Levito madre is a traditional Italian dry sourdough for bread. You can bake ciabatta, focaccia and even panettone on it.
- Grapes 30 g
- Water 500 ml
- Wheat flour 1 kg
- Grind the grapes with a blender or finely chop, retaining all the juice. Add 30 grams of water and 120 grams of flour to it.
- Knead into a very tight dough. Roll out the dough on a clean working surface into an elongated rectangle or oval 3-5 mm thick, the shape is not important. Roll this flat pancake of dough into a roll.
- Put it in a deep container and fill it with water. Cover with a towel, gauze, or lid. Do not close tightly, air must enter the container, but dust must not fly. Leave for 1-3 days at room temperature.
- After a day, check the leaven – most likely, the roll of dough stuck to the bottom; with your hands, gently help the dough move away from the bottom and see if it floats up. If it does not come up, leave it for another 1-2 days.
- When the dough has surfaced, take out everything that has surfaced and weigh this mass. If a crust has dried on the sourdough, which rose above the surface of the water, remove it. The floating mass is the leaven with which you can continue to work, the rest is not needed. It can weigh 10 grams, and maybe 50 grams, further feeding should be calculated on the weight of the starter culture. Add half of its weight to the sourdough (for example, add 25 grams of water to 50 grams of sourdough) and flour of the same weight as the sourdough.
- Stir and shape the resulting dough into a ball: the dough is softer than the first time. Put it in a transparent plastic or glass dish, cover it loosely and leave for 1 day. Transparent dishes are needed in order to monitor the state of the leaven.
- In a day, the leaven will dissolve, and rare holes will appear in it. She is not ready to bake yet, you need to continue feeding her. Remove the dry top from the leaven, it is not needed. Weigh the remaining mass, add water to it with half of its weight and flour of the same weight as the leaven (such proportions must be observed with each feeding), shape the ball again and send it to a transparent container covered with a lid for 1 day. In this way, feed the starter culture for 7-14 days. She may have an unpleasant, sour smell at first, a sign that she is not yet ready to bake. In the photo, the sourdough one day after the first feeding.
- The finished starter culture grows about 2.5 times per day, frequent rather large bubbles will be visible on the walls of the dishes. The smell of the finished sourdough is difficult to describe: fruity, sweetish and very pleasant.
The amount of flour and water is incorrect. The main thing is to observe the proportion of flour and water during the kneading and feeding of the leaven. The finished starter culture should be continued to be fed every 1-2 days. It can also be refrigerated, where it can be stored for up to 2 weeks; before feeding after the refrigerator, it should be allowed to stand at room temperature for 2-3 hours. In the freezer, it can be stored for up to a year; to bring it back to life, you need to move it to the refrigerator for 1 day, then leave it for 2-3 hours at room temperature. Another way to preserve the leaven is to dry it: when feeding, you need to add more flour to make a dense dough, roll a sausage out of it and cut it into circles, roll them thinly and put on a baking sheet. Dry for 2 days at room temperature, turning over after the first day of drying.Store the dried starter culture in a canvas bag or in a loosely closed jar. To bring it back to life, you need to soak it in water and wait for it to surface.