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Instructions for recipients of a wild yeast levain: I am sending 500 g jars to baking friends.

What should I tell them to do with it once they receive it? Should they feed it for several days in a row before using? Is there a recommended timetable? Anything else? It's a 100% hydration. Thanks so much, everyone. ;o)

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

asked almost 2 years ago
Dscn2212
boulangere

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added almost 2 years ago

First, what a fantastic gift! If you're bottling from you own mature barm, there is no need to do the daily feeding for 5 consecutive days. Instead, I'd suggest you tell your fortunate recipients what the feeding schedule should be. I feed mine every 3 days with a flour to water ratio of 60%:40%, and letting the quantity of feeding double the volume of barm. If I've not used it between feedings, I pour out half of it (NOT down the drain!), then feed it. And I routinely let it sit out overnight at room temp after each feeding. Seriously, what a wonderful gift!

Dsc_0028
added almost 2 years ago

Boulangere, why do you say not to pour the excess down the drain?

Dscn2212
boulangere

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added almost 2 years ago

cbc, I don't pour it down the drain because it is so thick and goopy, and I really don't want it taking on a life of its own within my plumbing.

Sarah_chef
Reiney

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added almost 2 years ago

That's a great idea - though I couldn't tell from your post how you were sending it? If via mail, keep in mind that they can build up pressure and explode - particularly if at room temp.

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AntoniaJames

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added almost 2 years ago

Sarah, I was planning to send to the East Coast via Priority Mail from CA. Should I put it in a much larger jar, and leave it somewhat loosely tightened? At this time of year, it should be fairly cool in transit. Thank you! ;o)

Dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 2 years ago

You can also freeze it before packing, and definitely leave some room for expansion in the jar. UPS 2-day might be safer.

Jc_profilepic
added almost 2 years ago

I keep mine at room temp for about 8-10 hours after I feed it (or until it is doubled and very bubbly), then it goes in the fridge for up to 6 days. If I were mailing it I would probably add dry ice pack to try to stabilize the temp. I'd then tell recipients to feed it right away (or put it in the fridge for only a day or two then feed it) and keep it at room temp for 8-10 hours or until doubled or bubbly. This link has a very detailed description of one person's feeding schedule and process: http://www.thefreshloaf... and this link has Instructions on drying methods for shipping http://www.thefreshloaf...

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hardlikearmour

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added almost 2 years ago

I'm curious to know how it worked out? It's a really great gift!

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sdebrango

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added almost 2 years ago

I have fed every couple of days but have not thrown out any before feeding, it's in the refrigerator bubbling away. I am going to give it one more feeding and then start using it. I don't know if what I am doing is correct, I hope so, I have never dealt with levain before. Thank you AJ for such a wonderful gift. Is it necessaary to throw some of it away, if so why do you do that?

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hardlikearmour

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added almost 2 years ago

Per Ken Forkish (Flour Water Salt Yeast): Keep 100-150 g of the levain & discard the rest (or wet with water and keep in a plastic bag in fridge for a new batch). Feed with 400 grams AP flour and 100 grams WW flour and 400 grams 85º water. Mix by hand until just incorporated. Should be ready for bread about 6-8 hours after feeding if average kitchen temps. Think of the portion you throw away as spent fuel.

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sdebrango

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added almost 2 years ago

Thanks HLA, I will discard some of it, feed and use. I have it in a plastic lidded container in the fridge with plenty of room for growth. I will do that tonight so it will be ready for use tomorrow.

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hardlikearmour

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added almost 2 years ago

Pull it out of the fridge! Here are the instructions (with minor editing) from FWSY for storing and restoring your levain: "If you will not be making dough with your levain culture every day or don't feel like feeding it every day, you need to have a plan for storing it on those off days and restoring it as needed. It's best to store it in the refrigerator. Take about 300 grams of the levain, coat it with a film of water, and put it in a nonperforated plastic bag, then refrigerate for up to 1 month. When you're ready to use it again, you'll need to plan ahead in order to bring it back and use it at full strength. Here's the procedure I recommend: Two days before you plan to bake, remove the levain from the fridge and put 200 grams of it into your empty levain bucket. Discard the remainder. If possible, let the levain sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes to warm up. Then add 100 grams WW flour, 400 grams white flour, and 400 grams of 95º F water and mix by hand just until incorporated. Cover and let rest in a warm spot overnight. The morning of the day before you plan to bake: Feed the levain again. Discard all but 100 grams (up to 150 grams if your kitchen is cool) of the levain. Add 100 grams WW flour, 400g white flour, and 400g 85-90º water (cooler end in warm weather/kitchen, warmer end in cool weather/kitchen). Mix by hand until just incorporated. Cover the levain and let it rest in a warm spot until you mix your dough later that day."

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sdebrango

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added almost 2 years ago

Thank you so much, pulling it out now and will follow the directions. Pasting into evernote. I can't wait to give this a try. You have been so helpful!

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hardlikearmour

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added almost 2 years ago

No problem! I recently started baking breads from FWSY & am totally smitten. I'm starting the walnut levain bread today, using a levain I started from scratch last week. Can't wait to pull it out of the oven tomorrow. Next up is the pain au bacon!!

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sdebrango

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added almost 2 years ago

Wow do those sound good. I don't know what type of bread I will make with this levain a boule maybe, I have to so some serious research to keep this levain going. I don't bake bread that often and want to always have the levain around so I can whip up a loaf of bread. Thank you again,

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AntoniaJames

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added almost 2 years ago

I strongly recommend that this particular levain be fed at a one to one ratio consistently (equal parts of flour and water). This allows you always to know its hydration (100%), making it easier to adapt other recipes in which you might use it. (I incorporate my levain into my Pullman loaves on occasion for flavor, simply by calculating the liquid and flours in grams, then deducting from each the actual amount of liquid and flour that the levain will contribute to the dough. So far, it's worked really well.) ;o)

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sdebrango

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added almost 2 years ago

Thats exactly what I have been doing 1 to 1 ratio, I have not been discarding it though and I hope that hasn't hurt the levain but it looks and smells good and is quite bubbly and has grown very well. I can't thank you enough, did you use apples in the levain? I swear I smell apples.