300g Strong White Bread Flour
50g Light Rye Flour
40g Einkorn Flour
30g Spelt Flour
30g Malthouse Bread Flour
320g Warm Water
110g active sourdough starter (100% hydration)
This can be done by hand or in stand mixer.
First add all the flour and mix in the water, just enough so that the water is incorporated, cover and let it stand for around 30 minutes to autolyse the flour.
Then add the active starter and salt to the flour/water mix and then knead the dough making sure any dough from the sides of the bowl are incorporated (20 minutes by hand or 5 minutes in the stand mixer on a medium/high speed). Depending on your water type and exact absorptive capacity of your flour, you may need to add more flour or water to get the dough to the right consisency if it feels too wet or dry.
Transfer dough to a suitable large bowl for proving, then cover with cling-film and let it stand for 30-60 minutes. Next step is to perform 2-4 folds on the dough to firm up the dough - This can be done on a lightly floured surface or in the bowl. (When I am folding the dough I usually wet my hands a bit so that the dough doesn't stick as much)
Re-cover the bowl and place it somewhere cool to prove.
Proving - I do anything between 12-24 hours prove on this mix. The longer you leave if the more developed the flavour. After this time the dough will have become 2-3x its original size.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and lightly flour the top of the dough. At this stage it can look "sloppy" but if you dust your hands with flour and perform around 4 stretch and folds on each side of the dough it will start to firm up so that you can make a nice loaf shape for baking.
Place the dough ball into a floured proving basket (I use rice flour as it doesn't gert sticky), lightly flour the top of the dough (which will be the bottom of the loaf), cover it and leave at room temperature for around 3 hours (In my experimentation I have found it is proved enough at 2 hours but if I leave it for another hour it gets a better rise in the oven.)
I preheat my oven to 240oC and put my cast iron dutch oven in to preheat it ready for the dough.
After the second prove turn out the dough onto you hand and place it into the hot dutch oven (it's best to take it out of the oven to do this) and cover with lid (be careful not to burn yourself!). Sometimes I use a blade and score the dough but that isn't essential.
Then put the dutch oven back in the oven to bake. My time and temperature profile is: 20 min 240 oC, then 15 mins 200oC and then depending on how crispy I want the crust I will take the lid off and back at 200oC for another 5-10 minutes. Whilst the lid is on the pot resist the urge to check on the loaf as the moisture will escape and the loaf may deflate.
Then put finished loaf on a cooling rack and let it cool before you cut it.
- You can mess around with different flours to alter the taste and texture. I usually keep the 300g base of strong white and then vary the other 150g of flour)
- Some people line their dutch oven - I don't as I find it interferes with the rise. If the base of the dough has a dusting of flour then it will be fine.
- If you don't have a proving basket you can do the second prove on a baking tray or in the cold dutch oven and then put that into the oven after the second prove.
- If you don't have a dutch oven you can bake on a baking tray or pizza stone. To get a better rise and crispier crust place a tray of boiling water on the shelf below the bread this will create steam and help the dough rise.