The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Has anyone made Levain starter from The Village Baker?

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Udoughgirl's picture
Udoughgirl

Has anyone made Levain starter from The Village Baker?

The sourdough starter I'm trying to make (from The Village Baker) is quite a firm little ball and has such a thick crust on it that I don't see how it can possibly grow or form bubbles. It's day 3, and it should be showing signs of life.  The recipe said to cover it with a damp cloth, but nothing about keeping it damp, so I let it dry out. Mistake?   I could play with any of these factors at this point - an airtight lid instead of cloth, warmer or cooler temp, higher hydration of dough. I'd like to know how others have managed with this recipe. 


Thanks, Doh!


 

celestica's picture
celestica

I've made it and my "chef" got a crust too.  I kept it covered with cloth that was not damp on three occasions.  It turns out fine, just scrape the inside to use and throw the crust away.  The colour turns a few shades darker over those 3 days, and like yours, it does not look like much is happening, but it does produce beautiful loaves and is easier to use than a liquid starter.  The texture I aim for is firm-ish, springy and elastic, can still be a little sticky.

Udoughgirl's picture
Udoughgirl

Thanks. I guess I'll go ahead and start building it now rather than wait for it to do something. Then I'll see how it looks in a couple of days.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Udoughgirl,


For what it's worth, I used a similar process from a Tom Jaine book.  Here's a link that describes how that turned out.


Paul

celestica's picture
celestica

I am interested to hear your results.  I have also looked at the Tom Jaine book and am tempted to try some of his recipes, though he uses yeast in addition to starter in many of the recipes. 

sibails's picture
sibails

I haven't tried that starter but my dough used to dry out when proofing even with a damp cloth. Now I leave my dough in the microwave to proof and I no longer get a dry crust on top.


 


 

bpezzell's picture
bpezzell

I'm new here and I'm enjoying the site. I have used this and it worked great. I started my chef with local honey (I keep bees) and ended up with an extremely active starter. Like stated before, just peel the crust off and throw it away and go to the next step. Much more reliable, in my opinion, than liquid starters.

Udoughgirl's picture
Udoughgirl

Thanks for your comments. I added a bit more water on the first replenishment and placed it in a warmer spot. I am now getting bubbles in it, but it is not a ball. It relaxed into the bowl.  With today's additions I will make it firmer again. With luck it won't mind the changes in consistency too much.