Sourdough is a hype in Sweden and everywhere you find many version of sourdough bread and it’s not like the San Francisco sourdough. While in Sweden for Christmas, the most popular sourdough bread we ate was levain and we were hooked and I promised myself I was going to make my own levain as soon as we got home. Levain is a leaving agent used instead of commercial yeast. Levain bread is nutritionally better for you because the lactobacilli and ascorbic acid presented helps neutralize physic acids, a substance that occurs in bread that inhibits mineral absorption by the body. Bread baked with a sourdough starter also stays fresh longer.
Last weekend is when I decided to give it a try. I consider myself an avid baker and pretty good one too. I I use fermentation in my my breads all the time so I really thought this was going to be a walk in the park. Think again!!! It was very time consuming since the fermentation process takes days–read 3 and you have to care for the levain morning and evening. It has to rise for 3 days in a warm place. I told James on day 3 it better be the most amazing bread ever and guess what IT WAS. OMG it was so good and the whole family agreed in was the best. After we ate some of the bread with soup that night my husband asked ” so was it hard to make, I mean really really hard?”. I know where he was going with this and yes I will bake it again.
The base for fermented bread is wild yeast or also called starter and I made one from this recipe. You mix water and flour together and let it sit out for a few days to let the formation process start when the exposure starts the baceria and fungus growth. It takes 3-4 days for the starter yeast to be fermented but then you have yeast for a couple of baking sessions. I used white spelt flour instead of white flour for my starter.
|Hard work turns into this!|
The recipe I followed for the levain bread was this one. I made all my starters and baked all the levain breads with white and whole wheat spelt flour.