for complicated eaters

SIMPLE SOURDOUGH STARTER, LEVAIN

SIMPLE SOURDOUGH STARTER, LEVAIN

Photo by Kristiana Pinne

To take part in the ancient practice of baking your own bread from scratch, lets first make levain, a sourdough starter. It is a fermented dough filled with natural, wild yeast and a bacteria called lactobacilli.

.   In large non-metallic bowl (I like large mason jar) mix together 2 cups warm water, and 2 all-purpose (hopefullly organic) flour and cover loosely  with a dish towel. Keep 1:1 ratio in mind.

.   Leave in a warm place to ferment, 4 to 8 days. Depending on temperature and humidity - times may vary. Use extra large jar or place on cookie sheet in case of overflow.  


.   When mixture is bubbly and has a familiar sour smell, it is ready to use.

.   When you use starter to bake, always replace with equal amounts of a flour and water mixture with a pinch of sugar.  When you used  1 cup starter, replace with 1 cup water and 1 cup of organic whole wheat flour. Mix well and leave out on the counter until bubbly again.  When fermented - place in the fridge and keep refrigerated.

.   Clear to light brown liquid that might accumulate on top is an alcohol base liquid that occurs with fermentation. Just stir this back into the starter. The alcohol will bake off leaving behind that wonderful sourdough flavor. Sourdough starters improve with age, historically, they used to be passed it down generation to generation!


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