Pain au Levain with Mixed Sourdough Starters

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Dough Yield: About

    22

    loaves at 1.5 lb each

Appears in

Bread

By Jeffrey Hamelman

Published 2004

  • About

This Pain au Levain Incorporates two Starters: a sourdough rye and a liquid levain. Each contributes different flavor characteristics to produce a full-flavored bread, in spite of the relatively low percentage of pre-fermented flour.

Pre-Fermented Flour: 16%

Ingredients

Overall Formula

U.S. Metric Home Baker’s %
Bread Flour 16.8 lb 8.4 kg 1 lb, 10.9 oz 84 %
Whole-Rye Flour 1.6 lb .8 kg 2.6 oz 8 %
Whole-Wheat Flour 1.6 lb .8 kg 2.6 oz 8 %
Water 13.6 lb 6.8 kg 1 lb, 5.8 oz 68 %
Salt .36 lb .18 kg .6 oz 1.8 %
Total Yield 33.96 lb 16.98 kg 3 lb, 6.5 oz 169.8 %

Liquid-Levain Build

Bread Flour 1.6 lb .8 kg 2.6 oz ( cup) 100 %
Water 2 lb 1 kg 3.2 oz ( cup) 125 %
Mature Culture (Liquid) .32 lb .16 kg .5 oz (1 T) 20 %
Total 3.92 lb 1.96 kg 6.3 oz

Rye Sourdough Build

Whole-Rye Flour 1.6 lb .8 kg 2.6 oz (¾ cup) 100 %
Water 1.32 lb .66 kg 2.1 oz (¼ cup) 83 %
Mature Culture .08 lb .04 kg .1 oz (1 tsp) 5 %
Total 3 lb 1.5 kg 4.8 oz

Final Dough

Bread Flour 15.2 lb 7.6 kg 1 lb, 8.3 oz ( cups)
Whole-Wheat Flour 1.6 lb .8 kg 2.7 oz ( cup)
Water 10.28 lb 5.14 kg 1 lb, .4 oz (2 cups)
Salt .36 lb .18 kg .6 oz (1 T)
Liquid Levain 3.6 lb 1.8 kg 5.8 oz (all less 1 T)
Rye Sourdough 2.92 lb 1.46 kg 4.7 oz (all less 1 tsp)
Total 33.96 lb 16.98 kg 3 lb, 6.5 oz

Method

  1. Liquid Levain: Make the final build approximately 12 hours before the final mix.
  2. Rye Sourdough: Disperse the mature culture into the water, add the rye flour, and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle a light layer of rye flour on top of the paste, cover, and let stand at about 70°F for 12 to 16 hours, or until the sourdough has domed but not collapsed.
  3. Mixing: Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl except the salt. In a spiral mixer, mix on first speed just until the ingredients are incorporated into a shaggy mass. Cover the bowl with plastic and let stand for an autolyse phase of 20 to 60 minutes. At the end of the autolyse, sprinkle the salt over the surface of the dough, and finish mixing on second speed for 1½ to 2 minutes. Desired dough temperature: 76°F.
  4. Bulk Fermentation: 2½ hours.
  5. Folding: Fold the dough twice, at 50-minute intervals.
  6. Dividing and Shaping: Divide the dough into 1.5-pound pieces; shape round or oblong.
  7. Final Fermentation: Approximately 2 to 2½ hours at 76°F (alternatively, retard for up to 8 hours at 50°F, or up to 18 hours at about 42°F).
  8. Baking: With normal steam, 460°F for about 40 to 45 minutes.