This post should show you how to make sourdough easier! Again and again I notice in baking courses that many people strictly adhere to sourdough production. It’s not wrong,, but every sourdough recipe can be adapted to your own daily schedule. 

Maturity times for 1-stage sourdough process

Here, the starter content determines the maturity time!

2% Starter20-24 Hours maturing timeTA 21028-30°C Dough temperature
5% Starter15-18 Hours maturing timeTA 21028-30 °C Dough temperature
10% Starter12-14 Hours maturing timeTA 21028-30°C Dough temperature
15% Starter8-10 Hours maturing timeTA 21030-32°C Dough temperature
25% Starter4 Hours maturing timeTA 21035°C Dough temperature

As you can see in the table, the 1-step process can be adapted to everyday life. Spontaneous bakers can start their sourdough in the morning and bake bread in the evening.

Maturity times for 2-stage sourdough process

In this sourdough process, the sourdough is stirred in in 2 stages. The two phases are called “Foundation sour and Full sour” – here the time span from foundation sour is very flexible.

The flour amount to be soured is mixed in two stages. 

1st Stage- foundation sour
33% of the rye flour amount to be soured5% StarterTA 16024-26°C12-24 Hours maturing time
2nd Stage- Full sour
67% of the rye flour amount to be souredTA21032°C3 Hours
31°C3,5 Hours
30°C4 Hours
29°C4,5 Hours

In the table you can see that the foundation sourdough has a very variable time span. This can be mixed to the full sourdough step after just 12 hours. The maturing time of the full sour stage is determined by the sourdough temperature !!!

ATTENTION: This table is to be regarded as a recommendation – flour quantity and hydration (TA) of the respective levels can be changed at will!

To get a stronger flavor in the bread the following can be adjusted:

  • Increase the flour amount in the foundation sour stage
  • Change the temperature of the foundation sour stage
  • The rye flour in the foundation sour can be exchanged for a higher type number flour or whole grain flour. 
  • Adjust the hydration
  • Increase the maturity time for the foundation sour (my recommendation is for a 12-14 hour maturity time for the foundation sour).

Maturity time for a 3-stage sourdough process

This sourdough method is best suited for breads that are to be baked with the addition of yeast. In order to draw out the best possible flavor and rising strength, this method is divided into three stages: Refresh sour, Foundation Sour, and Full Sour.

The example below gives the breakdown of timing and amounts for each step of a 3-stage process with a short full sour phase:

Sourdough StageHoursTemperatureTA
Refresh Sour6 Hours27°C200
Foundation Sour12 Hours25-26°C180
Full Sour4 Hours30°C190
Main Dough

To calculate the sourdough process the amount of flour to be soured, the hydration, and maturing time are important! The example given should only be used in calculating for a 3-stage process!

Sourdough StageFlour in the stepWater in the stepSourdough in the step
Starter2-3% Starter
Refresh sour12,5g12,5g25g
Foundation sour150g120g270g
Full sour600g540g1140g
Main dough

As shown in the example, the calculation for each step is done by dividing the maturity time by the flour amount. 

  • 600g of flour in full sour : 4 Hours maturing time = 150g flour in the foundation sour
  • 150g of flour in the foundation sour : 12 Hours maturing time = 12,5g of flour in the refresh sour

In the following table the flour and water amounts for each stage are given:

Sourdough StageWeighed Flour AmountWeighed Water Amount
Refresh sour12,5g12,5g
Foundation sour(150g – 12,5g)137,5g(120g – 12,5g)107,5g
Full Sour(600g – 150g)450g(540g -120g)420g
Main dough

This sourdough process is very complex for the hobby baker and only practical in larger quantities. Here, too, the maturing time and dough yield can be adapted to the respective workflow.

1 Stage Sourdough

  • 350g Rye flour Type 960
  • 350g Water
  •   35g Starter

Maturity time: 12-14 Hours     Dough temperature: 28-30°C   


  • 400g Coarse rye meal
  • 100g Dried & finely ground bread crumbs
  • 600g Water (45°C)

Soaking time:  1 hour

Main Dough

  • 735g Mature sourdough
  • 1100g Soaker
  • 100g Rye flour Type 960
  • 150g Wheat flour Type 700
  •   22g Salt
  •     5g Yeast


  • Mix all ingredients on slow speed for 7 minutes. If the dough appears to be too firm, more water can be added. 
  • Then mix on fast speed for 1-2 minutes. 
  • 15-20 minute dough maturity
  • Weigh out 694g dough pieces and form into rounds. With the seam-side down, place into the forms. 
  • Final proof of about 45 minutes
  • Bake at 240°C with ample steam
  • After 7-8 minutes reduce to baking temperature to 195°C
  • Total baking time should not be less than 70 minutes.