my daily sourdough bread

Pain Au Levain vs Sourdough - What to Know

Natasha Krajnc

The phrase pain au levain translates to naturally leavened bread.

It is a basic French style of sourdough with a mildly sweet taste compared to regular sourdough bread.

Much like a sourdough starter, the levain acts as a leavening agent, is added to the dough, and provides unique flavors, and textures, as well as a natural rise.

Like sourdough bread, it pairs great with soups, especially with its incredibly wide crumb.

Function of Sourdough Starter: Maintains a live culture of wild yeasts and bacteria to leaven sourdough bread. Purpose of Levain: Acts as an expanded, strengthened portion of the starter used specifically for baking.

Weight Management: Kept in small quantities to control expansion and facilitate maintenance; excess is often discarded or kept separately. Feeding Before Baking: Requires multiple feedings to reach appropriate weight and readiness for baking.

Continuous vs. Single Use: Starter is maintained continuously, while levain is used once in baking. Importance of Maintenance: Essential for having starter available for baking; without upkeep, starting anew can take weeks.

Longevity: Sourdough starter can live indefinitely with regular feeding of flour and water. Role of Levain in Baking: A once-used portion mixed into dough to leaven bread.

Bread bun

Natasha Krajnc

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