” Stiff starter/ levain ” vs ” Liquid starter/levain “

06 Feb

This conclusion is all by my sourdough starters and levain that I made from Sourdoughlady and the sourdough starters with jump start and the starters with raisin yeast water.  Everybody’s taste is different.  So I can’t argue with this topic because this is all from my taste, but I want to share my thoughts and experiments with everyone.

( Note: Small feeding makes less sour tastes.  Smallest feeding 1:1:1=starter: water: flour )

About  “Stiff starter “and ” liquid starter” in appearance:

I usually cover my starter with plastic wrap to ferment, but sometimes I use a lid.  All of them came out the same result… I mean ” liquid starter/ levain”  and ” Stiff starter/ levain” have  totally different characters.

  • Stiff starter has thick viscousity to hold bubbles ( =bigger bubbles in the dough), which means difficult to breathe than  liquid starter which has thinner viscousity.
  • Liquid starter can absorb more bacteria because liquid dough breaths constantly more than stiff dough, especially in the summer.  * There are a lot of bacteria in the summer, which disturb your healthy sourdough starter growing because of the atmosphere such as the  humidity and temperature will create poisonous materials get through the bacteria .

↑ 100% whole wheat flour used

*Note: Depends on flour that you use, The viscousity shows us a big difference.  This whole wheat starter  is much thicker than the all purpose’s.

( HL= Hydration)   I made them by  1:2:2 =starter : water : flour


About the taste of ” stiff starter” and “liquid starter

I took notes about the taste of my starters everyday since I started sourdough for a year. My husband told me not to eat the yeasts that are not good for our health. But I kept tasting them because I am always curious. ( I still taste my starter sometimes when I take a test for interest although I smell them whenever I make levain )

Here is a picture of how I taste my stiff and liquid starters are like .  Feeding starter regularly makes them sweeter and healthy. ( less sour)

*Note  sourdough that I started  with fruit don’t taste sour for the beginning,, but it will have some sour flavors later.

  •  Stiff dough =  more like mild sour taste     Liquid dough = more like sharp sour taste
  • I think that the taste of bread is affected by the levain more than the stiff and liquid sourdough starters.
  • It is more important to keep your sourdough starter healthier than thinking of the taste of the starters.

Here is the chart that I made for the taste of difference between stiff  and liquid levain bread. The taste of levain indicates as same as the picture of  the liquid and stiff starter.

 Here is a picture of 100% hydration sourdough and 60% hydration sourdough levain bread that I made on 30th January 2012.

The taste of these bread are exactly the same with what I mentioned above.

Creative Commons License
Koubo by Akiko is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.


Tags: , ,

5 responses to “” Stiff starter/ levain ” vs ” Liquid starter/levain “

  1. K

    February 9, 2012 at 12:45 am


    I like this writing. Good work you put on them.


    • Akiko

      February 9, 2012 at 2:57 am

      Hi K,
      I was little awkward to write this topic. But I have saved this thought for a long time.. Building up little by little.. I am still rewriting to make sure that is fine. There are a lot of memos that I took in my baking dairy for this. Thank you for encouraging me!


  2. south bronx

    April 11, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    A lot of thanks for your own work on this site. Ellie enjoys doing research and it’s really easy to see why. All of us hear all relating to the dynamic method you deliver valuable guidelines through your website and attract contribution from people on that concept plus my princess is always understanding a great deal. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the new year. You have been doing a useful job.


    • Akiko

      January 17, 2013 at 6:50 pm

      Hi South bronx,

      I am so sorry this late response. I simply missed your very kind comment. Thank you so much.
      Your words made me really happy.

      I wish you and your family have a great new year.


  3. Catherine Wong

    June 22, 2014 at 5:49 am

    I’ve been wondering about the different between these 2 types of starters. It’s so wonderful of you to do the experiment n explaination for us. A big thank you to youSouth Bronx



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: