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February 17, 2010 in breads, how to, vegan, vegetarianleave a comment

whole wheat levain, day 3

whole wheat levain for sourdough, day 3 - marker

How about a nice tall glass of levain?

Today is Day 3, when we begin feeding the levain twice a day versus the once per day of days 1 and 2. That pic is at 3.5. I’ve put the levain into a tall, clear glass and marked it. In 12 hours we’ll see how much the yeast activity has made it expand.

whole wheat levain for sourdough, day 3 - stirred

Notice all those bubbles, made by that friendly wild yeast I’ve attracted. The catnip is this simple flour-and-water combination, at room temperature. The levain is sticky, and stretches when I stir it before discarding/feeding.

Its developed a slightly fruity, tangy smell, yet still with that sweet and fresh smell to it. I tasted a bit of the levain and yes, there was a hint of sour to it. Fingers crossed — it seems to be coming along nicely. Let’s hope I don’t eff it up somehow.

whole wheat levain: Day 3 (and 4 and 5)

Adapted with permission from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Nutritious Whole Grains. For days 3, 4, and 5, we go to twice-a-day feedings. Those wild yeast are hungry buggers! Space feedings as close to 12 hours apart as possible. By the fifth day the levain should be ready to use in a sourdough recipe.

    4 ounces (1 to 1⅛ cups) whole wheat flour
    4 ounces (½ cup) cool nonchlorinated water

Now we move to twice-a-day feedings. Do this as close to every 12 hours as possible.

whole wheat levain for sourdough, day 3 - feeding

Discard all but 4 ounces of the levain. Add the whole wheat flour and water. Mix well, cover, and let sit at room temperature (65° to 75°F) for 24 hours.

Maybe Yeastspotting would be interested in this series. ;-)

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