This is a versatile recipe.  It can be used for bread and pizza crust.

 First day

Make a levain preferment:

25 – 35 gr starter

100 gr Heritage White or Sifted Flour

75 – 100 gr water, non-chlorinated, 70 – 85 degrees F

Mix thoroughly by hand so that all the flour and water are combined with the starter.

Leave on kitchen counter overnight or for about 12 hours in cool weather. In very warm weather it may take only 4 or 5 hours to become active enough to make bread dough.

Second Day

To the 200 gr of levain add:

450 – 500 gr water, non-chlorinated, 70- 85F (depends on how stiff the levain is and how hydrated you want your final dough)

800 gr Heritage White or Sifted Flour

1 tbsp sea salt (scattered onto the flour).  We like Real brand salt for the mineral content)

Mix thoroughly – this can be done with a stand mixer but I prefer to do it by hand.  This can be a bit messy. Wetting your hands a couple of times while mixing helps.  This mixing requires squeezing and turning the dough so that everything mixes well.

Let rest for 45 minutes

Scrape the dough out on a clean surface. Wet your hands and stretch and fold 5-10  times letting it rest a few minutes between stretches. You should feel the dough developing  strength. See the video on kneading.  (YouTube-“French Kneading with La Cocina de Babette” )

Divide into two equal portions. Round each portion into balls and drag each on a dry surface to create surface tension. (You Tube – “Bread Dough: Shaping a Boule”, by Weekend Bakery)

Now it’s time to decide when to bake

Same Day Bread Pan Method

Place divided dough in a pan greased with melted butter and coconut oil (use the two together. Using only one will cause sticking).Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in volume. Time may vary from 30-40 minutes to several hours depending on room temperature and strength of the starter. Score the top and bake in a preheated (at least one hour) oven at 450 F for about 35 minutes until the inside temperature is 200-210F.

2-3 Day Day Method

Bread Pan

Divide and place dough in greased pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1-2 nights, or more if desired. The dough will rise a little in the refrigerator and build flavor from the slower fermentation. Remove the dough 1-2 hours before baking. Let stand covered in a warm place. Score the top and place in preheated (at least one hour) 450F oven. Bake for 35 minutes until the inside temperature is 200 -210F. If the crust is becoming too dark, make a tent cover out of foil and place over the pan for a portion of, or for the entire baking time to get the desired crust color and texture.

Banneton Method

 Place dough in a well floured banneton, seam side up. Let rise for 1-2 hours until you see a visible increase in size but before it doubles in size. Cover with a plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight, or for 12 – 24 hours.

Preheat oven and Dutch oven at 450F for one hour.

Flour a peel or an inverted small baking sheet. Place the banneton on the peel/pan upside down so the dough falls onto it. Score the top of the loaf. Remove the cover from the Dutch oven and carefully slide the dough into it. Cover and bake for 35 minutes until the inside temperature is 200-210 F.

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