A Stir The Pots Post

My Teachers levain

by | Nov 17, 2007 | Bread

About 10 years ago I took a class at my Alma mater, FCI for a bread course. The teachers we had were two different personalities, Nick Greco an Italian-American baker who was very hands on with stories of his fathers baking in the Arthur Ave. bakeries. David Norman, a bookish baker who was self taught and was a student of German language as well as bread, he drilled us with bakers percents, rolling his eye's as we looked at his bakers cross as if it was an algebra exercise!
So this last week being the final deluge of dinners and events before Thanksgiving at my workplace. I tried fruitlessly to bake some loaves, most landing in the garbage, I know I probably should save them as soakers for new breads! (noted).
Feeling that either I had lost my touch or the levain was putrid, I dug through my files when I found an old e-mail from Nick who I would pester about formulas, this was years after the class had already ended! Nick was very busy but kindly sent me a formula, I haven't heard from or of him since. David is in Texas with his author wife Paula Disbrowe living on a farm!
Both of these bakers shaped the way I followed my home baking career and I wanted to thank them for their patience and advice, though admittedly I still am a lazy baker, my shaping somewhat unorthodox, slashing technique getting better and most of all my love of baking increasing like a bubbling levain!

Levain Greco

First feed:
6g starter
12g water
12g water

Second feeding:
29g Levain
29g water
29g flour

Final Dough:
87 g levain
346g Bread Flour
52g rye
52g whole wheat
10g salt
288g water

I being "The lazy baker" will tell you I left the bread to rise about 2.5 to 3 hours with folds inbetween, I think it was two total, shaped the loaf and put it into a rye dusted banneton, let it sit at room temp, (actually in the oven since it was so bloody chilly last nite, then covered and into the fridge overnight!
Baked at about 450F
Et voila!
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