This is white-ish or slightly brown/freckled as the recipe employs the 100% wholemeal leaven you have made. This is a great combination and gives good colour while still being clearly a white loaf. The wholemeal also adds just the right amount of flavour and of course added fiber/nutrition.
250g wholemeal leaven
270g warm water
10-15 g sea salt.
This recipe produces a sticky dough, so be ready! If you'd like a more manageable dough (may be a good idea for the less experienced), then you could reduce the water by 20g.
On the other hand, if you are adventurous, you could even add 10gm more water for a well soft dough which will be hard to handle but will produce a fashionably holey loaf. Increase the salt to 15 g for a more savoury loaf. Use a good grey real sea salt if possible.
Dissolve the salt in a little of the water and set aside. Mix the rest of the water and the leaven, and add all of the flour. Mix with a wooden spoon for a bit until it starts to come together, then add the salt water. Mix well, turn onto a lightly floured surface and commence working and kneading.
This isn’t easy as the dough is a little sticky, so flour your hands and best, use a bakers slip (scraper) to keep the dough moving. This kneading takes about 5 minutes to form a less sticky dough, which then needs a few more minutes work. If it is too much for you, dust some flour on the table to make it easier. The bread will still be great. Form into a round and place in a floured bowl. Cover with plastic or put in a plastic bag for 2 hours in the not-cold spot.
Turn the loaf out and with floured hands, work it into a nice round. Leave this to rest for 10 minutes, then shape it into your final shape.
This loaf is designed to go into a banneton or floured basket or bowl with a floured teatowel in it. Whatever your choice, make sure the receptacle is well floured. Shape the loaf into a nice round with a seam/navel on the bottom, or a seam if using an oval banneton. Place it into the basket with the smooth (hopefully!) side down and the seam or navel uppermost. This will be turned out onto a baking sheet or stone if you have one when it is risen. Set aside covered with a cotton teatowel/cloth and then plastic. If the loaf is proved in a basket under plastic it will sweat and possibly stick to the basket. The tea towel absorbs excess moisture.
This should then rise for 2 hours.
Turn out & bake
Your dough be well billowing in the basket. Have on hand a razor blade or very sharp blade. It is a good idea to pre-heat the baking sheet so that you turn the loaf onto a hot surface. Turn the loaf out onto the baking sheet and deftly slash it…a cross for a round loaf or some diagonal slashes along an oval loaf.
The oven should be heated to 250o. Place the loaf in the oven and reduce heat to 220o. If using all of this dough in 1 loaf, it should take 35-40 minutes to bake. After 15 minutes, turn the heat down to 200o.
It should rise nicely and open out the cuts and have some good colour. Invert the baked loaf and tap it for that hollow sound, and if you aren’t convinced, return it to the oven upside down for 5 minutes.
Unlike the wholemeal version, this loaf only requires a few hours to cool/cure and can be greedily sliced and eaten while still slightly warm.