Planet Kitchen

A Headbanger's Guide to Awesome Food

Wheat Levain

added:

Day 1.

  • 100 grams wholemeal wheat flour (T200)
  • 100 ml spring water
  • 1 Tbs honey

Mix water of room temperature with flour and honey, and place in a glass or plastic container, covered with a piece of muslin cloth. Set aside for 3 days at room temperature (20oC - 24oC).

 

 

Day 2 - 3.

 

Stir every 12 hours.

 

 

Day 4.

 

Discard of half of the mixture. To the remaining mixture add

  • 50 grams wholemeal wheat flour (T200)
  • spring water

Use as much water as needed to obtain a thick dough. Set aside at room temperature or refrigerate for 24 hours.

 

 

Day 5.

 

Discard of half of the mixture. To the remaining mixture add

  • 50 grams wholemeal wheat flour (T200)
  • spring water

Use as much water as needed to maintain the dough consistency. Set aside at room temperature or refrigerate for 24 hours.

 

 

Day 6.

 

Add the amount of flour stated in the bread recipe and as much fluid as needed to maintain the dough consistency. Set aside at room temperature or refrigerate for 12 - 24 hours. Use as sourdough.

 

If the starter isn't quite active after 5 days, refresh again, doubling the amount of flour used (100 grams) or discard of half of it and refresh like before.

 

Reserve a small amount of levain for the next use, store in the fridge, refresh just like any other starter, but maintain the consistency and keep at low temperature. The thicker the levain and lower the temperature, the less sour the dough should be.

Wheat Levain

Levain is not exactly a bread starter but can be used as such. It is the second stage of elaborating the leaven, so it requires a bread starter to build on. Regular starter at 100% hydration will do just fine, so if you have one sitting in your fridge, you may as well build on it. Levain is created by thickening starter to the consistency of a stiff dough and is generally maintained at low temperature, to prevent the development of acetic acids which sour the dough. Instead it promotes the development of lactic acids and creates leaven mellow in taste to be used for lighter breads.

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