The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

leaven shelf life

swifty's picture

leaven shelf life

I was in the process of preparing bread. I had built my Leaven for use in the next morning, and I got a call that a relative was dying. I put the Leaven in a sealed glass jar and into the frig and left. Now the time has passed about 2 weeks.

Is there any chance of reviving the levan I have prepaired?

madauar's picture

Best to toss it and start over. The yeast has probably  expended all of its beauty at this point. If a leaven is allowed to proof for longer tham 18 hours with a greater than 2% yeast to flour ratio, even in a cold environment, it is over proofed and will diminish in quality. You are know WELL beyond that time frame. Keeping a preferment/starter culture in the fridge for an extended period of time also increases a certain kind of, usually unwanted, acidity.

108 breads's picture
108 breads

I agre with madauar. However, when going away for longer than a week, put your starter in the freezer. Mine took a week of nurturing when I defrosted them (I keep two), but then they were back to their old chipper selves.