I’m so excited that someone from our Cookbook Guru’s has created their own starter as part of our series focussing on Carol Field’s The Italian Baker. So many of the recipes in Field’s book lend themselves to using this mixture that I think it’s an essential contribution. Enjoy Debi’s great post on the science’s of starters and fingers crossed for some delicious breads to come from it.

Happy Reading and Happy Baking,


An Evolving Life

When I first set out to make my own bread – at least on a regular basis, creating and using my own sourdough starters – I found distinguishing between various terms like levain, biga, sponge, pâte fermentée, sourdough starter, poolish, etc., a tad bit confusing. Of course, some of them are not English – terms borrowed from other languages. Yet, in essence, it occured to me that they all mean the same thing, or at least variations of the same thing. They are all preferments.


Preferments are just that: pre-, a suffix meaning before, and ferment pertaining to fermentation with yeast. Preferment, thus, is a general name for the mixture (usually made up of yeast, water and flour) made prior to making bread dough – often many hours or even days before. Their purpose is to allow the yeast a slow time to grow, which…

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