Rustic Sourdough Loaf

Invited for dinner… this is a great hostess gift, always received with such enthusiasm.
Well worth the effort !!! A little patience is required…ok, a lot of patience is required, but this is so satisfying. The wonderful thing is the work is largely unattended and the results are splendid ! I highly recommend it . If you can find a piece of Levieto Madre; sourdough paste which is a different technique than a regular sourdough starter, it is a rather easy way to make bread.

INGREDIENTS
200 Gr. Mother dough (Refreshed Levieto madre)
360 Gr. Water at room temperature
400 Gr. White Bread flour
50 Gr. Wholewheat flour
11 Gr. Salt
Rice flour for the basket.

INSTRUCTIONS
In a bowl of a stand mixer, stir in the sourdough paste, along with the water and let it rest for 15 minutes.
With the mixer at low speed, sprinkle the flour into the water and sourdough, until all the flour has been fully
mixed. Cover and let the dough rest for 2 hours – This is called autolyse; when the flour is fully absorbed by the liquid.
Add the salt to the mass and knead the dough on medium speed until a smooth elastic dough has formed. (approx.10 minutes). Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Stretch and fold the dough to the centre of the dough ball and turn the bowl a 1/4 of turn. repeat twice.
Let the dough rest for an hour, loosely covered with a tea towel.
Cover with a cling film and place in the fridge for 12 hours.

The following morning, let the dough come back to room temperature (about 1 hour) and turn it on a lightly floured
work surface. Fold the dough in half, long ways down the middle and gently press the open side closed.
Turn it around and repeat. Finally, form a ball and place the dough in a banneton or basket well floured.
Let the dough rest and rise for 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 250 Celsius with a dutch oven inside. Let the dutch oven get warm for 30 minutes and then
turn the bread loaf onto a piece of parchment paper. Place in the dutch oven with the cover and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove the lid and bake for a further 20-25 minutes, until dark brown.
Take the bread out of the oven and let the bread come to room temperature before you slice it. The cooling process is an important part of the cooking cycle.

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