INGREDIENTS The night before baking – Make a levain 2 Tablespoons of Starter 110 Gr. Water 110 Gr. White flour – I use all purpose flour Mix everything and cover loosely – Leave it on the kitchen counter overnight or at least 8 hours at room temperature.
The following morning 200 Gr. Levain 350 Gr. Water with 1 Tablespoon Yogurt – You can also use a mix of Buttermilk and Water and yogurt 600 Gr. Flour – I use a mix of 400 Gr. White flour + 200 Gr. Rye flour or Wholemeal flour or spelt. I find Rye gives it a great taste. Mix and let the dough rest for 45 minutes – This is called Autolyse After 45 minutes, sprinkle 10 Gr. Salt and knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes – Either by hand or a stand mixer. Cover the bowl for 40 minutes and fold & stretch the dough 8 times and let it rest for another 45 minutes. Repeat a second time and see the dough changing and becoming a lot smoother. Shape the dough in a ball and place in a bowl, banneton sprinkled with flour. Let it rest and rise for 1.5 hour.
In the meantime, preheat your oven at 225 Celsius with a baking stone in for a good hour – You can also use a Cloche or a Cocotte with a lid. Bake your bread for 45 minutes – 20 minutes with a lid on and 15-20 minutes without a lid to let the bread brown some more. Many bakers leave the door open for a further 10 minutes to ensure the bread is very dark and crispy.
Tip du jour : I keep a Water spray bottle handy & just right after I have put in my bread, especially if left open, I spray 5-6 times to bring a good amount of steam in the oven. This helps the rise and will result in a very crispy bread. When baked, I check the temperature which should be at 200 Fahrenheit – and turn off the oven. I leave the door ajar and keep the bread for an extra 10 minutes. The crust will become quite dark and crispy. When the bread is rising, I cover the basket with a shower cap…. it works beautifully.
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