The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Using two different levain for the same bread

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Boulanger's picture
Boulanger

Using two different levain for the same bread

I recently read about Josh's Pane del Valley Maggiore bread recipe which call for the use of two different levains.

It is the first time I come across a recipe like this. Is there a real advantage to use two levains ? Would it be more simple to use the same type of flours listed from both levain and mixed them in one single levain from the start ?

Thanks

 

ericreed's picture
ericreed

The use of different preferments is to try and develop different flavor characteristics. Bacteria are primarily responsible for a lot of the flavor of good lean breads and how they develop the bread is largely dependent on temperature and hydration. The technical stuff is about heterofermentative and homofermentative bacteria and under what conditions they produce lactic and acetic acids, two of the primarily flavoring components.

So in short, you will get a different tasting bread using different preferments. I don't know that it would necessarily be superior to a bread with only one, but it is a tool for a baker to develop the flavors they want.

Boulanger's picture
Boulanger

Thanks, ericreed,

That makes a lot of sense. Of course everything is about flavor in bread making and this is a good way to play on that level...

golgi70's picture
golgi70

@ Boulanger  In doing reading you get a few things from your said levain.  Flavor Profile and strength/extensibility.  And of course your rise  

A stiff levain will offer more acetic flavor and add more strength via the acids produced to the dough.  

A liquid levain will promote more of the LABS and extensibility (I can't for my life spell that word).  

Further, I agree with Hamelman when he mentions when using Rye it is always best for a portion of it to be pre-fermented.  Granted it's only 17% Rye but once I exceed 10% Rye in fomrulas I always consider (and many times) pre-fermenting at least a portion of it.  This bread started with a Sour Wheat Levain but I've played with it many times and have found the the dual levain version my favorite.  

Cheers

Josh

Boulanger's picture
Boulanger

I have to say, Josh, that I tried Your recipe with dual levains for pane maggiore and It was delicious . I also tried another recipe from a german blog that was also very good with a more pronounced rye flavor than with your recipe were I found a perfect balance between the rye and whole wheat ....

 

 

golgi70's picture
golgi70

evolved from a recipe on a German Blog sight.  I'm happy you liked it.  it's a favorite in this household.  

Happy Baking

Josh