Pain de Compagne with a levain
I just made a recipe from Bernard Clayton's new complete bread book called Madame Doz Pain de Compagne. It calls for a starter made with flour, yeast, buttermilk and vinegar. That sits for twelve hours - then add whole wheat, wheat germ and white flour and water which sits for another six hours - the mixture is now called the levain. Then make a dough with white flour and knead in the levain. This made an amazingly tasty and robust bread - as good the second day as the first. Since I'm a novice, I can't believe that I was able to make a bread like this, and I'm still pinching myself. But inquiring minds want to know. I have been making starter (as I was asking about earlier) from flour and water only. Are the yeast and buttermiilk and vinegar in Clayton's recipe just there to hurry up the process, or do they impact the taste? This bread is not at all sour, nor do I think it is supposed to be. I saw in other messages that levain is just another name for starter, but Madame Doz seems to be as far away from sourdough as you can get. Clayton doesn't teach principles, just recipes, but I am trying to extract some set of principles from this recipe. I also used up all of the levain and wonder if I should have, since now I'll have to start from scratch the next time. If I had saved some, I wouldn't have known how to refresh it to get the same result.