Formulas Using Leftover Liquid Levain

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By Jeffrey Hamelman

Published 2004

As a rule, well-organized professional bakers build each day the amount of levain culture necessary to bake the next day’s breads and enough to hold back to perpetuate the culture—rarely if ever do professional bakers have excess culture that must be discarded. Unfortunately, in the home setting this is not always the case. As we know, in order to keep our culture healthy, we must give it regular feedings. If one is baking just once or twice a week, this means there are times when we have surplus culture to dispose of. No one likes this situation, but it is inevitable for many home bakers. The good news is that there are some excellent ways to utilize leftover levain culture. A few recipes that I particularly enjoy are detailed below. Of course these are not strictly intended for times when one simply happens to have extra levain on hand and prefers not to throw it out. Extra levain can intentionally be ripened for use at home or in bakeries that have a café component.

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