- Make a levain pre-ferment:-25 - 35 g starter-100 g Heritage White or Bread Blend Flour or Pizza flour-75 - 100 gr water, non-chlorinated, 70 - 85 degrees F
- 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.Mix thoroughly by hand so that all the flour and water are combined with the starter.
- Add the following to the 200 g of levain/active starter:-450 - 500 gr water, non-chlorinated, 70- 85 F (depends on how stiff the levain is and how hydrated you want your final dough)-800 g Heritage White or Bread Blend Flour-1 Tbsp sea salt scattered onto the flour (Real brand or other unrefined salt)
- Mix thoroughly - this can be done with a stand mixer or by hand. This can be a bit messy. Use wet hands to squeeze and turn the dough so that everything mixes well.
- Let rest for 45 minutes
- Scrape the dough out on a clean surface. With wet hands,stretch and fold 5-10 times letting it rest a few minutes between stretches.You should feel the dough developing strength. (There are many YouTube videos on kneading. “French Kneading with La Cocina de Babette” , is a good one).
- 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 together with coconut oil or olive oil (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 200-210 F.
2-3 Day Method
- Bread PanDivide and place dough in greased pan seam side down. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1-2 days, 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) 450 F oven. Bake for 35 minutes until the inside temperature is 200 -210 F. 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 MethodPlace 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 refrigerate overnight, or for 12 - 24 hours. Preheat oven and Dutch oven at 450 F for one hour. Flour a peel or an inverted small baking sheet with flour not cornmeal. Cornmeal burns at high temperatures. Rice flour with wheat flour works well. 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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