April’s breads for MellowBakers.com include three variations on Pain au Levain from Jeffery Hamelman’s book Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes. Today’s entry is for the first of the three, simple Pain au Levain. This translates to Sourdough Bread.
One thing that Hamelman makes a point of noting is that this bread is not given a long, slow retardation overnight. The subtle flavours for this loaf and it’s two companions, Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat Flour and Pain au Levain with Mixed Sourdough Starters, are all achieved with relatively short builds, even though the starters themselves do need to be made up the day before.
Once those levain builds are made up, it’s a pretty quick bread, for a sourdough.
If you’d like to give this bread a try, you can find the recipe in Jeffrey Hamelman’s book BREAD on page 158. You can also find an adapted recipe from Wally at TheFreshLoaf.
As always, I set out all the ingredients ahead of time…