Gluten Free Sourdough Levain
Some types of sourdough breads can be mixed up directly with your sourdough starter, but others really benefit from a sourdough levain. A levain is a mix of water, starter and flour that form a wet dough that is left to rise for 6 to 8 hours before being added to the final bread recipe. The mixture is left to rise and the small amount of starter or wild yeast that is added has time to multiply and ferment the levain into a nice bubbly batter, which helps your bread rise better and faster. The sourdough process does not take very much time in total, but there are a few steps and wait times that you will need to get accustomed with.
Please note, if your starter is new, it may take a few hours more for the levain to rise. It is not ready for baking bread unless you see a rise within 12 hours of mixing up the levain. If you find your levain is not rising, you can still use the levain to bake bread by adding ½ teaspoon of active dry yeast to the mixture and follow the recipe. Keep refreshing for a few days, then try again.