Desem is that weird Belgian levain that uses lots of flour; whole wheat to be exact. Recently, I started using it in my stiff levain formulas. So far, I have tried it in a currant anise dough adapted from Jeffrey Hamelman's Norwich sourdough.
I crossed my fingers that it wouldn't be a dud. It's hard enough to maintain levain sometimes, or to produce a decent bake for that matter while working long shifts. I am not even sure if I am following the orthodox method of feeding this fragrant and slightly tangy levain, dry as it is at only 60 percent hydration. I just fed it, and will continue using it along with my various hydrated and range of grain levains. Here's the end result.