The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Well I pulled a bonehead move the other day!

Skibum's picture

Well I pulled a bonehead move the other day!

. . . and used up the last of my precious sweet levain. Dumb, dumb, dumb! So this is day 2 using pineapple juice and dark rye flour. So until I get my levain back I will have to use yeast water. This will be a good excuse to start a rye sour from my YW and do another classic Jewish deli loaf. This time I will add onions and onion water.

Happy baking folks! Brian

Floydm's picture

I've done that before too. Since then I've changed my workflow a bit: now my old starter doesn't get dumped until the very end once I've got the new, freshly fed levain ready to chill.  That has saved me a few times.

It is much like, as a programmer, having backups and source control in place. It isn't about try to avoid mistakes, it is about having a recovery plan when you do mess up. Soon or later, you will (well, at least I will). 

Janetcook's picture

I have 2 back ups….One is dried out frozen leaven; the other back up is kept in the refrig.  

When baking I intentionally make more leaven than I will need when I know I have to change out my stored jar of leaven. The freshly made excess gets a feed and then it goes into a clean jar and it then lives in the refrig. …..just in case.  I generally change it out every 3 weeks and it weighs about 50g (70%HL) which is more than enough to start up a new build.

Good Luck with your charge :)


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I can send you some.  PM your address.

I totally messed up on a goulash last week, I dumped cinnamon instead of caraway into it.  Both bottle right next to each other and look alike.  Smelled so apple pie in here! That part was wonderful!  Unfortunately too much to eat it even after adding the caraway the cinn kept coming thru strong.   

Skibum's picture

You would think that after spending 30 years in the IT industry counselling my clients to have a plan and backup their work I would have a backup for my starter. Well I certainly will next time!

Mini, thank you for your kind and generous offer to send me some of yours! I have the pineapple and dark rye going now starting into the second day and it is looking bubbly. Debra's method worked well last time and I will be back in business in a few days. Again many thanks! I love this site!

Best regards, Brian

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

No waiting around got started again and do have friends!    :)

Wild-Yeast's picture

I think this is something all of us share. There have been more than just a few loaves missing a part of their pointy ends due to a mishap in my personal brain chemistry. I now set out the starter container during the levain build so I can ask myself "what's that doing here?" - and the reply, "oh yeah! I almost forgot...,".


dabrownman's picture

is to never take the last of the starter out of the container.  When i find myself with a little bit  left I make Lucy stop what she is doing - just stop, put some water and flour in the container without even measuring, stir it up and set it aside while she go back to messing with the much less important dough for the bread she am working on.  One day we will forget though but we do have dried and frozen backups too - one for each of us since she is a floozy and  I'm pretty much a doofus these days, least my daughter thinks I am.... and she should know because she knows pretty much everything it seems:-) 

If you want to bake in a 4 days don't forget Joe Ortiz's method of cumin, milk and WW that he used on Baking with Julia - It works every time too!

mrfrost's picture

If I'm not putting some starter back in it's jar minutes after feeding/beginning to build, I know I'm doing something wrong.