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Article: How to convert a liquid sourdough into a dry starter (Pasta Madre / Lievito Madre)

Dry starter

How to convert a liquid sourdough into a dry starter (Pasta Madre / Lievito Madre)

How to convert liquid sourdough into the dry starter (Pasta Madre) - Taken from the first page of "Panettone and Pasta Madre by Simpel Surdej" e-book.

If you haven't bought our full Panettone start-kit that comes with a life pasta-madre, you might have to start one yourself from scratch. Pasta madre is an Italian term for a stiff sourdough starter at 30-50% hydration. Our best results and recommendation is to work with Pasta Madre at 43-45% hydration, compared to the 100% hydration of a liquid sourdough used for bread baking.

To achieve the desired leavening and structure for sourdough Panettone, Brioche, Pandoro or Colomba cake without the use of commercial yeast, it's crucial to prepare and train Pasta Madre days in advance.

We suggest using a very strong flour with a strength factor of +W300, such as Italian Manitoba flour, for feeding and strengthening the sourdough to achieve a velvety final product. Our preferred choice is Molino Pasini, available in our webshop.

To transition from 100% to 45% hydration, gradually reduce hydration through three rounds of feeding every 18-24 hours. Start near 65% hydration, then 55%, and finally reach 45%. This will encourage a better bacteria flora early on.

In this feeding scheme, refer to Pasta Madre as "sourdough." The feeding ratio for maintaining and nurturing your pasta madre at 45% hydration is:

(1 part sourdough : 1 part flour : 45% water) or
(100g sourdough : 100g flour : 45g water)

Mix the sourdough in a stand mixer with the hook attached, then roll it out with a rolling pin and shape it into a snail before placing it in a container. We leave the Pasta Madre uncovered at room temperature (16- 18°C) for an overnight cycle.

Once your Pasta Madre is ready, proceed to the next part, where we explain the feeding cycle and preparation before mixing the first dough.

Read more in our Panettone e-book


Panettone and Pasta Madre by Simpel Sourdough!

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