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How to scale down tartine bread starter.

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

The original tartine starter is so wasteful, so after doing some tedious calculations, here is the scaled down version.


To Start making Starter from Day 1

Flour blend (50% whole wheat, 50% white bread flour)


Step 1:  2 tablespoons  flour blend and mix  1.54 tablespoons water(1 and half tablespoons water + 1/8 teaspoons water), mix the flour and water together,leave it in a container and loosely cover the cap for a day or two(depends on the temperature of your country) 0.04 tablespoons X 3= 0.12 teaspoons. 1/8 teaspoons = 0.125, and I have a 1/8 plastic teaspoon in my home :-)

Step 2: Once the yeast is alive and the starter is bubbly, Take 2 and 4/10 teaspoons out from the starter, put it in a container, add in 2 tablespoons flour blend and mix with 1 tablespoon + 1/5 teaspoons water. (I guess 2 and half teaspoon starter is close enough or perhaps 2 teaspoons + 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoons which comes to about 2.375 teaspoons is close enough to 2 and 4/10 teaspoons starter. I guess that is close enough because temperature will vary in different places so how fast the yeast grows will also affect results)

Repeat the above step for 15-20 days where your starter rise and drops predictably.

On the day you want to make the tartine bread, take one tablespoon from the starter to make the leaven, and then like the above step, there will be enough starter left for step 2 to continue this step. But of course when your starter rise, one tablespoon isn't quit one tablespoon, clean your hands and push the starter into the spoon to make it compact and dense if you know what I meant :-) as the original technique is based on weight, I translate all using weight calculation, but when the starter rise, it is flully and one tablespoon is not quite one tablespoons anymore.


I will post the calculations on another posts, the calculation is messy but I believe my calculations is accurate.


Modified from the site below, nothing much has been changed, I only scaled down the proportions.



Edited by strawberrylover - 4/23/14 at 12:01pm
post #2 of 2
Thread Starter 

Original recipe

315 grams flour blend

400 grams water

400/315=44% more water than flour

1 tablespoon of flour blend is 8 grams

Therefore two tablespoons is 16 grams

16 grams water is 1.0666 tablespoons

Since first time doing water is 44% more. 1.0666 X 1.4444= 1.5405 tablespoon, closer to 1 and a half tablespoons of water.

1 tablespoon of bread flour = 7.94 grams

1 tablespoon of wholewheat flour is 8.10 grams

1 tablespoon of water is 15 grams

1 tablespoon of flour for tartine recipe which is 50% wholewheat and 50% bread flour is 8.10+7.94/2=  8.02 grams, for simplicity we take it as 8 grams


So for feeding the starter,we will use just 2 tablespoons of flour mixture which is 16 grams(8 grams x 2) and 1 tablespoons of water which is 15 grams, to be more precise, 16 grams of water , so we are lacking 1 gram of water here.  So we need to add 1 more gram here. 1/15= 0.06666

I arrive at this calculation by this. 1 tablespoon is 3 teaspoon.

16/15 grams(flour and water each in tablespoons)=  1.06666,

0.066666 X 3 = 0 .199999 or 0.2 teaspoons, so the lacking 1 gram is equal 0.2 teaspoon 2/10 teaspoons = 1/5 teaspoons.


Feeding starter at martha stewart tartine recipe

150grams flour + 150 grams water is = 300 grams tota to feed, and add 75 grams starter to 300 grams, note that the 75 grams has water and flour already in it, 75 grams X 4 = 300 grams, when it says remove 75 grams to reuse as starter, you must feed it 4 times more. So 25% of  2 tablespoons flour blend and mix with 1 tablespoon + 1/5 teaspoons water is  2 and 4/10 teaspoons starter.


2 tablespoons flour blend and mix with 1 tablespoon + 1/5 teaspoons water  = 3.20 tablespoon mixture. This would be the amount of starter you need  and feed it with what I have scaled down.
So total of 3.20 tablespoons in teaspoons is 9.6 teaspoons as one tablespoon is 3 teaspoons. 9.6 divide 4 = 2.40 teaspoons.


I bet some of you must be confused by now, but doesn't matter, just follow the first post and you will be ok :-)  I know my calculation is jumbled up and not in order but my calculation is most likely correct and have been checked at least once for error, maybe up to two times.

Edited by strawberrylover - 4/23/14 at 12:18pm
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