I made my first levain last night, for the roasted garlic bread on Wild Yeast Susan's site http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2008/10/16/roasted-garlic-bread/
I was surprised at how stiff and dry the levain was, and I'm curious about whether that's typical of levains or particular to certain recipes. I expected (obviously I didn't look closely at the formula) that the levain would be similar to a sponge but it was not.
I've mixed in the rest of the ingredients and it's in it's first stage of rising (I think this would be the bulk fermentation stage, but I'm still figuring that stuff out) and now I'm surprised at how "soupy" the final dough is. The recipe promises that it will come together better after folding, but it's going to be a challenge to fold!
Hubby will never let me live it down if this bread fails after all the prep steps, but if it comes out halfway as nice as the one on WY's site (a big challenge for this newbie) I'll be happy.