Pain au Levain!

I got a new cookbook at Costco last week, “The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion”, and I tried out a sourdough recipe from it today. It was a traditional French sourdough bread. This means flour, water, salt, and starter, but no other ingredients.

The recipe calls for a full pound of sourdough starter, about twice what I usually add.


This was mixed with water and flour, and let to sit for a twenty minutes autolyse. It then looked like this:


After this period, salt was added and I kneaded the dough. The dough is wetter than I’m used to working with, but not at all difficult to handle.


I let it rise for a while, and then pre-formed it by folding the edges in.


After a twenty-minute rest, I formed it into a ball, and then placed it into a cloth-lined bowl to rise for two more hours.


After two hours, I turned it out, scored it, and popped it in the over for 50 minutes at 450 degrees.


The final product was a beautiful, airy loaf of delicious sourdough bread! It has a good flavor, and like a good french sourdough it has a very mild sour taste.


I’d like to finish off by recommending the cookbook I used. It’s called “The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion,” and along with bread, it covers just about every baking project conceivable.


~The Homesteading Hippy

One thought on “Pain au Levain!

  1. Lorinda M - The Rowdy Baker

    I tend to be very enthusiastic early on with a sourdough starter and then…it languishes in the fridge until I have to chuck it. I just got a new batch from a trusting friend and once I manage to get a pound of it (!) I’ll give this a try. It looks wonderful!


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