The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Levain a l'ancienne...

kevinnoe's picture

Levain a l'ancienne...

Another pic of my first real success with the new method. Fresh ground Whole Wheat and Rye starter married with Pain a l'ancienne techniques to make a wonderful and unique loaf.


shuli81's picture

I would be curious to try this. Can you post the the reciepe and methond you used.

isand66's picture

That's a great looking crust.  How was your crumb?

grind's picture

double wicked

dabrownman's picture

looking loaf of bread!  Well Done.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Very nice bake.  I too would be interested in the formula.


Mebake's picture

Lovely! the formula pls. :)


lumos's picture

Beautiful! Another request for the formula, please!  :D

....also, it'd help if you didn't give the same title (Subject) to multiple blog entries.... Sorry for so demanding, but your loaves are worth it! :D


kevinnoe's picture

I just logged in for the first time since posting. Silly me, I didn't think anyone would really post to my little blog. Guess I was wrong. I'm honored :) I'll write another post when I can that explains the overall method. It is really quite simple - and that's what I was going for. Exceedingly low maintenance, incredible results. The best loaves I've made have invariably come from a whole hearted cold-mix straight into the fridge approach, the trick is just combining a levain with the other technique. Anyway - I'll write more on it in a couple days. Thanks again. I've marveled at your various loaves with envy - I'm thrilled to make a small contribution to the lexicon :)

kevinnoe's picture

The basics:

100% flour: 

     – (70% white hard spring wheat, 20% fresh ground whole hard spring wheat, 10% fresh ground whole rye)

82% water: (this includes the leaven which gets added later and is kept at 100% hydration)

2.1% salt:

2% diastatic malt:

16% leaven: (fed and kept at 100% hydration)

     – (80% fresh ground Whole Wheat and 20% Fresh ground Rye) for all refreshments


Day 1 

8:00 a.m.:  All ingredients except the leaven are roughly mixed with cold water, and immediately put into the fridge. Note that I do not work to build the structure and develop the gluten at this stage. I just almost slop it together and get it into the fridge. 

     (Note that, of course, the fresh ground whole wheat starter is tended and fed throughout the day to achieve a nice ripe state by 11 p.m. At that point, the starter is given its final refreshment using only 8% starter to new food to keep it young and punchy for the morning.)


Day 2

8:00 a.m.: The dough is pulled from the fridge and allowed to warm for an hour.

9:00 a.m.: Mix in the leaven.


Bulk fermentation: 4 hours roughly

Here - I do a simple series of stretch and folds every 30 minutes for the first 2 1/2 hours to really build the structure - (it takes about 60 seconds each time). The last 90 minutes I give it one turn after 45 minutes, then do a light pre-shaping after 30 minutes, bench it for 15, then do the final shaping.


Proofing: about 4 hours

     - proof in your favorite banneton or however you like it

     - score


Baking: about an hour for this 600g loaf

     – Bake in a pre-heated cloche at 500 degrees for 50 minutes

     – Take off the lid, lower to 460, and finish baking that beauty for as long as it takes - get the loaf to 212 :)


Cool... and enjoy.