Making a Stiff Starter From a Water Starter
Let’s first discuss the difference between a wet (high hydrated) starter and a stiff starter.
A wet starter is usually maintained at a warmer temperature and will produce more lactic acid than it’s stiff starter cousin. This means the flavour of the final product will have more of a yoghurt-like taste.
A stiff starter is maintained in cooler temperatures and produces more acetic acid, giving your bread more of a sour, vinegar taste.
A stiff starter has a hydration of 65% or less. The hydration is the percentage of water content in the dough in relation to flour.
So, if you want to produce a lower hydration dough with that beautiful, typical sourdough flavour in your final bread then read on!
We’re going to start off with 50g of liquid starter and mix that with 40g of water. We’ll then add 80g of flour all at once and mix, ensuring to scrape the sides of the bowl so all of the dough comes together.
Sprinkle some flour on a board and roll the lievito madre (the starter) into a log.
Now you have a beautiful, stiff sourdough starter ready for your long-fermented dough!