18 March 2009

Dan Lepard leaven

I'm thinking I've never been a real baker, a true artisan.
My dependence upon dried yeast pips has to have counted against me.

So I've given myself a good kick in the rear, bought the Dan Lepard handmade loaf book I've been coveting for so long, and started my very first leaven.
I confess I cannot tell you what that leaven business is all about yet, I'm at Day 4 in the process.
But no doubt in 2 weeks time, I'll be producing loaves and breads and baking that will have the French falling at my feet in adoration.

That's the plan in the Painter house anyway

the process for that liquid gold that is leaven

Remove the rubber seal you see here from your jar if using

Day 1
50g water at 20º C
2 rounded tsp rye flour
2 rounded tsp strong white flour
2 rounded tsp currants or raisins
2 rounded tsp live low-fat yoghurt - home-made full fat yoghurt in my case

  • Mix all the above ingredients together in a Kilner jar. I sterilized mine, I hope that's OK.
  • Leave at room temperature for 24 hours.

Here's how it looks after that 24 hours.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Day 2
50g water at 20º C
2 rounded tsp rye flour
2 rounded tsp strong white flour

  • Stir the above into the leaven, starting with the water.
Here's how it looks

  • Close lid and leave again at room temperature for 24 hours.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Day 3
100g water at 20º C
4 rounded tsp rye flour
4 rounded tsp strong white flour

Here's how it looks when you open the lid
  • Add water & stir
  • Add the flours

Here's how it looks as you close the lid to leave for another 24 hours

~ ~ ~
~ ~

Day 4
100g water at
20º C
125g strong white flour

as you open the lid, here's how it looks - I hope that water is OK

  • Remove 3/4 of the mix & discard.
  • Add the water and stir.
  • Strain out the raisins & return mix to the kilner jar
  • Add in the flour and stir well - it's quite thick now

Here's how it looks before leaving for another 24 hours

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Just Day 5 of the process to go ........................................... to be continued

Excitement after 12 hours into Day 5.
The leaven has erupted, I've never been so pleased to clean my kitchen shelves

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Day 5
opened after 24 hours

remove 3/4, mix in water & then the flour

leave for another 24 hours, & the same reaction this morning again. I'll have to use a larger kilner jar


Anonymous said...

I loved your comment about the French falling at your feet in adoration Gill - made me grin for the first time in days! I'll be following this with interest... There are some very interested parties here - and they're French!

Gill the Painter said...

Hi Luca.
We shall show these French a thing or 3, non?

I'm just about to do the final feed now of Day 5.
I still can't believe how mad it's gone on the last day.

It must be my home-made yoghurt!

Maggie said...

I am full of admiration that you have taken this project on! I've never had a go.
I'll come back and see how you get on.......

Anonymous said...

Have you made any bread with your new leaven yet? Successful?
By the way, it might be a good idea to remove the rubber seal from your 'Parfait' jar - an active leaven does build up a bit of a head... I've been using the same jars for a couple of years sans seals and the leaven has been fine.

Gill the Painter said...

Hi Robin
Thank you for the seal tip. It was going a bit mad!

I've made some of Dan Lepard's knackebrod with the leaven.

& I'm planning to take some out for this weekend too.

Sesselja (Dottienorth) said...

Hi Gill

You left me a link to your blog on BBC food chat, thread on sourdough, and I am now on day 4 :o)

Just a quick question, on day 5, are we using the same quantities of water and flour as on day 4?


Love your blog by the way :o)

Gill the Painter said...

Hi there Dottienorth

You've made the leaven!!!
Great stuff. Is it foamy and fobby by now?

& yes, Day 5, you remove 3/4 and stir in 100g water, and then 125g flour.

after that, if it's foamy, you're up. You have some choices as to how to feed your leaven: on a daily basis as you bake - replacing the leaven you take out
as I do, refresh the leaven once a week, to use during the following week as you bake (usually Thurs even or Fri morning).

Sesselja said...

Thanks for the reply Gill

It had the water/mass split when I left the house this morning, so looking about right. Very much looking forward to seeing if it goes mad tonight.

I think I will refresh it each week. Do you keep it in the fridge after it is ready, or just keep it at room temperature?

Gill the Painter said...

I refresh, leave it on the worktop for a couple of hours, then put it into the fridge.

Because it's easy, I use this refresh method by a baker called Mick, message 2: http://www.danlepard.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=149

You need to be using your leaven at it's peak, not as it's fed and died off.

Dottie, feel free to email me, just to get the beginnings right.

& also, if your mum hasn't got one in her stash, have a look out for Dan's book.
It's the best cookbook I've bought (save Eric Tucker's vegan ones) this decade.

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