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Converting Levian Recipes

lfenlock's picture

Converting Levian Recipes

Help! I made Ken Forkish's levian pizza dough last week and really struggled to get it to turn out in my Ooni pizza oven (Fyra). Doing some research there have been suggestions to try a lower hydration dough so I wanted to use this adapted ooni recipe this weekend [] 

The instructions for making the Levian assume you have an active sourdough starter and not a levian. I made Forkish's levian, which I've been feeding for two weeks (100g levian, 100g whole wheat flour, 400g white flour, 400g water) each morning. How do I convert that Levian to the proper hydration described in the Ooni recipe, which calls for 80g starter, 160g white flour, 160g water? I'm confused about how the levian I have compares to a starter and the formula is breaking my brain. 

barryvabeach's picture

Unfortunately, there are a number of words that have the same or similar meaning in baking, and some terms have more than one meaning .    Here is a description of one interpretation of the difference

I would not get too tied up in the terms.  Once you refresh your starter - and it has developed enough to use  ( some wait till it domes , some wait till it recedes, some use it before it domes )  I would feel free to use it.  Once you have added the starter or levian,  regardless of what the recipe says in terms of time, you want to watch the dough.  If it says BF till doubled in volume, that is the key.  If the starter is more active, or your room is warmer than the author of the recipe,  or any of a number of variables, the time it takes to double may vary far from the recipe.  An aliquot jar or BF in a straight sided container can help determine increase in volume.

As to your question about conversion, the Forkish version is  80% hydration, the Ooni is 100%.   I am ignoring the hydration of the starter that is used to seed this starter , because I assume it is the same, but even if it isn't ,  it shouldn't make too much of a differnce.  So if you want to follow the Ooni recipe, just add equal amounts by weight of flour and waer.  The amount of starter that you use will impact how long it will take till that starter is refreshed and active.  Forkish used a 1 part starter to 5 parts flour and 4 parts water,  Ooni used a 1 part starter to 2 parts flour and 2 parts water, so it will reach its prime much earlier than the Forkish one ( assuming all else is equal ). 


Davey1's picture

And the formula is? Could be a lot of things. More info is needed (sounds kinda quick). Enjoy!