Could you add sourdough starter???

I am sure there is a way to add sourdough starter to this- but I don’t know if it’d be good and how? Add it to the biga? How much? Replace some of the other ingredients? #new2sougherdough

Fallon Bonomo
Recipe question for: Ciabatta


AntoniaJames July 8, 2021
Yes, of course! If you tell me the hydration ratio of your starter, I'll help you figure this out. Also, do you prefer to work in grams or ounces? ;o)
Fallon B. July 8, 2021
Thank you so much for the help! I am a total novice when it comes to bread (it’s a miracle I have kept my starter alive for the past year!). I don’t exactly know what a hydration ratio is, but when I feed it it’s a 1:1:2 (starter : water : flour). Not sure if that makes sense. Also whichever measurement makes the most sense works for me :)
AntoniaJames July 8, 2021
Fallon, yes, that does make sense. Are those ratios by weight (I hope so) and if so, do you prefer grams or ounces? Happy to do the calculations for you! (I've been having great fun with my wild yeast levain for about 14 years now . . . .). ;o)
Fallon B. July 8, 2021
14 years!!! Thats awesome! Yes I do it by weight- usually in grams.
AntoniaJames July 8, 2021
Okay, so first, let's use some measures that make sense. (9.55 ounces? Really? I guess there are scales out there that can do that but everyone's favorite OXO gives 1/4 ounces, which are equally difficult . . . so I'm delighted to see you prefer grams.)

The biga here without the starter requires about 270 grams of flour and 227 grams of water. Your starter has essentially a 2-1 hydration ratio.

I usually like to start small when making substitutions like this, so I'd start by using 84 grams of starter. That's a good number because it divides nicely by three - 56 grams of the starter are flour, with the other 28, water.

So, doing the math, you'll subtract out 28 grams of water - using 199 instead of 227, and subtract 56 grams of flour, to use 214 grams (270 - 56 grams).

This isn't a super precise process, but I'm confident it will work just fine. It will certainly give you biga a nice flavor!

I admire your courage here, so early on in this wonderful journey of bread baking upon which you've embarked.

Let us know, please, how it turns out.

If it turns out well and you feel like making the ciabatta again, try adding a little more starter - using the same method to calculate your flour and water reductions.

AntoniaJames July 8, 2021
Oh, and by the way, here's a recipe I posted eons ago, before many people learned what a starter is, for using starter feeding discards in pancakes and waffles: ;o)
Fallon B. July 9, 2021
Thank you so much for all the help!!! My bread turned out great- and tastes AMAZING! I made a killer grilled ham and cheese with it!

I will definitely be making this again and I am going to hit up your other article on starter discard… I can’t pass up a good waffle!
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