Fed sourdough starter vs leaven

I am new to sourdough... If I fed my sourdough starter in the morning and it has more than doubled in size and I have been feeding it everyday do I really need to make leaven? Is fed starter essentially the same thing as leaven?

  • Posted by: Mayaop
  • May 4, 2020
Table Loaf
Recipe question for: Table Loaf


BakerBren May 4, 2020
Fed starter is similar to leaven, but the idea is to maintain a constant small amount of sourdough culture/starter and to start a Leaven for each batch of bread using a seed amount from that maintained starter. A leaven usually has a much smaller percent of inoculation (say 25g starter to 250g flour and 250g water) vs. sourdough culture/starter (like 50g starter, 50g flour, 50g water for each maintenance feeding). That makes a difference when it comes to rising power and avoiding overproofing. It can also have an impact on enzyme activity, although your active, recently fed starter should be better in that regard. If you won't exhaust your sourdough starter supply by using it as a leaven (or you want to use it all up), go for it and see what happens. Worst case: it might have poor volume, a dull crust, and taste extra tangy. But it'll still be good.
Forest6 June 8, 2020
When i made my loaf it turned out that there wasnt enough leaven so i had to top it up with half sourdough mother. It took 3 days to complete the loaf came out beautifully. Im hoping to narrow that down to 2 days with more practice.
It was really hard to know when to get the mother out of the fridge in order to feed it 2 feeds and then an overnight rest for the leavan. I ended up with so much mother and then wasting a lot of flour feeding it. By the time it was ready and floating i was not ready to make the leaven.
So should the leavan also float as mine didnt? Adding that extra bit of mother may have helped? Im not sure how the leaven could float as it was in the fridge all night and i didnt feed it again.
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