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(Experiment 94) Sourdough Bread 75%

Nothing like the smell of bread out of the oven!

After a couple of run, it get much easier and less intimidating.

See at the bottom how to freeze your bread!

Making bread is not super hard, but it is time-consuming. The nice thing is if you make 1 loaf or 6, it’s the same amount of time to make them ( obviously you need to bake each bread at the end ). As it freezes so well, I now do 4 loaves at a time and freeze 3 right off and slice each of them in half. I can get super fresh bread in 30 mins!

Below is my recipe based on the one from Joshua Weisman.

You need :

levain

  • 35g bread flour
  • 35g rye flour
  • 35g mature starter
  • 70g filtered room temperature water

Dough ( 2 loaves)

  • 810g bread flour
  • 90g whole wheat flour
  • 680g filtered room temperature water
  • 18g sea salt

Instructions

  1. Mix levain ingredients, cover loosely, and rest in a warm area (70-80℉) for 4 hours. I start the oven at 350F for a minute then stop it and put the mix in the oven.
  2. When time is up,  mix together your bread flour and whole wheat flour. Add 580g of your water to the flour mixture (hint there should be 100g left in the cup for mixing later). Mix just until your dough comes together with no more flour clumps. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest next to his buddy in the oven for 1 hour.
  3.  Mix your remaining water with the salt until it’s well combined.
  4. Mix your dough and levain together using about half the water to help incorporate. With your fingers, you can “poke” holes in the dough, this helps mixes everything together. Rest 20 minutes.
  5. Add the remaining water and add it to the mix. Again “poking hole” helps with mixing.
  6. Use the “Slap and fold” for 2-4 minutes or until your dough is smooth and begins to catch some air. This is the same technique as for the pizza with Biga. For the slap and fold technique, pick up the dough in the middle of it from each side, and “throw” it from one end then fold. See this video
  7. Rest 15 minutes in the same warm area you placed your starter.
  8. Now we need to do series of stretch and fold. For this type of bread if find that 6 sets work really well but you could do 4.
    -4 stretch and fold sets spaced by 30 mins rest
    or
    -6 sets, first 4 spaced by 15 minutes, then 30 minutes rest for the next 2.
    Ex:

    13h45 stretch and fold
    14h00 stretch and fold
    14h15 stretch and fold
    14h30 stretch and fold
    15h00 stretch and fold
    15h30 stretch and fold
  9. Make sure to cover and place your dough back in the warm area after each fold.
  10. Let your dough rest for 90 minutes
  11. Stretch and fold is done by grabbing each “side” at a time and bringing it to the center.
    Example: take the right side of the dough and stretch it in the air ( DONT break the dough) then fold it in the center. Repeat for each side. See this video
  12. On an unfloured surface, dump out and divide your dough into 2 “even” pieces. It’s much easier if you use a dough cutter, just wet it first else it will stick. Preshape each piece into a light boule using the dough cutter doing a gentle circular motion ( you basically want to bring it into somewhat the shape of a ball), you should only swirl it on the countertop in order to achieve this, usually, 2 full 360 turns will do the job. Let rest 5-10 minutes. Do NOT play too much with the dough, you don’t want all the air to get out of it.
  13. Put a light coating of flour on top of each boule. With a dough cutter or scraper, unstick the boule from the surface and flip it over. Shape your dough into 2 batards and place into bannetons dusted with either rice flour or all-purpose flour.
  14. To make batard, once flipped. Gently fold the top to the middle, then do the same for the left side, right side. Then fold the bottom completely to the top. Make sure the seam is pinched. Note that the surface you will be looking at with the seam is the bottom. See this video to see it in action.
  15. Transfer in banneton, lightly flour, and let it rest for an hour. Cover loosely with plastic film and chill in the fridge overnight.

  16. Preheat a cast-iron combo cooker in your oven from cold to 500℉ for 30 mins. ( I was using a stainless steel pot to do this and found a 60$ deal for the combo cooker, it does a much better job) Remove pot from oven, sprinkle some flour in the bottom ( what you are looking at in the banneton) then gently reverse the banneton over the pot.
  17.  You need to score the top (check this video to learn how to score bread). Lightly flour the top of the dough then you need to score it about 1/4 inch deep.

    Tip: I find that the bottom crust is way too cooked, a way around this is to put a baking pan, inverted, on the bottom grill.

  18.  Place lid on and bake for 20 mins
  19. Remove the top from the combo cooker and lower the oven temperature to 450℉. Bake for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until the loaf is a deep brown.
  20. Remove and cool on a wire rack for an hour.

    Sample Schedule

    8h00 mix levain
    12h00 mix dough
    13h00 mix levain and dough
    13h30 slap and fold
    13h45 stretch and fold
    14h00 stretch and fold
    14h15 stretch and fold
    14h30 stretch and fold
    15h00 stretch and fold
    15h30 stretch and fold
    17h00 pre-shape
    17h10 shape
    18h10 put in fridge

    Next morning: Preheat oven as guided and bake!

    How to freeze bread  

    So you made 2 loaves but realistically you needed only 1? No worries! If you freeze the bread carefully it will come out almost identical to when you took it for a nap in the freezer.

    First, let the bread entirely cool off. Do not store if the bread is still warm. I prefer to chop it in half and only take half a loaf out at a time. I then wrap it twice in plastic film then I put it in a freezer Ziploc bag removing as much air as possible before closing. Let it take a nap in the freezer up. Obviously, the more it naps in your freezer the more prone it is to freezer burn and/or losing its flavor.

    How to bring it back to life?  

    You can thaw it in the fridge overnight, issue with this method is bread gets moist and you lose the crunchiness of the crust.

    I prefer to take it out of the freezer, remove plastic film, and put it in the oven at 200F for 30 mins. If you froze an entire loaf it may take 45mins. After, remove from oven and let it sit to cool for 10-20 mins . You should be all good to go.

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