Levain, the holy of holies of French country bread, is made by
harvesting yeast from organic grapes eight to ten days before you
begin baking. Once baked, it yields a chef, or starter, which is used to make successive versions of the same bread. Mine is a little flatter than I intended. I did not renew the wild yeast with new yeast. I think that the bread itself still looks extraordinary. I wish I had retained more of the bubbly liquid that makes the chef, but it goes rancid fairly rapidly. In the meantime, I have six starters waiting for attention, in addition to this one — who provided a daughter of her own.
I haven’t tried it yet. But it is simply the most beautiful bread I have ever made.