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Sourdough bread (pain au levain)


400g stoneground flour + 50g of a mix of rye and hole flour, it's for the taste = 450g flour

180g sourdough starter (put half water / half flour in a jar and let the little bacteria in the air do the work, feed to have enaough starter, store in the frigde, don't make a assle of it)

I had 2 tea sppons of some seeds, again for taste (like pumpkin seeds, ...)

1 teaspoon of malted yeast, to boost a bit the bacteria and for ... you, with the added nutriments.

10g grounded sea salt

265g water (important for the hydration ratio... too much water and you can't work the dough... not enough and your dough does not rise properly)


I usually start at night, before going to bed...

mix the flour+seeds+malted yeast+salt first

then add the sourdough starter and the water. You may use a stand mixer but it's not mandatory. In the eraly days of this recipe, I started by hand and mixing with a fork. Time is your firiend here, and you don't need to knead the dough. The long proving time will help developp aromas and gluten.

Let it rise overnight (go to bed at that point).

In the morning, the dough has double in size. Knock it down, shape it a bit into a round loaf (plenty of videos on the net to do that) and put it in a proving basket (fancy! for some added texture later) or a big plastic bowl (works as well). Cover with a wet towel/napkin and put it in th fridge for the day. It will continue to slawoly prove and develop some beautiful aromas. Total time for that part is below 5min.

Live your life for the rest of the day.

At the end of the day, let's say 5:30pm-ish, slap down the bowl or basket on a non-stick paper. Delicately take the paper with the dough into a dutch oven (I have a cast iron Le creuset cocotte, no need to go dutch). Scar it with a razor blade while inside the dutch oven, not before, as the dough will flatten a bit. Put the lid on, let it sit while warming the oven.

Start your oven at max temperature ... 250°C is better. When the oven is hot, put the ducth oven into the oven (an oven inside an oven..).

Let it cook for 30min. then take out the lid and finish the cooking to get a nice golden brown crust (it's usually fast 5-10min).

Let it cool down for half an hour, try nt to eat everthing at once. Smell the amazing aromas, close your eyes, you're in a bakery.

The sourdough can be kept a good part of a week wrapped in a towel without loosing its taste or getting dry.