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Mar 30, 2010 04:19 PM

Where can I buy liquid levain in the DC area?


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  1. It isn't something you can buy. You'll either have to make it yourself (easy, but is a 4-5 day process to start it), or find a bakery/baker that uses it and ask for a bit.

    I'm in Baltimore and keep some going if you're interested.

    9 Replies
    1. re: tbw

      I'm on day three of starting a levain. It came to life yesterday, and should be ready to use in another 3 or 4 days

      1. re: fedhillhound

        Fedhillhound, are you willing to share? (and are you, as I"m guessing, in Capitol Hill?)

        1. re: ams1

          More likely Federal Hill, in Baltimore.

          1. re: ams1

            I'm willing to share my liquid levain. It has been active for nearly a year and I bake bread with it most weekends. Jason is correct, I'm in Federal Hill, Baltimore

        2. re: tbw

          Thanks for the offer, tbw. I'm carless and don't get up to Baltimore that often - and certainly not in time for bread-baking this weekend. I'll check with some of my local bakeries.

          1. re: ams1

            I don't know what sort of bread you're baking but a poolish will accomplish the same thing as the levain. You might need a tad more flour as the levain would have had more water than a poolish (125% water in levain, relative to flour weight VS 100% in the poolish).

            Use equal parts (by weight) flour and water with a tiny bit of yeast. I assume you'd use dry vs fresh yeast so if you're using say, a cup of flour, you'd only use 10-15 grains of dry yeast. Mix it up, cover, and let it sit for 12-16 hours at room temp. It'll double overnight and have a nice smell to it. If it has collapsed, it ripened too long. Substitute the poolish for the levain in your formula.

          2. re: tbw

            hi there tbw, i'm in baltimore and am just starting to wonder if it wouldn't be worth trying the switch from packaged yeast to a starter. Would you be willing to give up some of your starter to a beginner?

            1. re: sioux_b

              Happy to give you what you need. I'm just over the county line in Arbutus and can meet you most anywhere (within reason).

              Tonight and tomorrow aren't good for me, but beyond that, any other time, including the weekend is okay.

              Not sure how to exchange any contact info without exposing it to the world.

              1. re: tbw

                that's great. Arbutus is not to far from me and i'm over at UMBC periodically anyway.

                i have a few public email addresses that are already exposed to the world (and full of spam). you can drop me a note at "info" - at - "contemplatethis" - dot - "org" and we can figure out a time/place.