The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Where did I go wrong with this 7-day levain build white bread?

108 breads's picture
108 breads

Where did I go wrong with this 7-day levain build white bread?

Good white bread, nothing wrong with it taste-wise, but looks turned out to be deceiving, a good deal better than the taste. It had so much promise, a seven-day levain build and everything. Maybe I am not accustomed to working with a high hydration percentage and I did skip the Dutch oven instruction in the Forkish (three-day) recipe. Suggestions?

emkay's picture

I think your starter/levain was too starved to do its job. By the time you made your final dough, your "levain" was pretty much a starving starter since it was fed at less than 1:1:1 and never fed more than once a day for five days while in and out of the refrigerator.


PetraR's picture

I do agree with emkay.

A 7 day build but in and out of the fridge, the Starter did not know if he was coming or going.

It looks beautiful though, I can feel the crust between my teeth. yummy

SourDoughDave's picture

Levain flavor profile had no time to develop. Emkay and PetraR are correct. Your levain should be left out on the counter and fed at least twice a day leading up to the bake. Cold temps will stall the little yeasties and not allow them to develop any flavor.

Don't worry about the levain spoiling. As long as you keep it fed, the good bacteria will protect it.

However, bread looks good as does the crumb. Nice an open indicitave of a high-hydration bread.

I never throw away my discard. It goes in the kiddie pool I have in the fridge. It makes great waffles, pancakes, crackers, hamburger buns and whatever else you care to make.


108 breads's picture
108 breads

I always bake with my starter anywhere from two to eight hours out of the fridge. It works wonderfully; lots of miraculous oven spring. This bread had nice oven spring as well. Almost never do I have the starter out and being fed a couple of times a day for a couple of days before putting in a dough. Maybe it's just that the taste of a high hydration dough is somewhat different. In any case, worth another try come October when I have some free time.