I've been baking my own bread here in France and I love the variety of flours here, especially when I can buy them directly from the local flour mills. I discovered in the health stores here a product called "levain fermentescible" which appears to be dried sourdough starter you add directly to your bread recipe completely replacing the yeast. You don't need to keep a starter and feed it...it's like having an instant sourdough starter for your breads whenever you need it without the hassle. I've made two loaves this way and they've risen well and with a great sourdough flavor. I've seen it made from various organic flours here: wheat, rye and spelt.
Is anyone familiar with this? I'm told in Britain this is called "yeast fermentable." Does this exist in the States? If so, where can it be found and is it called the same thing?
I'm also curious to try it in pancake recipes so if anyone is familiar with it, what are your experiences?