The Fresh Loaf

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Ken Forkish - Transferring Levain

Edmond Horsey's picture
Edmond Horsey

Ken Forkish - Transferring Levain

I think that Ken Forkish's Flour Water Salt Yeast is a terrific book but that said, I do scratch my head in certain places.  One is the levain quantities he calls for, a much-discussed subject on this site.  Another is the way he calls for adding the levain to the final dough.  I cannot fathom why one would need to weigh the levain by transferring it o a separate container filled with water as opposed to simply adding it directly to the autolysed flour.  Any thoughts would be appreciated.

idaveindy's picture

I think he explains in one of his videos:

#11 in the playlist.

if you weigh the levain in a dry container, it could stick and you wouldn't get it all out.

Personally, I usually weigh it in a dry bowl or cup and just go 2 grams over to allow for loss.

If you weigh it into the main mixing bowl, and need to remove a bit after adding too much, you might pull out other ingredients.

But as they say, there is more than one way to skin a cat.


mariana's picture

He shows it here

And this method works when you weigh your levain separately, without placing the container with the autolysed portion onto the scale first , setting  it to zero,  and only then adding levain little by little while watching its weight.

In bakeries you would not place the giant bowl of a mixer where the autolized portion sits onto scale to do that. At home some bakers have mixers with undetachable bowls or scales of limited capacity, so weighing levain separately and cleanly by moistening  both hands and bowl with water instead of oil, for example, is neat.