Breeding and caring for Lievito Madre - the 5 best methods

Instructions for LM | Pasta Madre | Mother yeast | Lievito Naturale

Today I have for you a detailed guide on how to grow Lievito Madre. The 5 Best Ways to Grow Lievito Madre (or pasta madre / mother yeast / Lievito naturale / LM). Lievito Madre is a very mild and firm Italian (wheat) sourdough. There are very different methods and guides for Lievito Madre. In addition to a classic new breed, this can also be with Fermentation water / yeast water or one Ferment starter called EVA be set. An already existing sourdough culture or freshly squeezed apple juice can also serve as a starter. I would like to introduce you to all of these methods as well as many tips on how to care for and use the Madre. ♥

Lievito Madre, Pasta Madre, Mutterhefe, Italienischer Sauerteig aus Weizen im Glas

Lievito Madre - brief overview

A few years ago I bred my Lievito Madre (LM for short) according to a recipe in which the mixture is kept in the refrigerator for a few days in between. However, this method is very tedious and takes at least three weeks. Chilling is not at all beneficial for the microorganisms. That's why I completely revised the procedure again. I think it's a lot better that way and it's also much faster. It takes about 9-14 days on average. However, the time can vary individually. Either it goes faster or it takes a little longer. The more comfortable the microorganisms feel and the more optimal the conditions, the faster it all works. Lievito Madre contains a high proportion of natural sourdough yeast. In addition to the mild taste, these also give it an extraordinary driving force. Classically, it is prepared and cared for with wheat flour. But other types of flour such as spelled, emmer, einkorn or kamut flour are also possible and even gluten-free cereals.

But first a step back ...

…to Egypt. According to tradition, Lievito Madre is said to have had its origins in ancient Egypt. A large load of flour is said to have been put under water when the Nile flooded. It started to ferment. In order not to have to dispose of the affected flour, it was mixed with fresh flour. By chance, this resulted in an easily digestible, tasty, aromatic pastry. What initially looked like a great misfortune turned into a stroke of luck and the hour of birth for Lievito Madre.

My conclusion…

I am thrilled anew every time. I would love to stand next to the glass the whole time after feeding and watch it get bigger and bigger. It is and remains fascinating for me even after years!

At first glance, breeding seems a bit complicated and tedious, but it's actually not complicated at all. But your patience will be rewarded with a really great Italian wheat sourdough. And it's really worth growing this one. Because it causes a sensational oven drive and ensures loose, fluffy and wholesome baked goods. The yeast content can be significantly reduced or omitted entirely. Another advantage is the extremely mild and aromatic taste. In contrast to sourdough, it is much less or not at all acidic. In contrast, a classic sourdough contains significantly more acid, depending on the management method (Instructions for growing sourdough here.) The flavors of LM are more reminiscent of yoghurt or young wine and are therefore ideally suited for sweet pastries. Because here it is mainly the lactic acid bacteria and sourdough yeast that ensure the pleasant and mild taste.

What can I use Lievito Madre for?

Typically, Italian baked goods are rather light. So white bread, pizza, foccacia, etc ... The Lievito Madre is of course also ideally suited for this and is also traditionally used in Italy. However, I also like to give my Madre in sweet yeast dough And don't be afraid to use them in bread dough with darker flour. Here you can find my previous ones BREAD recipes with Lievito Madre and here the BUN Recipes with Lievito Madre. Just take a look at the recipes, you will see how versatile such a Madre is. So start breeding your own Lievito Madre right away, it's worth it !! ♥

Lievito Madre - Mutterhefe

For classic breeding you need:

1. flour

A flour type that is not too lightly ground is ideal for German flours, eg wheat / spelled type 1050. Darker flour contains more minerals and vitamins. These are beneficial for the metabolism of the lactic acid bacteria and support the formation of microflora. Whole wheat flour can (does not have to) quickly introduce unwanted germs and in the worst case lead to spoilage. In general, organic wholemeal flour would also be possible.

2. water

The water should always be lukewarm (approx. 30-35 ° C). This is very important because the microorganisms love it to be pleasantly warm. Sufficient warmth is particularly important at the beginning of feeding.

3. Patience

An essential ingredient. ♥

1. Instructions: Breed Lievito Madre yourself



(after: Sourdough forum)

  • Total Time:
    288 hours
  • Category:
    Instructions, basic recipe, Lievito Madre, sourdough, breeding
  • Cuisine:
    Italian, Italian


  • Flour | Recommended varieties: (organic wheat flour type 1050, organic spelled flour type 1050, organic wheat flour type 550)
  • Water (35 ° C)



  1. 100 g flour + 50 g water (35 ° C)
  2. Knead all ingredients very thoroughly.
  3. Then place in a slim tall glass (e.g. from Weck).
    Important: The container should ideally be free of detergent or rinse aid residues!
  4. Covered (e.g. with glass lid) for 48 - 72 hours let stand, ideally at 25 - 30 ° C.
    (At cooler temperatures, the whole process takes much longer or nothing happens.)
  5. Knead once every 12 hours and put back into the glass and let stand at 25-30 ° C.
  6. When the first bubbles are visible and the volume increases, the second stage can be started.


  1. Dissolve 50 g of the dough from the first batch / step 1 in 25 g of water (35 ° C) and whip until lightly foamy.
    If necessary, let something soak in the water first.
  2. Then knead with 50 g flour and put back in the glass.
  3. Again for up to 48 hours Let stand at 25-30 ° C if possible.
    (A slightly pleasant - sour smell is desired and is already to be rated as a success.)
  4. Let ripen until the volume has roughly doubled again. Then the next feeding can be started.


  1. Repeat the 2nd step again and again until the batch has at least doubled or tripled within 3-4 hours.
    That can be between 8 and 14 days last.
  2. In the beginning it takes longer, but over time the approach multiplies faster with each feeding.


  1. The rest of the approach can always be baked. In time you will notice a difference in the pastries. However, as the sole propellant, the approach does not yet have enough power.
  2. It can be assumed that the Lievito Madre can be used as the sole leavening agent if it has doubled or even tripled within 2-4 hours.
  3. The smell should be mildly sour and not unpleasant.
  4. The finished Lievito Madre should be refreshed at least every 8 days. The more often this is fed from now on, the stronger, more aromatic and more energetic it becomes.
    See also under care and tips.

Keywords: Instructions Lievito Madre, instructions sourdough, green recipe, Italian, Italian sourdough, Levain dur, Lievito Madre breeding, Lievito naturale, LievitoMadre, mother yeast, Pasta Madre, PastaMadre, sourdough, breeding sourdough

2. New breed with active EVA fermentation starter

(after: Bongu)

EVA is a dried fermentation starter (powder) made from wild yeast from the Merano mill. With EVA, a reliable and very mild Madreansatz can be drawn in the shortest and easiest way. This only takes 12 hours. This approach is ready to bake immediately and can also be continued. A wheat, rye or spelled sourdough can also be grown from this approach.

Important: The EVA powder contains living microorganisms - similar to fresh yeast. It should therefore be used within the stated best-before date if possible (this is approx. 1 year). Older powder can be used, but it is best to refresh it several times in a row in order to have optimal shoot strength.

2.1 Classic approach:

  •  25 g EVA starter
  • 150 g water (30 ° C)
  • 250 g organic wheat flour type 1050, organic spelled flour type 1050, organic wheat flour type 550

⇒ With type 550 wheat flour, 125 g of water is usually sufficient.

  1. Beat the EVA powder and water with a whisk until foamy. Knead in the flour thoroughly and shape into a ball. Cut 1/3 deep and place in a slim, tall container.
  2. Allow to mature for 12 hours at approx. 28 ° C. (I take for it this fermentation box.)
  3. This approach can be used immediately to prepare a dough.
  4. If it is not needed right away, the finished madre can be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of 24 hours. (Possibly put in a cold place after 10 hours of ripening.
  5. It is ideal to use the EVA-Madre ripe immediately after 10 to 12 hours.
  6. The ripe madre is enough for 1 kg of flour (at 40% Acidification) and can be continued fine. If you want, you can halve the specified amounts.

2.2 Approach with rye flour for very mild rye breads:

  • 25 g EVA starter
  • 140 g water (30 ° C)
  • 250 g rye flour type 1150


  • 25 g EVA starter
  • 170 g water (30 ° C)
  • 250 g wholemeal rye flour (preferably freshly ground)

How to proceed 2.1

2.3 Step: Further breeding as Madre

In order to continue the fully bred approach, feeding is carried out according to the following scheme:

1 part water: 2 parts mature EVA batch: 2 parts flour

  • 50 g water (35 ° C)
  • 100 g mature EVA base
  • 100 g organic wheat flour type 1050, organic spelled flour type 1050, organic wheat flour type 550
  1. Mix water and EVA dough, add flour and knead well.
  2. Shape the dough into a ball, cut into about 1/3, cover and let ripen at 28 ° C.
  3. At the end of the ripening period, the volume should have doubled or tripled within 3-4 hours.
Lievito Madre
Immediately after feeding ...
Lievito Madre
... and a few hours later.


With the self-bred Yeast water you can breed a new Lievito Madre very quickly. This doesn't even take time 2 days and in the classic version usually takes at least 8-14 days.



(after Bread doc)

  • Total Time:
    48 hours
  • Category:
    Instructions, basic recipe, yeast water, Lievito Madre, sourdough


  • Yeast water (active)
  • Flour | Recommended varieties: (Organic wheat flour type 1050, organic spelled flour type 1050, organic wheat flour type 550)



  1. 200 g active yeast water
  2. 200 grams of flour
  3. Mix water and flour carefully and let rest for 10-12 hours in a warm place (25-30 ° C). The result should be interspersed with air bubbles and smell fruity and pleasant.

2. STEP:

  1. 200 g from the first batch (the rest can simply be baked somewhere else.)
  2. 200 grams of flour
  3. 100 g water, warm (approx. 45 ° C)
  4. Knead the ingredients together and let rise in a warm place (25-30 ° C).
  5. The volume should have doubled or even tripled. (Takes about 3-5 hours.)


  1. 200 g of 2nd batch (the rest simply baked somewhere else.)
  2. 200 grams of flour
  3. 100 g water, warm (approx. 45 ° C)
  4. Knead the ingredients together and let rise again in a warm place (25-30 ° C).
  5. The volume should ideally have tripled, this takes a maximum of 2-4 hours. (If this doesn't happen to you, just repeat step 3.)
  6. Complete! ♥
  7. Feed the finished Lievito Madre with yeast water "normally" and care for it as described above.

Keywords: Instructions Lievito Madre, fresh bread, bake, bread doc, yeast water, Lievito Madre from yeast water, grow Lievito Madre, Lievito naturale, LievitoMadre, mother yeast, Pasta Madre, raisin water, grow sourdough

4. Convert Lievito Madre from another sourdough:

The principle is very simple: remove some of the ingredients from an existing sourdough culture made from wheat or rye, feed them firmly a few times in a row and let them rest in a warm place. Complete!

1. Feeding:

  • 20 g of sourdough starter in
  • Dissolve 20 g of lukewarm water (30-35 ° C).
  • Knead with 40 g organic wheat flour type 1050 / organic spelled flour type 1050 / organic wheat flour type 550.
  • Let ripen for about 4-12 hours in a warm place (25-30 ° C) until the beginning has doubled.

2. Feeding:

  •  40 g of the 1st batch in
  • Dissolve 20 g of lukewarm water (30-35 ° C).
  • Knead with 40 g organic wheat flour type 1050 / organic spelled flour type 1050 / organic wheat flour type 550.
  • Let ripen for about 12 hours in a warm place (25-30 ° C).
  • Repeat the process 2-4 times until the approach doubles, or better, triples within 3-4 hours.

5. Method with apples

(after Dietmar Kappl)

With apple juice made from freshly squeezed apples, the Lievito Madre develops very quickly. Because the fermentation process is activated and accelerated by the fructose contained in the juice and the enzymes.

You need:

  • 1 large unsprayed apple
  • Water, lukewarm (approx. 30-35 ° C)
  • Flour (organic wheat flour type 1050 / organic spelled flour type 1050 / organic wheat flour type 550)

1st step - Grundsauer

  1. Grate an apple (unsprayed) with the peel or mash it in a food processor. Then squeeze out through a fine sieve or cheesecloth.
  2. Mix 30 g of pressed apple juice, 120 g of flour, 45 g of water (lukewarm).
  3. Cover and let the dough ferment in a warm place (25-30 ° C) for about 24-30 hours.
  4. The volume should have roughly doubled.

Step 2: The production of a driftable madre:

  • 100 g basic acid
  • 100 g of flour
  • 60 g water, lukewarm (approx. 30-35 ° C)
  1. Knead all ingredients into a firm dough.
  2. Let ripen for 15-18 hours at 25-30 ° C (ideally 28 ° C). (The volume must double!).
  3. Repeat process. Now the approach should double within 12 hours. (If not, repeat the process.)
  4. If the amount has doubled within 12 hours, you only need 50g of water.
  5. Repeat the process until the approach doubles, or better, triples within 3-4 hours.

6. Care and tips

  • Over time, Lievito Madre gets better and better and gets more aroma and a stronger oven instinct. That's how it is with conventional sourdough.
  • Usually, LM is grown and cared for with lightly ground flour. But it can also be used successfully with whole wheat or spelled flour.
  • It makes sense to stick to one flour for feeding. I prefer to take Farina Rinfresco TIPO 00, followed closely by Caputo (blue) Classica, these two my Madre likes best. But wheat flour type 550 (Austria W 700) is also possible - preferably in organic quality.
  • NEVER (accidentally) consume all of your Madre while baking!
  • With some instructions, the addition of olive oil is recommended, but the oil can very quickly get unwanted foreign germs into the approach. This can spoil and the oil interferes with the reproduction of the microorganisms.

6.1 Refreshing:

  • Lievito Madre should be fed after 8-10 days at the latest so that it does not become sluggish.
  • I always keep around 300 g to be placed in the refrigerator.
  • The existing Lievito Madre culture is always refreshed according to this principle:
    1 part LM + 1 part flour + 0.5 part water
    ⇒ e.g. 100 g LM, 100 g flour, 45-50 g water
  • For the refreshment, the part of the old LM should always be taken from the middle of the culture (i.e. the core). Most of the microorganisms are located here.
  • After refreshing, LM does not necessarily need to be shaped into a ball and incised. You can just put it in the glass. But you should change the glass from time to time for hygienic reasons.
  • After feeding, it should have at least doubled to tripled within 3-4 hours in a warm place (23-28 ° C). Then you can bake great with it and count on a good oven sprout. 
  • After refreshment, the ripening temperature should ideally be around 26-28 ° C or even from 30 ° C to around 24 ° C, but never below 20 ° C !.
  • As mentioned, LM likes to be fed the same flour over and over again.
  • The unbaked remainder can then be put back in the refrigerator after feeding until it is fed again before baking.

6.2 Which vessels are suitable:

  • In a slim, tall glass, the madre can develop better. In addition, there is less surface that could dry out. (For example from Weck, Ikea, beer glasses or measuring cups.)
  • The glass should ALWAYS be big enough to fill your Lievito Madre. The white ring marks the original filling level after feeding. So the glass should only be filled to 25-30% after the refreshment.
  • For storage and freshening up, I generally prefer vessels made of glass. I think that's more hygienic and I've had the best experience with it so far.

6.3 Recycle leftovers:

  • I always keep my items separately. That means it is fed regularly and when I bake I only feed as much as I need later - maybe a little more. If there is anything left over, I put it back in the fridge with the items to be stacked.
  • If I just have too much left over, I dry LM residues and then paint them. It is best to spread it on a sheet of baking paper to dry. On the one hand, I have a kind of dry sourdough extract, so to speak, that I can simply add to a dough as a flavoring. But he can also Dry protection can be used and reactivated with water and flour. With a bit of luck and a few refreshments, you can create a new Lievito Madre.
  • For even more flavor, the LM spread on the sheet of baking paper can also be sprinkled with herbs and spices and roasted in the oven. After grinding you have such an excellent one Bread spice.
  • Recipe for using leftovers: Focaccia with Lievito Madre

6.4 The LM no longer doubles after 2-4 hours:

  • Should your Lievito Madre have become a little sluggish, for example because he had to wait a little longer for feeding, it helps to feed him several times in a row (e.g. every 4 hours). So, in my experience, he gets really active again very quickly.
  • A good way to make a sluggish LM more active again is to feed them with a slightly darker flour (or even whole wheat flour). Darker types of flour (e.g. wheat flour type 1050) offer the microorganisms more nutrients and vitamins. These support their metabolism and the culture can develop better. It makes perfect sense to yours LM every now and then "just like that" to feed with darker flourto prevent possible sluggishness. Otherwise, LM likes to be fed the same flour over and over again.

6.5 For longer breaks / vacation:

  • For example, when I go on vacation, I feed my Madre even tighter. Then I add just enough water in sips to make a tough dough. Then I leave it in a warm environment for 1-2 hours and then put it in the refrigerator. After the vacation, I feed my Lievito Madre straight back to “normal”. Several refreshments may also be necessary here.

6.6 Baking with Lievito Madre:

  • The special thing about Lievito Madre is that it can also be added directly from the refrigerator to the bread dough.
  • As a rule, about 10-30 % Lievito Madre are added to the dough in relation to the amount of flour.
  • Depending on the age, aroma, growing power and time, 50 % Madre (based on flour) can also be added to a dough.
  • In order to “get out” the best possible driving force, your LM should be processed immediately after the successful refreshment. Immediately after this has doubled or tripled after 3-4 hours.
  • If the LM cannot be used within the next 3-4 hours, simply put it in the refrigerator (5 ° C). The madre can be processed directly within the next 12 hours without further refreshment. It is best to let it come to room temperature for about 1 hour before making the dough.
  • If a madre stands too long after being refreshed, it loses its momentum again and clearly acidifies.
Lievito Madre, Pasta Madre, Mutterhefe, Italienischer Sauerteig aus Weizen im Glas

♥ Have fun and successful breeding! ♥

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133 thoughts on “Lievito Madre züchten und pflegen – die 5 besten Methoden”

  1. Dear Sonja, I have another question.

    Does the LM replace the corresponding part of the flour or do I add the LM

  2. So either I'm making it too difficult for myself or I just don't understand ...

    How is it when I bake two days a week

    1. Thank you very much 🙂 How can I dry it? Simply spread it on a baking sheet and let it dry, just like normal sourdough? How is it then reactivated?

      Dear Gr

    1. Dear Ingrid,
      do not put away. 🙂 Give the “diva” a little more time. It is best to keep it warm, for example by the heater and several times in a row f

    1. Dear Inge, yeast water is not leaven in that sense. This is usually used to make a soft or firm pre-dough. LM is a special, firm and mild wheat sourdough. I w

  3. Hi Sonja. Does the LM produced in this way always have to have TA 150 after the 21st day? Or can it also be softer, e.g. TA 180-190?

    1. Hi,
      so normally the classic LM is already TA 150. But there is also the Lievito in Coltura Liquida ( It is always felt that way

      1. Dear Vladimir,
        At least 25 % - even max. (!) 50 % of the total amount of flour should be mixed in one dough

  4. Sylvia Ottenwälder

    Hello Sonja, I find the drying of the LM very interesting.
    If I dry the LM, can I add it dry later in my recipe or do I have to moisten it again?
    How much dry food corresponds to wet food? Or was the drier LM just serving for flavor? Sometimes I have to feed him, but I don't have time to bake, and I don't have that much space in the fridge for an even bigger glass, so the alternative with drying would be very useful.
    Thanks for all your effort. LG Sylvia

    1. Dear Sylvia, to reactivate it, it must first be brought back to life with water and flour, so to speak. As a rule, it then has to be refreshed a few times, first softer and later then firm as usual. You don't need to store a huge glass in the refrigerator. Something to start new LM is enough. You can use the dried food as a great aroma or add it to the fresh food when you feed it. Otherwise, that's just the emergency backup in case the fresh one says goodbye. LG, Sonja

  5. Sieglinde Friedemann

    So far I have only baked with rye and wheat items. Since I do not bake bread regularly, I sometimes only feed my items a week for 3 weeks and throw away the unneeded part, so that I always keep a constant amount in the refrigerator.
    Can I do the same with the LM?

  6. Hello Sonja.
    I have a question about 3.2: The heading says 1 part water, 2 parts ripe EVA mixture and 2 parts flour. Then why is there 3 parts after spelled flour type 630 for 100 g flour? Do I take 150 g spelled flour?

    Thank you and best regards, Lisa

    1. Dear Lisa,

      no as it is: 50 g water, 100 g mixture and 100 g flour. So 100 g spelled flour.

      Kind regards Sonja

  7. Anne Wagenbach

    Dear Sonja
    last monday I started a LM according to your “LM classically breed” recipe. Worked wonderfully. Already after 4 days the volume doubled and showed small bubbles. I freshened up and the dough floated wonderfully again. However, I only ever see small bubbles.
    No problem during the day. But what do I do at night?
    I can't refresh it every 4 hours. Not much had happened in the morning. The volume had even sunk a little and a skin had formed.
    When do I know if my LM is ready and can it be in the refrigerator?
    Thank you very much for your answer
    Warm greetings
    Would have liked to send photos. But don't know where to insert it!

    1. cookieundco

      Dear Anne,

      Unfortunately this is not possible with the photos at the moment, I hope that this will be possible at some point. When your LM has doubled, you can put it in the refrigerator until the next day. It is best to take it out for an hour before feeding so that it is not so cold. As soon as the madre doubles - better triples - within 3-4 hours it is ready and ready for use. The warm weather is ideal right now. The coincidence shows that she is already working nicely and has used up her feed or is overripe.

      If you are unsure, you can also send me photos by email:

      But that all sounds great. Small bubbles are not bad, the really big ones usually only come in the refrigerator or when it is cooler, which is not exactly ideal for the Madre. Besides, your madre is still young. The best thing to do is to measure how fast it is growing - aim always to double or triple at 26-28 degrees if possible.

      If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us,
      best regards Sonja

    1. Actually, yes, ideally 26-28 degrees are for the Madre. Some even keep the madre warm at 30 degrees.
      I didn't know any better before and left the madre at room temperature overnight. Then it is more of a firm wheat sourdough and not a classic madre with the typical cultures and flavors. LG

    1. You can simply add them to a dough and bake them with it. The walking times will not change for the time being. In the case of the liquid, nothing usually changes either. LG Sonja

  8. Hello Sonja,

    I once again baked rolls according to a recipe I modified. They also turned out quite well, just too firm again for my taste. In search of loosening up, I came across mother yeast again and again and in this way also came across your blog.
    Your description is incredibly detailed and varied. Thank you for your effort and work, from which everyone who lands on your blog and takes something with them, including me, will benefit.
    Yesterday I made a Lievito Madre from your recipe.
    What I'm really interested in is why your recipe doesn't include honey. I think I haven't seen any other recipe without honey and I've looked at a lot about it on the net.
    I know that from yeast water and thought that sugar, in whatever form, supports the fermentation process.
    Many greetings,

    1. Dear Gaby,

      the honey can - if it is beekeeping quality - deliver wild yeast and serve as a starting aid. I use this with yeast water, for example. But even there it is controversial. The fact is: Honey can also have negative effects, as it can inhibit fermentation (antibiotic effect). I'll link you to two articles about this. In any case, it is not necessary, with “normal” sourdough no honey is added - the actual microorganisms come from the flour. But of course there are many roads leading to Rome. I also made my first madre with honey, but from today's perspective I don't think it had any advantage.

      If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us,
      best regards Sonja

  9. Meike yearling

    Hello, can the LM also be made with freshly ground, germinable grain? I generally do not bake with extract flour.
    Thanks in advance.
    Warm greetings
    Meike yearling

    1. Hi there,
      yes you can also make LM with whole wheat flour. VK flour provides the microorganisms with many nutrients, but it can also lead to a more sour note more quickly than with extract flour. LM is kept warm anyway, which counteracts the formation of acid. I think that would be more useful in very cold cooking.

      LG Sonja

  10. Hi there,
    I've made a madre (100g durum wheat flour, 50g water, 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon beekeeper honey). she already worked well on the second day but after feeding (I kneaded 100g of the madre with 100g and 50g of water again and rubbed it with oil) she didn’t do anything for the third day.
    I put it in a mason jar and just put the lid on and then stand on the heater.
    on I wanted to try the 5 day variant, it is also my first attempt and I have no experience with normal sourdoughs either.
    Will she still and should I continue to feed her according to the principle or would it rather start over?

    1. Hi there,
      I would definitely advise against olive oil as an addition in the future. Honey is also viewed critically as it can have an antiseptic effect. I haven't read the quick method you mentioned before. Since you are not very far with the approach, I would personally start all over again without oil. You can also leave out the honey. Perhaps you would like to try the method according to point 5 on this page? It also goes very quickly. 🙂
      If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us,
      Sincerely Sonja

  11. Hello it's me again
    I got sourdough from my bakery around the corner and wanted to breed.
    However, this is a rye sourdough and I wanted to use durum wheat, does it work the same way as with the instructions here?

  12. I am currently in the process of growing a LM from a sourdough using a fermentation box according to the above-mentioned 4th method. I set the temperature to 26-30 ° C. I noticed that the LM in Spe gets a firm skin every time, regardless of whether I let it mature in a jar with a loosely attached lid, in a jar with a rubber ring under the lid or in a plastic bowl with a thick cover. And when I coat the roots with oil, it still gets a skin. Is the skin formation normal or how can I prevent it?

    1. cookieundco

      I would advise against oil. The skin is normal. I remove and dispose of them.
      Unfortunately, your comment was in the spam folder, so I'm only answering now. Thank you very much for your comment!


  13. Barbara Herbach

    Dear Sonja,
    You inspired me with the nut braid. I finally dared to put LM on. Your instructions are fantastic and just as successful. The cool temperatures and the warm stove in the living room also played their part. It all happened so quickly that on the 7th day I baked a foccacia (also based on your recipe) without yeast, only with LM. The batter was great. Now the first rolls are waiting to be baked tomorrow. Thank you very much for your wonderful instructions and delicious recipes!

    1. cookieundco

      That makes me very happy! 🙂
      Unfortunately, your comment was in the spam folder, so I'm only answering now. Thank you very much for your comment!


  14. Hello dear Cookie,
    Today, for the very first time, I prepared a LM with yeast water as a starter.
    Does the glass with the swing top have to be closed completely? I'm afraid that it will fly around my ears when the LM starts 🤓
    Thank you and best regards

    1. cookieundco

      Then just put the lid on loosely.

      Unfortunately, your comment was in the spam folder, so I'm only answering now. Thank you very much for your comment!


  15. Pingback: Crisis Bread | bread poet

  16. Dear Sonja,
    Thank you for the detailed instructions. I just bred my wheat ST starter to LM and it worked out fine. More than doubled after only 3 feedings, nice big bubbles - great!


    1. cookieundco

      That makes me very happy! 🙂
      Unfortunately, your comment was in the spam folder, so I'm only answering now. Thank you very much for your comment!


  17. Dear Sonja,
    I used your recipe after actually not getting any yeast in the first Corona period. The approach with yeast water was also very successful, the first baking result - raisin or Sunday mares - was great!
    Now I would like to freshen up the Lievito soon - the instructions say “just continue to feed with yeast water as normal, as described above”. Does this really mean step 1 (200 g yeast water, 200 g flour, in this case Lievito Madre)?
    When starting with water you actually take 1 part Lievito Madre, 1 part flour, 1/2 part water.

    In any case, many thanks for the great suggestions - a new world of baking has opened up to me again. 🙂

    Many greetings

    1. cookieundco

      So nowadays I would only continue to feed with water and then follow the instructions for the classic LM.

      Unfortunately, your comment was in the spam folder, so I'm only answering now. Thank you very much for your comment!


  18. Hello Sonja,

    Due to the current Corona crisis, I have more time to take care of important things 🙂

    Yesterday I carried out your LM recipe with yeast water. Today I did step 3 and everything went as you described it.
    Now I have 2 full jars of LM - from the two leftovers from the jars I have a bread in the proofing basket that is currently rising very nicely.

    But now I ask myself:

    - I have to get the air out of the glasses before I put them in the fridge (don't need LM today / tomorrow)
    - LM and refrigerator get along or can I always leave the LM on the outside, as we actually bake bread almost every day, at the latest every 2 days
    - or do I have to get the LM out of the refrigerator a few hours in advance if I want to bake bread and do I have to freshen up or could I bake 100g straight away?

    Thank you very much, Steffen

    -? or can I bake a part right away

    1. cookieundco

      You can also bake the madre out of the refrigerator, then keep the bulk liquid a little warmer than stated in the recipe.
      After doubling, the madre can be put in the refrigerator. There is no need to bleed.
      Unfortunately, your comment was in the spam folder, so I'm only answering now. Thank you very much for your comment!


  19. Hello Sonja, thank you very much for this great explanation!
    I have a question about the method with EVA and wheat flour 550 (25g EVA, 125g water, 250g flour). I have a feeling that the ball of dough was very dry. Unfortunately, this doesn't really grow or thrive in the oven at around 30 degrees. Would a little more water be helpful or do I just need a little more patience?
    Or should I brush up on it even if he hasn't left yet?
    Thank you for your help! Michael

    1. cookieundco

      Yes, I would then add a little more water, then it also thrives better. I think your flour is too thirsty. 🙂

      Unfortunately, your comment was in the spam folder, so I'm only answering now. Thank you very much for your comment!


  20. I've already baked quite a bit with the LM. (made with yeast water).
    Among other things, a braid - that was great!
    Now I baked an Italian white bread and sunflower buns in quick succession.
    The oven drive was great, but it tasted too sour. How do I get the LM mild again?
    Lg Irene

    1. cookieundco

      Dear Irene, it's best to freshen up several times in a row and keep warm at 26-28 degrees.

      Possibly now 1-2 times only 1 part Madre, 1 part water and 2 parts flour.

      Unfortunately, your comment was in the spam folder, so I'm only answering now. Thank you very much for your comment!


  21. Hello Sonja,

    First of all, thank you for your comments here in the blog.
    My LM approach (apple water + farina tipo 0) came up very well and quickly on the first and second day (less than 24 hours) and has always doubled. Unfortunately it doesn’t open up as well and is also a bit more fluid than at the beginning. What can be the reason or do you have a tip what I can do? Add less water? Actually, after more days, it should double faster instead of slower.
    During the day, I always set my LM on the heating, which I set to 30 degrees. At night I wrapped her in a blanket with a lukewarm hot water bottle because I can't leave the heater on at night.

    Thank you for your help.

    1. cookieundco

      Sometimes it stagnates after a few days, that's normal. There is a battle of the microorganisms, so to speak.

      Unfortunately, your comment was in the spam folder, so I'm only answering now. Thank you very much for your comment!


  22. Nina Schöneberger

    Hello, I also have a question. I am currently growing a rye sourdough with 550 flour. In the second step you should take 40g from the first batch, so far so good, you should repeat that 2 to 4 times. So now to my question, should I then take 40g of the new batch or should I add 20g of water and 40g of flour to the complete batch.

    Thank you in advance for your help

    LG Nina

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  24. Hello Sonja
    This is a really great and informative blog, especially about the Lievito-Madre. I grew mine with apple water. But needed 2 attempts;). Now my question about freshening up so that I can avoid leftovers. When 50g of active LM are required in a recipe. Can I simply take out about 30g of my LM in the refrigerator and freshen it up with 30g flour and 15g water? And the rest of the way back in the fridge.
    With the weekly refreshment, if I have 200g LM, don't you have to take some of it away? If I don't bake regularly, I'll have a lot of LM over time. Or do you have a tip on how to do it

    with sunny
    Greetings to Kerstin

    1. cookieundco

      Yes, theoretically you can take such small amounts. But I prefer to feed more - it works better for me. Would always refresh at least 50 g Madre. I freshen up most of the time when I bake with it anyway. Then I take part for the batter and part goes in the fridge. Otherwise, you can simply bake leftovers in fresh bread or rolls.
      It doesn't hurt to add some of the old madre to other recipes, it gives a nice aroma. I hope my answer has helped you a little ...
      Sincerely, Sonja

  25. Gabi Janßen

    Hello Sonja,

    Your recipes, which are well explained, always inspire me to do new things 🙂
    Now I have a question about the production of the LM with yeast water. In step 1 yeast water is given, in steps 2 and 3 water and yeast water is again at the bottom.
    Did I go wrong in steps 2 and 3 if I used "only" water?

    Thank you in advance.

    Warm greetings


    1. cookieundco

      Dear Gabi,
      no, everything is correct, it is enough to take yeast water the first time and then water.
      I correct that, in the meantime the views have changed.


  26. Elke Brandl

    Hello Sonja,

    I'm trying to do an LM for the first time. Your description helps me a lot. What I don't understand, after step 1 I put the lined LM back into the jar with the rest of the dough or I collect the rest of the dough separately.

    Warm greetings
    Elke Brandl

    Your recipes are so inspiring and sure to succeed. I've tried so many bread recipes. Thanks for that.

    1. cookieundco

      Dear Elke,

      only the lined part goes back into the glass. You can then collect the leftovers separately and bake them together.
      If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us,

      Sincerely Sonja

  27. Hello Sonja,
    I want to start an LM with EVA and am now wondering when I will leave out the starter when I continue to breed. You still have it with you when you first feed it, but at some point it has to be able to stay away, right?
    Thanks and greetings,

    1. cookieundco

      Hi there,
      actually you only need the EVA powder for the first approach. Then you continue this approach like a Lievito Madre (i.e. without EVA powder).

      Many greetings,

  28. Dear Sonja,

    how do you produce the required temperatures of 25-30 ° C? In the oven?

    Thanks very much!

    1. cookieundco

      Dear Sophie,

      I have a Brod & Taylor fermentation box. I use it all the time. Had hesitated for a long time because of the acquisition costs, but so far I am more than satisfied with it.
      Otherwise, some ovens also have a defrosting stage or some put a hot water bottle in the switched-off oven.


    2. Hello Sophie, I put my LM in the oven and just turn on the light. That's 28 degrees, so perfect. When the oven is occupied, the LM is in a small cardboard box (keeps the heat and prevents draft) on the electronics of the heating system, anything that generates constant heat, such as chargers or WiFi boxes, works quite well.
      Kind regards, Angelika

  29. Hi there,

    I have a stupid question: how do you get 300 items when

    100 LM + 100g flour + 50g water. Isn't that 250g or do I have a knot?

    Many thanks and best regards,

  30. Hans Müller

    I'm just copying the recipe and I'm now at step 2 for the first time.
    The doubling of the volume started after ~ 4 hours. How should I proceed now? Recipe 1 was used (i.e. only flour type 1050 and water). The madre stood at ~ 26 ° C in the boiler room.

    1. Either always feed after the good doubling or put in the refrigerator. The next day, let it acclimate for at least 1 hour and then feed. Chill again after doubling. Should be ready to bake very soon. 🙂

      Many greetings,

  31. Roswitha Madest

    Hello, the day before yesterday I bought Lievito Madre from Gustini, it is 250 grams, if I now accept 50 grams + 5 grams of Fr. yeast for baking I have 150 grams, I can put it in the fridge and take it out the evening before and feed again with 100 gr. flour type 00 and 50-60 gr. lukewarm water, and put the rest back in the refrigerator until the next bake ?????, I tried to make it myself, but not become, so I have now bought the finished one, but would like to have it for a very, very long time. It would be great if I had a helpful hand here. 🙂 Thank you very much and stay healthy.
    LG Roswitha

    1. Hi there,

      To be honest, I'm not sure if there is any yeast added. Please take a look at the list of ingredients.


    2. Renate Erlinger

      Hello Roswitha, you mean the dried LM from Gustini? This is something else. You take 10 grams for 100 grams of flour and you don't put it in the fridge. But you can also start a LM with the dried one like in this post.

  32. Christiane Beckmann

    Hello, I would now like to make a madre using EVA, water and wheat flour, as described above. I then let it go for 12 hours. So, now write that the Madre is ready for immediate use and that it will keep in the refrigerator for a maximum of 12 hours!
    Unfortunately, I didn't understand that now, I thought that the part of the madre that I didn't need could be kept in the refrigerator for a long time, provided I feed it regularly.
    Have I misunderstood something?
    I would be very grateful for an answer, because I would also like to bake with Madre, but somehow I never really got it!
    Greetings Christiane

    1. Dear Christine,

      yes you can of course continue to feed him like a normal madre. 12h is meant for baking. After pulling, further feeding before baking would be even more ideal.
      If you are not using the EVA-Madre, always put it in the cold after doubling up.


    2. Michaela Zöller

      Hello Sonja,
      thanks for the great tutorial on growing the LM.
      I have two more questions.
      1. My LM that was bred for a good week (at a constant 26 degrees) has now almost tripled within 2-3 hours when I was refreshed. So I put it in the fridge and freshened up the next day after acclimatizing for 1 hour at room temperature. I wanted to do it again tomorrow.

      Question: Is it normal for the LM to “collapse” again in the refrigerator?

      2. Question: Can I simply knead the remains of the LM into my bread recipe without paying attention to the recipe? Or do I have to change something in the recipe, such as more water or less sourdough, more flour? Or knead into my bread roll dough, for example?

      I would be very happy to hear from you and I am curious how it tastes like baking with LM (also called Malte😉).

      Many greetings

      1. cookieundco

        Dear Michaela,
        Yes that is normal. However, this is also a sign that it has already been quite far when it happens so quickly. It is best to chill after doubling. I've got into the habit, if I don't bake with the madre but just freshen it up, to put it in the cold after almost doubling it. Because it takes time to cool down in the refrigerator and so the culture still has enough for the dry spell in the refrigerator.

        Otherwise it all sounds really great !!

        to 2.
        Yes, if the amount is not too big, just add it. You are also welcome to take a look at my refresher recipes:

        Or with the cuties, because you can also use your madre perfectly. It doesn't necessarily have to be freshened up as there is still enough yeast in it.


  33. I have now applied lievito madre for the first time and have fed him for the second time today. Can I bake the rest of the food that remains after feeding in pancakes or would it not taste good?

    Warm greetings
    Monika D.

  34. Dear Sonja,
    I'm just growing my first Lievito Madre, and also with T80 flour. The first vesicles and an almost doubling can already be seen. 🙂
    However, I wonder what to do with the skin that inevitably forms, even when the glass is closed.
    Easy to process with?
    I would be happy about your tip

    Many greetings

    1. Dear Mario,

      I would always remove the skin. It is best to always remove the madre from the middle and feed it.

      Many greetings,

  35. Dear Sonja

    Thank you for the very helpful recipe. I've just tried the classic variant for the first time. Regarding the container - can I also use a pickle jar, for example, and close it tightly with the screw cap? Or should I still get some air so I could just put the lid on? I also saw in other recipes that cling film is used and then pierced with holes. I'm a little insecure now and don't want me to do anything wrong.

    Many thanks and best regards

    1. Dear Laura,

      I usually just screw the lid on loosely while the madre is maturing and then close it tightly for storage in the refrigerator.

      Warm greetings,

  36. Dear Sonja!
    You write that the LM should be fed at least every 8-10 days.
    Will the LM stay at room temperature that long? Or do you feed it and then put it in the fridge?
    How do I keep it for these 8-10 days?
    Kind regards Doreen

    1. Dear Doreen,
      yes after feeding, when the madre has doubled in the fridge. I feed 1-2 times a week. This is more ideal for her to stay active.
      8-10 days is more or less intended for survival.

      Many greetings,

  37. Hello dear Sonja!
    I have to ask something again ... the rest of the cake that is in the fridge, I have to freshen it up before I bake it, right? How much of it do you take away and in what proportions (flour, water and crockery) do you freshen it up?
    Thank you for your advice!
    Greetings from Thuringia

    1. Dear Doreen,

      yes, always freshen up before baking, unless the recipe says from the refrigerator.
      I always use 2 parts LM, 2 parts flour and 1 part water. Knead thoroughly and then keep warm.

      Many greetings Sonja

  38. Hello Sonja!
    A great description of how the madre was made. I would like to make a pannetone dough with EVA powder, I am unsure whether I can make the pre-dough the next day after the first preparation and let it rise overnight, or whether I have to feed this mixture several times the next day, and with which one Amounts. I've read so different things. It would be nice if you could give me some advice.
    Sincerely from Irene Holzhausen

    1. I think it would be better for panettone the first batch 1-2x
      to be freshened up before the Primo Impasto.


  39. Antonella Bruzzese

    Dear Sonja
    Thanks for your great instructions. Unfortunately, I made a mistake today while freshening up, I freshened up the same amount of water and flour as Lm. I noticed the mistake, but had to go to work and just left the glass standing. After 6 hours the paste had grown over the glass. Can I turn this liquid yeast back into LM? In what proportion?
    Kind regards Antonella

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  41. Hello Sonja,

    I need your advice. I've been baking bread for a long time, but I'm new to sourdough.
    I re-bred my LM, also using the apple method, but started with whole grain rye flour and fed it again after 24 hours. Then I only fed him type 550 wheat flour. So do I have a real LM or rather a wheat sourdough? My TA is 160. I let it mature constantly in the oven at 30 degrees. After feeding 6 times, it has doubled within 3 hours. I then fed him again 3 times every 3 hours, so that the yeast bacteria could consolidate. Was that correct what I did? And why is it so important that the LM ripens at 28 degrees? What changes if I let it mature in the oven at 30 degrees?

    Thank you very much for your help. I want to breed a real LM that is mild but strong.

    Lg Verena

    1. Dear Verena,

      that sounds great. Of course, 30 degrees in the oven is also possible. It shouldn't be much more than 30 degrees, but that means the LM itself. Please check or measure in the oven that it does not reach 40 degrees after 3 hours. The warm temperatures have something to do with the reproduction of the right microorganisms. Too warm then hurts again.
      A TA of 140-150 is more typical for LM with a consistency similar to marzipan. Softer goes in the direction of Li.Co.Li. But if something always depends on the flour and the water absorption, I would rather be guided by the consistency than the correct TA points.


  42. Hello Sonja!
    I have a question about the Lievito Madre with classic preparation. Since there is a wheat intolerance in our family, but spelled is not a problem, I started the LM with spelled flour 1050 (everything is going well too so far). Do I always continue to feed with the spelled flour 1050, or would another spelled flour (630 or 812) be more suitable?

    Greetings and thank you for the many detailed recipes!

    1. Dear Gabi,

      it works both. For sweet pastries, I personally like very light flour, but you can easily run the madre permanently with a 1050 grind.


  43. Hello Sonja,
    1000 thanks for your detailed explanations about the manufacturing methods of the LM.
    Up until now I was horrified by the idea of “tuddling” this approach for about 14 days, BUT - thanks to your reference to the re-breeding, yesterday I quickly made a part of my rye sour with wheat flour 550, fed it today and within 5 hours it had itself tripled, brilliant.
    Thanks again…
    Greetings Silvia

  44. Sieglinde Friedemann

    Dear Sonja,
    now I finally dare to breed LM. What is the difference between “continuation” and “feeding”?
    Greetings Sieglinde

    1. Dear Sieglings,

      in essence it's the same. The feeding schedule always remains the same. Regular and steady feeding is important.

      Best regards,

    2. Thank you for the detailed instructions. I started my LM 24 hours ago and it has already doubled. Do I have to wait now or can I already feed. LG Beate Fabry

      1. Dear Beate, you can feed the culture as soon as it has doubled well. If the time does not fit (late in the evening), put it in the refrigerator after doubling and feed the next day, take it out of the refrigerator for an hour beforehand. We wish you continued success!


  45. Hello Sonja,

    Thank you very much for your great blog here. I have already been able to implement a few things. However, this is the second time I've had the same problem with feeding the LM. I have the EVA from bongu and bred with Lombardia. Because you prefer T80 Paysans, I wanted to build up from breeding with the T80. Unfortunately, as already described, the same thing happened again on the second attempt. From a very active LM I go to T80 and the activity is significantly lower and it is significantly more acidic. After the second feeding, the LM is no longer edible, I would say spoiled. Do you have an idea why that could be? Can the LM really react like this to another flour?
    Would you recommend starting with EVA with T80?
    many thanks for everything! LG

    1. Hi there,

      I've also noticed about the Paysans lately. Significantly more acid formation. I am currently taking Caputo (blue) classica for the Madre and will test a special flour for LM feeding. Otherwise, feel free to try an organic wheat flour type 550 or durum wheat flour.
      My madre is very picky about flour! Even with simultaneous feeding with different flours you can see clear differences.


  46. Thanks for the great tutorial! It worked right away and after 4 days I was able to bake the first rolls with it, just with two small crumbs of yeast to support. The LM is now called Giulia and has become a family member. I'll bake with it several times a week.

  47. Hello Sonja
    great blog.
    I just do not get any further.
    I always have an LM stock of 250 gr ..
    If I need 300 g for my pizza and want to have 250 g left over at the end, how do I proceed?
    Thank you very much for the answer!

    1. Hi there,
      I would take 120 g from your madre and feed it with 120 g flour and 60 g water. Then you have 300 g.
      Because I would keep the rest separately. So you don't run the risk of accidentally adding everything to the dough. Because that's already happened to me.

      Many greetings,

    2. Hello Sonja,
      Thank you for your prompt reply!
      I. E. I then take from the remaining 130 gr.,
      100 gr. And 100 gr. Flour and 50 gr. Water,
      so that I have my initial stock of 250 gr. ASG again.
      Is that what you mean?

  48. Wow. Otherwise I am a critical reader qua profession. who sometimes knocks you out in food blogs when he notices that a blog is not underpinned by knowledge, but is more of an advertising platform that should be concealed with content - but here: I am deeply impressed with the thoroughness, meticulousness and knowledge with which it is Sonja collects all the snippets on Cookie & Co that you otherwise find on the Internet, contributes new things and simply comes out very strongly from the reader. And in the process developed his own handwriting that never denies its sources. I have to say: I now prefer this platform to Plötz, for example, because it unites different schools of thought in baking - and the reader can decide.

    Thank you very much for that

    1. Yes, Ralph, that's exactly what I mean - you phrased it perfectly. Sonja and cookie & Co: Very thorough, very good, very honest, very open-minded, very personable!

  49. Hello Sonja :),

    Thanks for these great instructions!

    I'm trying the third approach right now and everything looks fine so far.

    I have now asked myself when my approach is ready how can I best store it, I have not yet fully understood that. Can the approach be put in the refrigerator immediately afterwards or what do I have to consider. I'm still very new to this Lievito Madre world :).

    I thank you for an explanation.

    Lots of baking hearts Tini

    1. Yes, the approach can then be in the refrigerator. It is best to refresh it 1-2 times a week.

  50. Hi there,

    Well written. I am currently breeding my own LM. But I'm not quite sure how the refreshing works exactly.

    If I understand correctly, after a refresher, I can either use the LM after it has doubled (3-4 hours warm), or keep it in the refrigerator until I need it.

    Now come the questions:
    -If I want to use it directly from the refrigerator for the first 12 hours, do I still have to wait until it has doubled or tripled?
    -Do I have to feed him again after these 12 hours in order to be able to use him?
    -Should I then simply take the appropriate amount from the food that is kept in the refrigerator, which I then need for a recipe, and then either feed the rest after 8-10 days, or if there is only a little left of it?
    -How soon can I feed the LM at the earliest? Right after it has doubled or tripled?

    Thanks in advance for the help.

    Lg domes

    1. Hi there,

      if you feed LM, it should always have doubled or tripled before baking and can be used immediately.

      However, if the glass is then placed in the refrigerator and is only used after 12 hours or not at all for the time being, a slight doubling is sufficient - so the microorganisms still have enough food for the "dry spell". (If it triples, the food is practically used up. Within 12 hours in the refrigerator, direct use is not a problem, after that the rising power decreases more and more. It can still be baked with it, but not as the sole raising agent.

      If you want to bake, you can only take the part of LM from the refrigerator that you need to prepare fresh LM. The rest can stay in the refrigerator, although a rather frequent refreshment of LM is very good (I do this 1-2 times a week). LM leftovers from the refrigerator can be used in so-called refreshing recipes so that they do not have to be discarded. Here:

      You can start feeding at the earliest after doubling or tripling, i.e. on the same day. If you feed sooner, the microorganisms have not yet reproduced sufficiently and they would be “diluted” too much, so to speak. It would therefore be counterproductive.

      I hope I was able to answer your questions, if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!

      Best regards and have a nice weekend,

  51. Dear Sonja,
    can I also bake wheat bread with an LM with spelled 1050? Or do I always have to stick to the same flour?
    And how can I convert the LM to wheat?
    Thanks for the great blog.
    Warm greetings

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