Robertson: Amount of starter to discard when re-feeding; Amount of starter used to make a levain
Though I have had success with Tartine's Country Bread, I am still confused by Robertson's directions on three points:
1. Regarding feeding the starter. Even after the seed culture has been successfully transformed into a healthy starter, it appears that Robertson discards 80% of his starter before each regular feeding (Tartine, p. 46) whereas others simply re-feed by adding to the existing starter at a ratio of 1:2:2 (starter: flour: water by weight) without discarding. Am I reading Robertson wrong here?
2. Robertson calls for only "a tablespoon" (15 g) of mature starter to be used for seeding the levain (Tartine p. 147), whereas others, (i.e.Reinhart) use nearly four times that amount (71 g)for just slightly smaller amounts of flour and water (Reinhart, Artisan Breads, p. 61). For those who have made both, what are the characteristic differences in the two (Robertson's, Basic Country Loaf and Reinhart's, Pain au Levain?
3. Finally, is it possible to use mature starter directly in making a dough without first creating a levain? If so, how does the final loaf differ