A Stir The Pots Post

Baking madness, a baker obsessed!

by | Aug 25, 2010 | Bakers, Bread, Ecuador, levain, natural yeast

Times a wasting! Not having had a decent piece of bread in weeks, I thought the best way to quench my craving was to start baking. I had three levains in the fridge. The liquid and solid levains took a single feeding to awaken, perhaps because I had fed them quite often before leaving for Ecuador.  Anyway, the first bake was a multigrain loaf we did at SFBI, made with a pre-ferment and some yeast. But this time I made it all natural levain.




Multigrain bread(adapted from SFBI)


30g flax seeds

30g sesame seeds

30g sunflower seeds

30g oats,( I used Bob's Red mill 5 grain rolled cereal)

75g water

Soak for at least two hours


80g flour

45g water

10g starter

Final dough:

215g AP flour

85g   Whole wheat

35g   Rye

240g water

195g soaker

135g levain

10g salt

Mix flour and water, autolyse for 30 to 60 minutes. Add in levain and mix at first speed for about 3 minutes. Mix in salt at second speed mix to medium or improved consistency, (window pane), add in soaker until incorporated at second speed.

1-11/2 hour bulk ferment with one fold if needed.

divide into 1lb or 454 g pieces, pre-shape into balls and rest at least 30 minutes.

Shape, whatever suits you, I made batards, since my attempt at school was less then spectacular!

1-2 hours rise in banneton or couche.

Bake about 35-40 minutes with steam at 450 F

These are quite moist and I allowed them to sit in the oven an extra 10-15 minutes with the oven off and the door slightly ajar.

Having followed the amazing home baker, Hans Joakim on his blog at the fresh loaf, I picked one of the many formulas he shared. Not having baked for awhile, I did make some errors in measuring the ingredients for this rye starter-based pain au levain. It still seemed to hold its form and taste. I will give it a proper go again and probably a lot more of this repertoire from this fine baker!


Finally, there's a loaf based on Jim Lahey's "no knead dough", something I'm revisiting, wondering if I can really make this loaf with just a levain rather then yeast. Umm…. verdict  is still out as the loaf or blob is still in my oven…maybe I will give that another look over and try again? (or not?).

Well two out of three isn't that bad.

Will be submitted to Susan @ Wild yeast yeast spotting!


  1. Teresa

    Great to have you back and baking again Jeremy! Terrific looking bread!

  2. MC

    Beautiful crust and crumb!

  3. SmultronSoul

    how long do you have to soak levain? Is just 10g of sourdough starter sufficient for one loaf?

  4. Jeremy

    10g is fine, and mix and cover overnight about 8-12 hours depending on weather conditions or the kitchen temperature. This made two loaves!

  5. Mimi

    I always enjoy the photos of the beautiful bread you bake. This week was no exception!

  6. bergamot

    the bread looks perfectly baked. I am novice baker and I must say I am obsessed with baking breads too

  7. jaden

    Now that looks like a perfect loaf! Beautiful.

  8. Jeremy

    Hey thanks everyone! That is a big boost to the morale and more incentive to keep on baking!
    Go check and comment on the other stuff you like and when you have a moment!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Find More

Follow Us

Feel free to follow us on social media for the latest news and more inspiration.

Related Content