Last Updated on October 27, 2021 by Stefano
Sometimes you need to change flour to your stiff sourdough. Maybe because you want to start making Bread instead of Pizza. Whatever is the reason you better continue reading to know everything about Sourdough Flour Switch.
Speaking with some of my friends I realized that there is not so much consciousness about Sourdough Flour. Better, I should say that too often maintaining a sourdough is happening in a superficial way. There is no attention to the life that is managed. At the end of the day some actions on the Stiff Sourdough are performed without thinking about consequences. One of those actions is the usage of the Flour for Sourdough.
It is not so uncommon to see and read online about people having big troubles with their beloved Stiff Sourdough because they changed the flour. So I thought it would make sense to share my experience about how I proceed to change flour to sourdough.
The topic we are going to cover together are:
- Why and when you change flour for sourdough
- Schedule for proper Sourdough Flour switch
- Troubleshooting Sourdough Flour change
With the above topics we will be able to know what we need to change Flour and prevent unexpected and bad sourdough reactions.
Why and When you Change Flour for Sourdough
The first sourdough problem to solve is related to why you want to change flour in first place. In my previous article about how to create sourdough from scratch I recommended to make sure to buy enough flour when you start a new stiff soudough. You now understand the reason: you generally don’t want to change flour.
Especially if your stiff sourdough is young or very young, it does not like a sudden change of flour. If you think about it, when you change flour you are essentially changing the food for bacteria within the sourdough. But if bacteria in your sourdough are new to the environment where they grow, they can be badly impacted in case you change an important component like the food!
But then: why you even want to change the flour?
I think that the most common reasons you want to change the flour of your sourdough are two:
- You cannot buy anymore the flour you started to use;
- you want to use the sourdough in recipes that require to have the same flour also for the stiff sourdough.
The first scenario is not that uncommon as you may think. Actually it happened to me. I started my Stiff Sourdough with an italian brand flour that was sold locally in a specific shop. Unfortunately the same shop is not importing anymore that flour. You can imagine that I had no choice other than plan a sourdough flour switch.
The second scenario is probably less common. Especially if you are doing pizza or bead at home where you are more flexible with the results. However there are some cases where you need a single flour for the entire recipe. For example to do Panettone you definitely want to have the same flour for the recipe and to feed your sourdough!
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Schedule for proper Sourdough Flour Switch
In whatever scenario you fit, you do not want to change the flour all of a sudden. The best approach to migrate your sourdough to a new four is doing it gradually.
I am sharing below a schedule that you can use for the sourdough feeding when changing the flour. I used it already a couple of times and it worked smoothly. So you can be confident that it will work well also for you.
One note to add before going to the schedule is that the feeding process only changes in the mix of flour you use. For the rest it stays exactly the same. So you can continue to use the same schedule you normally have, you can keep using the fridge and you an even use the sourdough in recipes while the transformation is on-going.
|Feeding cycle||Old Flour %||New Flour %|
s you can see from above table you will need a bit of time before completing the process. It’s also important during this period of the cycle that you constantly verify that your stiff sourdough is doubling in size correctly. If this is not happening anymore then something went wrong. Generally is always possible to recover your sourdough. If you will ever experience such situation feel free to contact me.
Recommendations for Sourdough Flour Change
As you can see the process to switch the Sourdough Flour is not that complicated. It only requires a bit of time and most importantly some planning.
When it comes to Sourdough we need to keep in mind that processes require more time. Everything is happening at a slow pace. It’s actually the opposite of what is going on in our lives where everything happens incredibly fast. And if you think about it this is a good way to practice our skills 🙂
So the recommendation number one is to not have rush. Take the time that is needed to feed and maintain your sourdough at its own pace.
The second recommendation is also pretty easy: plan the flour change in advance! Make sure you have enough “old” flour left to respect the schedule I suggested above. If you have to rush the process because you forgot to buy the new flour in time then you can experience unforeseen challenges.
Third recommendation: reduce the variables as much as you can. What I mean by that is to continue to feed your sourdough as per previous schedule. If you were feeding the sourdough every 2 days, then keep doing the same. If you were maintaining the Sourdough in fridge at a certain temperature then keep doing the same. The reason is that you need to reduce the chances to investigate what went wrong in case you experience indeed issues. If you keep the same process as before you know that maybe the new flour is bringing some problem to your bacteria!
Enjoy your new Stiff Sourdough!
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