After folks left last night, I tidied the kitchen a bit and then made the levain for the pain de campagne. I can say for sure that there's already been some yeast development, as evidenced by the cloudy water that began the refreshment and subsequent quick rise of the dough once it was kneaded. I'm still a little paranoid, though, and am finding ways to fret about minutiae in ways not unlike the first time I brewed without having da_zhuang around to whack me with a racking cane over my failure to properly boil water. (Note: This last bit may be solely the result of artistic license and may actually have nothing whatsoever to do with a reality that most of us share.) Specifically, I grew concerned because while there was a significant yeasty smell to the starter, I got none of the typical sour nose that I tend to associate with breads of this type. That, and the chef had just a touch of fuzz on it before I pulled off the outer layers to get to the sponge within. I have no idea if either of these are common. The worst that can happen is that I go forward and end up wasting a few cups of flour in the experiment. It's probably worth the risk to be able to bake my own damn staff of life without relying on yeast in a jar.
Second refreshment is tomorrow morning, and if I've timed it correctly, I should be able to have pics up of the finished loaf by Thursday.