Category Archives: Stiff starter / levain vs Liquid starter / levain

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

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.

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