Saturday 10 July 2021

Sweet Stiff Levain

Bread baking is a life-long learning journey. I have just discovered the benefit of adding yudane about five months ago, and now the sweet stiff levain or starter. 

Sweet stiff levain is also a sourdough starter but with added sugar and has about 50% hydration. Unlike the normal sourdough which was usually sour, the stiff levain is sweet and a little sour. And the levain helps to establish the glutens faster and the bread can achieve stretchy and threading texture easier. I have tried it on two loaves of bread, and the results were wonderful 😍😍

Ingredients (~150g)
35g cool boiled water
15g raw sugar
25g natural yeast, 100% hydration*
75g unbleached bread flour

* 25g natural yeast can be replaced by 12g bread flour + 13g water + 1/8 tsp instant dry yeast

1. Combine water, raw sugar and natural yeast into a liquid paste.

2. Add in the bread flour,

and stir in one direction till the mixture pulled into a ball.

3. Transfer the stiff levain to a tall container. Spray 1 to 2 pumps of fine mist to the stiff levain. This is to prevent a hard skin from developing over the top after storing in the dry fridge air overnight.

4. Cover the container with a sheet of cling wrap before loosely screw on the lid. Mark the height of the stiff levain using a rubber band. Let the set up stand in room temperature, about 29 to 30℃ for about 3 hours, or till double in height.

3 hours later, the stiff levain has doubled in height. Keep it in the fridge overnight for about 12 to 18 hours.

5. Thaw the stiff levain for about 2 hours in room temperature before using in bread dough 🍞
Wait for the stiff levain's height to tripled before use πŸ˜„

Revealing the nice interior of the stiff levain.

The stiff levain has a stretchy elasticity like mochi πŸ˜„


  1. how do you know how much sweet stiff levain a recipe needs? is there a basic computation for that? thank you so much

    1. hi, I do not have a formula for the proportion of sweet stiff levain in a bread recipe. As a general guideline, I took about 20 to 25% of the total flour weight to prepare the sweet stiff levain :)

  2. Hi my eggless milk loaf with sweet stiff starter still tatse sour, may I know how to cut down the sour taste?


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