For example, eggs increase the dough’s pH (they make it less acidic) and contrast the Sourdough’s acidity. On the other hand, salt slows down the fermentation, “stealing” vital water from the yeast cells.

That said, the quantity of Sourdough to use may vary depending on whether we make bread (which is a “lean” dough, easier to rise) or pastries such as Viennoiseries or Panettone (richer in fat and sugar).

HOMEMADE BREAD WITH SOURDOUGH STARTER AND LEVAIN

Homemade bread preparation usually starts with a BIGA. This Italian word indicates a pre-fermented dough made with a ripe starter (fed 2 times, as I explained) and fermented for at least 16 to 18 hours.

In this case, I suggest using 200-250gr of ripe Sourdough for each kg of flour.

Generally speaking, you can make an excellent Biga as follows:

  • 1kg of Bread Flour
  • 250gr of ripe Sourdough refreshed twice
  • 500gr of water

The preparation is effortless and straightforward. Knead all the ingredients in just the time needed to absorb the water without exceeding. The final dough has to be quite rough! It’s ok, don’t worry about it!

Remember that the final temperature of the Biga should be around 20°C (68°F); the best way to obtain this is to adjust the water temperature accordingly. Here is an easy formula to avoid any mistakes:

Water Temp = 55 – Room Temp – Flour Temp

!! Pls note that this formula only works with Celsius degrees. Do the calculation in °C and then convert the result to °F !!

Furthermore, suppose you prefer to make the bread dough in 2 steps (as we often do when we work with a sourdough starter). In that case, the quantity of sourdough in the first dough will be around 300-500gr for each kg of flour, and you have to triple the dough at 26°C (79°F) before proceeding with the final dough.

For those who prefer using a Levain (typically a liquid starter kept in a pot and stored in the fridge), the quantity will range from 200gr to 1 kg for 1kg of flour.

Consider that as the quantity of levain increases, the bread’s sour taste will also increase once it is baked. This is only a sour taste (therefore wholly harmless). Still, it does not please many people, so if you want to prepare 100% levain-made bread, I suggest you add 0.1% of fresh yeast for each kg of flour (1 gr of yeast per 1kg of flour).

It is crucial to remember that before using a levain in the recipe, you have first to refresh it (as I explain on this page) and let it ferment for 3 hours at 30°C (86°F).

FOR A PIZZA MADE WITH SOURDOUGH

Suppose you want to make a Pizza using the sourdough starter. In that case, I suggest you use a Biga fermented for 16-18 hours, prepared with 250gr of ripe starter (refreshed twice) for each Kg of flour.

Once the Biga is ready, you can go ahead with the preparation and make the final dough using:

300gr of Biga/kg of flour for a soft acidity dough, easier to manage without specific temperature control.

500gr of Biga/kg of flour for a more acidic (and tasty) dough. I recommend this ratio, especially in the winter season.

When the dough is ready, let it proof for 2-3 hours before baking.

Pizza with Biga
TRY THIS
Italian Schiacciata
TRY THIS
Whole Wheat Bread with Sourdough
TRY THIS

PASTRIES WITH SOURDOUGH STARTER

The quantity of starter used for pastries is about 350-450gr/kg of flour. Here, ripe Sourdough can be used at the second or third refreshment, and the preparation is usually split into 2 steps. The first dough is fermented at 26°C (78°F) until it triples its initial volume (within 10-12h). We usually add fats, sugars, aroma, and other ingredients to finish the recipe in the second dough.

It is also essential to let the first dough rise at 26°C (78°F) -28°C (82°F) to control as much as possible the acidity of the dough and avoid it’s going to exceed.

Pls note that the main difference between using a ripe starter at the second rather than at the third refreshment mainly consists of a lower capacity of preservation over time. This aspect can be relevant when making pastries such as Panettone, Pandoro, or Colomba, which must last for many weeks. Still, in most home preparations, our cakes will disappear shortly!

AND HOW MUCH FRESH YEAST TO USE FOR EACH KILOGRAM OF FLOUR?

If you prefer to use Fresh Yeast, I suggest you pay attention to the quantity you will use. If used in excessive quantities, the fresh yeast will leave a strong aroma in the baked product in the baked product, and it will let it dry quickly. You will also get a cake or bread that is difficult to digest. I prefer to use small quantities of yeast and work with a longer fermentation time to have a more digestible product and a better taste.

To prepare homemade Bread or Pizza, I suggest you prepare a Biga first (as explained above), using fresh yeast in a quantity of about 10gr per kilogram of flour.

An average dosage to mix 1 kilogram of flour and prepare dough for bread or Pizza could be: 

  • 200gr of bread flour used for the Biga
  • 800gr of bread flour used for the final dough. 

For the Biga, you can mix:

  • 200gr of Bread Flour
  • 88gr of water (44% of flour weight)
  • 2gr of Fresh Yeast (1% of flour weight)

Once mixed, let the Biga ferment for 16 to 18 hours at 19°C (66°F) and then prepare bread or pizza (here is my recipe for the pizza made with a Biga).

Suppose you want to make bread or Pizza directly without making the Biga. In that case, I suggest you use 10gr of yeast on 1 kilo of flour and then do a bulk fermentation at 28°C (82°F) – 30°C (86°F) for 4-6 hours, before forming the loaves and proceed with the final proofing.

To make pastries (richer in sugars and fats), fresh yeast is around 15 – 20gr for every kilogram of flour. Obviously, you can vary this quantity according to the room temperature. In the summertime, you will decrease it slightly and increase it in wintertime.

French Croissant with Sourdough
TRY THIS
French Brioche with Sourdough
TRY THIS
Neapolitan Baba
TRY THIS

Share

27 comments about “Quanto Lievito per 1Kg di Farina?”

  1. Carmelina Caliendo

    Vorrei fare delle graffe CN il mio lievito madre, che ho rinfrescato stasera, ma vorrei impastare domani mattina, come è cosa dovrò fare? Perché per me è la prima volta che utilizzo il lievito madre. Grazie mille.

  2. Tengo a precisare che il mio composto con la dose farina-acqua consigliata è molto soda .. è giusto così?
    Grazie Giuseppe

    1. Ciao Giuseppe,
      per il Lievito Madre è preferibile tenere l’impasto sodo, in modo da impedire che acidifichi troppo!

      A presto

  3. Sto seguendo i tuoi consigli ho iniziato il 25/3 e sono in attesa che si triplichi il volume…
    Dopo ulteriore rinfresco Dovrò attendere che si quadrupli…ok
    A questo punto posso fare una pizza e usando g500 di farina e quanto lievito?
    Che cosa è la ” biga”
    Grazie

Lascia un commento

Your email address will not be published. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *

How Much Sourdough to Use for Perfect Bread, Pizza, and Pastries

Table of Contents

Knowing how much sourdough to use depends on what recipe you will prepare, especially its fat, egg, and salt content. These ingredients are responsible for slowing down the fermentation due to several factors. For example, eggs increase the dough’s pH (they make it less acidic) and contrast the Sourdough’s acidity. On the other hand, salt slows down the fermentation, “stealing” vital water from the yeast cells.

That said, the quantity of Sourdough to use may vary depending on whether we make bread (which is a “lean” dough, easier to rise) or pastries such as Viennoiseries or Panettone (richer in fat and sugar).

HOMEMADE BREAD WITH SOURDOUGH STARTER AND LEVAIN

Homemade bread preparation usually starts with a BIGA. This Italian word indicates a pre-fermented dough made with a ripe starter (fed 2 times, as I explained) and fermented for at least 16 to 18 hours.

In this case, I suggest using 200-250gr of ripe Sourdough for each kg of flour.

Generally speaking, you can make an excellent Biga as follows:

  • 1kg of Bread Flour
  • 250gr of ripe Sourdough refreshed twice
  • 500gr of water

The preparation is effortless and straightforward. Knead all the ingredients in just the time needed to absorb the water without exceeding. The final dough has to be quite rough! It’s ok, don’t worry about it!

Remember that the final temperature of the Biga should be around 20°C (68°F); the best way to obtain this is to adjust the water temperature accordingly. Here is an easy formula to avoid any mistakes:

Water Temp = 55 – Room Temp – Flour Temp

!! Pls note that this formula only works with Celsius degrees. Do the calculation in °C and then convert the result to °F !!

Furthermore, suppose you prefer to make the bread dough in 2 steps (as we often do when we work with a sourdough starter). In that case, the quantity of sourdough in the first dough will be around 300-500gr for each kg of flour, and you have to triple the dough at 26°C (79°F) before proceeding with the final dough.

For those who prefer using a Levain (typically a liquid starter kept in a pot and stored in the fridge), the quantity will range from 200gr to 1 kg for 1kg of flour.

Consider that as the quantity of levain increases, the bread’s sour taste will also increase once it is baked. This is only a sour taste (therefore wholly harmless). Still, it does not please many people, so if you want to prepare 100% levain-made bread, I suggest you add 0.1% of fresh yeast for each kg of flour (1 gr of yeast per 1kg of flour).

It is crucial to remember that before using a levain in the recipe, you have first to refresh it (as I explain on this page) and let it ferment for 3 hours at 30°C (86°F).

FOR A PIZZA MADE WITH SOURDOUGH

Suppose you want to make a Pizza using the sourdough starter. In that case, I suggest you use a Biga fermented for 16-18 hours, prepared with 250gr of ripe starter (refreshed twice) for each Kg of flour.

Once the Biga is ready, you can go ahead with the preparation and make the final dough using:

300gr of Biga/kg of flour for a soft acidity dough, easier to manage without specific temperature control.

500gr of Biga/kg of flour for a more acidic (and tasty) dough. I recommend this ratio, especially in the winter season.

When the dough is ready, let it proof for 2-3 hours before baking.

Pizza with Biga
TRY THIS
Italian Schiacciata
TRY THIS
Whole Wheat Bread with Sourdough
TRY THIS

PASTRIES WITH SOURDOUGH STARTER

The quantity of starter used for pastries is about 350-450gr/kg of flour. Here, ripe Sourdough can be used at the second or third refreshment, and the preparation is usually split into 2 steps. The first dough is fermented at 26°C (78°F) until it triples its initial volume (within 10-12h). We usually add fats, sugars, aroma, and other ingredients to finish the recipe in the second dough.

It is also essential to let the first dough rise at 26°C (78°F) -28°C (82°F) to control as much as possible the acidity of the dough and avoid it’s going to exceed.

Pls note that the main difference between using a ripe starter at the second rather than at the third refreshment mainly consists of a lower capacity of preservation over time. This aspect can be relevant when making pastries such as Panettone, Pandoro, or Colomba, which must last for many weeks. Still, in most home preparations, our cakes will disappear shortly!

AND HOW MUCH FRESH YEAST TO USE FOR EACH KILOGRAM OF FLOUR?

If you prefer to use Fresh Yeast, I suggest you pay attention to the quantity you will use. If used in excessive quantities, the fresh yeast will leave a strong aroma in the baked product in the baked product, and it will let it dry quickly. You will also get a cake or bread that is difficult to digest. I prefer to use small quantities of yeast and work with a longer fermentation time to have a more digestible product and a better taste.

To prepare homemade Bread or Pizza, I suggest you prepare a Biga first (as explained above), using fresh yeast in a quantity of about 10gr per kilogram of flour.

An average dosage to mix 1 kilogram of flour and prepare dough for bread or Pizza could be: 

  • 200gr of bread flour used for the Biga
  • 800gr of bread flour used for the final dough. 

For the Biga, you can mix:

  • 200gr of Bread Flour
  • 88gr of water (44% of flour weight)
  • 2gr of Fresh Yeast (1% of flour weight)

Once mixed, let the Biga ferment for 16 to 18 hours at 19°C (66°F) and then prepare bread or pizza (here is my recipe for the pizza made with a Biga).

Suppose you want to make bread or Pizza directly without making the Biga. In that case, I suggest you use 10gr of yeast on 1 kilo of flour and then do a bulk fermentation at 28°C (82°F) – 30°C (86°F) for 4-6 hours, before forming the loaves and proceed with the final proofing.

To make pastries (richer in sugars and fats), fresh yeast is around 15 – 20gr for every kilogram of flour. Obviously, you can vary this quantity according to the room temperature. In the summertime, you will decrease it slightly and increase it in wintertime.

French Croissant with Sourdough
TRY THIS
French Brioche with Sourdough
TRY THIS
Neapolitan Baba
TRY THIS

Share

27 comments about “Quanto Lievito per 1Kg di Farina?”

  1. Carmelina Caliendo

    Vorrei fare delle graffe CN il mio lievito madre, che ho rinfrescato stasera, ma vorrei impastare domani mattina, come è cosa dovrò fare? Perché per me è la prima volta che utilizzo il lievito madre. Grazie mille.

  2. Tengo a precisare che il mio composto con la dose farina-acqua consigliata è molto soda .. è giusto così?
    Grazie Giuseppe

    1. Ciao Giuseppe,
      per il Lievito Madre è preferibile tenere l’impasto sodo, in modo da impedire che acidifichi troppo!

      A presto

  3. Sto seguendo i tuoi consigli ho iniziato il 25/3 e sono in attesa che si triplichi il volume…
    Dopo ulteriore rinfresco Dovrò attendere che si quadrupli…ok
    A questo punto posso fare una pizza e usando g500 di farina e quanto lievito?
    Che cosa è la ” biga”
    Grazie

Lascia un commento

Your email address will not be published. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *

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