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Motherdough White Loaves


Motherdough White Loaf

Motherdough White Loaf



I have been working with a Motherdough starter at 70% hydration. A Motherdough starter is any starter that you bring to 70% (or any lower hydration from 50 – 80 %) hydration and keep refrigerated for at least 2 – 3 days until use. I used Northwest Sourdough Starter for this recipe. The long cold fermentation brings a  new dimension to your sourdough baking. The crust of a bread made with Motherdough is usually reddish brown, the crumb is soft and the taste is somewhat mild, although you can use techniques to have a more tangy flavor. The long ferment also helps bring out a blistery crust. If you want to make some Motherdough:



Motherdough Directions

70 % hydration dough

(makes 2 pound 1.0 ounces of Motherdough)


Stir together


  •  9 oz 166% hydration starter
  •  8 oz water (one cup)
  • 16.0 oz flour  


Let Motherdough set out at room temperature for about four hours. Then refrigerate and let ferment for two or three days. Use for baking.

 After using, feed with:

  • 7 oz water
  • 10 oz flour


If not used within five days, pour out all but one cup and feed with 7 oz water and 10 oz flour then refrigerate for use in next baking.



Motherdough White Loaves

Motherdough White Loaves

Motherdough starter is any starter that you bring to 70% (or any lower hydration from 50 – 80 %) hydration After you motherdough has been fermenting in the refrigerator for about 2 – 3 days, use it to make Motherdough White Loaf:

At 1:00 pm Combine in your mixer:

  • 18 oz cold motherdough at 70% hydration
  • 31 oz of cool water
  • 48 oz of bread flour (use half AP flour and half bread flour)

Break off the motherdough in chunks and add to your mixing bowl. Next add the water and flour. Mix on medium speed until just incorporated. Let the dough rest (autolyse) for 20 minutes. Next mix in the salt:

  • 1.2 oz salt use kosher, sea salt or canning salt with no chemicals in it

Mix on low speed for another minute. Then allow the dough to ferment for six hours . You can leave the dough in the mixer and stir it down every couple of hours, or put it into a folding trough and fold every two hours. When the six hours is up refrigerate the dough overnight, make sure the container is lightly covered. Next morning take out the dough and warm up for two hours. Then shape the loaves and place into bannetons or lined baskets. I usually shape one loaf, keep the rest of the dough covered, then come back after 30 minutes and shape another loaf, etc. This staggers the loaves so they don’t all have to be baked at the same time. The dough now needs to final proof. It will need to proof for two to three hours. When the first loaf is halfway proofed, preheat the oven with the baking stone to 425 degrees F. When there is ten minutes until the first loaf goes into the oven, put in a roasting lid to preheat. When your first loaf is proofed and ready to bake,  place your dough on a flat baking tray or peel with enough semolina flour to keep it from sticking, slash the dough , quickly take out the roasting lid (careful it’s hot)and place your dough top of the hot baking stone. Spray water all over the dough with a spray water bottle, place the hot roasting lid over the dough, close the oven door and bake for 16 minutes. After the 16 minutes is up, take off the roasting lid (careful, it’s even hotter this time with the steam) and then bake for another 16 minutes. Take out your exquisitely beautiful loaf and cool on a rack. Repeat directions for the other loaves. This recipe makes a dough that is 65.6 % hydration and weighs about 6 lbs 2.2 oz. So you can make three 2 lb loaves.

Motherdough White Loaves

Motherdough White Loaves

Motherdough Soft White Crumb

Motherdough Soft White Crumb




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  1. Dan Dan
    April 25, 2012    

    Due to my work its almost impossible for me to pull the dough out of the fridge in the morning. I was wondering if It is possible to let the dough stay fridge until the afternoon, before I start the warming up and final proofing? By the way the Great site!

  2. Tom Tom
    March 21, 2011    

    I baked two loaves today with 70% mother dough that set for 2.5 days. Both loaves came out great and tasted wonderful. I guess I will have to try the salt fermented mother dough next.

    Could I freeze the dough at the point that you would normally take it out to warm before baking as a way to keep some for later baking?

    • March 21, 2011    

      Hi Tom, a good time to freeze dough is right after you shape the loaves. I have frozen the dough this way. However, next day it will take 6-8 hours more or less, to thaw the dough, warm it up and let it proof. It works great this way but do not store it frozen for too long, the bacteria and yeasts die off with time.

  3. Moriah Moriah
    March 2, 2009    

    What gorgeous bread. I love the blistered crust. I can’t wait to try the formula for Motherdough starter

  4. January 31, 2009    

    I hope my bread turns out as nice as yours. Great site! I am glad I found you!

  5. January 31, 2009    

    Hi, my web site has nothing to do with my making sourdough starters. I have recently started a starter,one white and one whole wheat. The white one I started 5 days before the other and the whole wheat took off 2 days after I started it. I added some of the whole wheat to the white and when I woke up this morning it had finally taken off. Now can I leave them at room temp and just keep feeding them? Or do I have to refrigerate? I was also wanting to know what do you mean 70% hydration? I am new to this and don’t understand. My starters are a consistency of a thick pancake batter. I am looking at your loaves of bread and mmmmmm!! I would love to make a loaf or two myself. Please explain the 70%. Thankyou Rose Mundy.

  6. Eli Eli
    December 5, 2008    

    Those loaves look wonderful! I love the color and crust the motherdough imparts! I need to work on my blog!

  7. December 3, 2008    

    I visit to your blog from Japan.
    Your breads are so beautiful !
    I am baking with the natural leaven. Your wonderful blog must help me a lot ! I will come again.

  8. MC MC
    December 2, 2008    

    I just discovered your blog today! What a treat! I have been baking with sourdough for many many years. I have a firm levain and a liquid starter (100%). I will try your 70% starter. Your crumb looks beautiful. My blog is in French and Google Translator doesn’t really do a good job but if you click on the Boulange tab, you can see some pics of my breads in case you are interested. I wouldn’t mind testing some recipes as long as they do not contain added sugar (dried fruit is okay).

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  1. Motherdough from sourdough starter - Cooking by instinct on July 4, 2010 at 4:26 pm

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