Give your leaven a good seeing to

Some of you (most I hope) will  be baking this weekend, and your leaven will quite happily sit in the fridge waiting for its next use.  When you received it, you’ll have immediately refreshed it following the initial instructions.  It’ll probably be quite stiff as well, but fear not.  You can quite easily keep refreshing it every 7-10 days, it’ll be fine, but it’s a bit like giving your lover flowers every week. Nice, but gets dull, so try the following: Forget the flowers, and give your lover a crotchless leather jump suit.

100g room temp water
50g strong white
50g rye flour

Or if you want to be more adventurous, a strap-on or a session with Delta the dirty dominatrix

100g room temp water
50g spelt flour
50g strong white

The flour you use for the refreshment is up to you – initially I suggested using strong white, and this gives great results, but try something else. Just remember that whatever flour you use, it needs to have gluten, or it’ll die, like a neglected mouse who starts to eat its own feet. Don’t forget to post up comments! and send images if you can be arsed



8 responses to “Give your leaven a good seeing to

  1. I’m worried I’ve killed my leaven (Henry, his name is). I followed the instructions when I got him, then put him back in the fridge. I refreshed him a few days later (yesterday) and put him back again. Just looked at him there (was hoping to make the starter for P&G rolls tomorrow with it) and there is no bubbling to speak of. And no ‘pop’ when I opened my kilner jar. There was one big bubble on the surface but that’s it. Is this normal? Should I feed him again?
    Can I save Henry?!

    • no dont feed it again. what temperature is your fridge? if its less than 4 degrees it ll give you a problem. when you want to bake, the day before do the big refresh like the recipe suggests and leave out of the fridge. you should see some action then.

      • Hmm, I’ll check my fridge temp and raise that if need be. I’ll bake tomorrow so tonight I’ll take it out, add the Guinness and flour and leave him in the kitchen (not fridge) until tomorrow morning. OK. Wish me (and henry!)luck…

  2. very quick quetion which may have been covered elsewhere. If I plan to make two loaves a week, as per the basic recipe, let’s say on Sunday, what is the best routine to get into to refresh the leaven?

    100g/100g on Wednesday, 200g/200g Saturday morning, add rest of ingredients and bake on Sunday?


  3. I refreshed mine vwry early this morning ready for baking tomorrow – its bubbling away and the cling film looks like the O2. I’m going to call mine “Gordon” as in “Gordon’s alive!”

    • when you take off the cling film, give it a good sniff. you’ll be staggering round the kitchen in no time singing cheesy 80’s pop

  4. I refreshed mine yesterday ready for the next stage today so I can bake tomorrow..very exciting will send you pictures once done if it works.

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