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What is levain?

Leaven in its simplest form

Leaven, roughly translatable as a “sourdough starter” or “mother”, is a mixture of flour and warm water. If left to stand, the good bacteria and yeast on the flour combine their forces to cause fermentation and the leavening process. The leaven gives the bread a rich, complex flavor with a hint of acidity.

The fermentation phenomenon

This natural fermentation allows the bread dough to "grow" (or swell) and is passed on from one batch to the next, provided that a piece of dough from the previous batch is kept to seed or “start” the next. The act of initiating and carrying out fermentation is one of the most technical tasks of the baker's trade.

The benefits of sourdough

It facilitates digestion and the assimilation of gluten and carbohydrates. The digestion of natural sourdough bread is therefore much easier. It allows the release of "good nutrients". It gives the bread exceptional flavors. It allows an excellent preservation of fresh bread.