Pain de Regime Au Levain

Give me my sin again, we are in National Poetry month, and it is around the anniversary of both the death and birth of Sir William Shakespeare. So, I have a sonnet to share which likens love to food, and the difficulty of finding a middle way—contentment—between too little and too much, starvation and gluttoned satiety.

Sonnet 75.

So are you to my thoughts as food to life,
Or as sweet-season’d showers are to the ground;
And for the peace of you I hold such strife
As ‘twixt a miser and his wealth is found.
Now proud as an enjoyer, and anon
Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure;
Now counting best to be with you alone,
Then better’d that the world may see my pleasure:
Sometime all full with feasting on your sight,
And by and by clean starved for a look;
Possessing or pursuing no delight
Save what is had, or must from you be took.
   Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day,
   Or gluttoning on all, or all away.


Pain de Regime Au Levain

Sourdough Whole-Grain Bread

Adapted from The Village Baker

1 tsp yeast

1 ½ cups warm water

2 cups dark rye flour

¾ cups rye meal (or cracked rye grain)

¼ cups wheat bran

1 ½ whole wheat levain

I tbsp sea salt

Combine all the flours and make a fountain on a workspace. Add all the levain (chopped up) and all of the water and yeast into the font of the flour fountain. Add the salt when all but the last of the flour has been added, and knead for five more minutes until dough springs back when touched. Follow the rest of the pain de campagne recipe, adjusting only the first rising time (2 hours) and the second rising time (6 hours). Preheat oven to 450 degrees and slide loaf onto a baking stone. Immediately turn the oven temp down to 400, and bake for 60-70 minutes.

This loaf is hard to glutton on because it didn’t taste that great. I might have let the levain sit too long, but also, I think it is a matter of the rye not tasting right unless it is allowed to sponge incubate overnight. This loaf is incredibly dense—probably a soup dipper only. In fact, I might hollow out the middle and put a chowder in there.

The other line in the sonnet that speaks to  me today is the bit about the “as sweet-season’d showers are to the ground” – we are in late April, and last night, it snowed no such sweetness. I am, in fact, becoming bitter about the dogged winter here. I need the Earth to thaw and colorful things to push forth into the world again. 

2 thoughts on “Pain de Regime Au Levain

  1. I believe an ancient Ellis was involved somehow in this sonnet…finding the middle…always a challenge! Should I laugh or cry? Should I write, play or sleep?
    Should I eat ALL of the bread I just made? ….LOOKS (and sounds) delicious!

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