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White Sourdough Boule with NIgella seeds


500g Shipton Mill Organic No.4

320g water = 64% hydration

10g sea salt

Nigella seeds 1-2g to personal preference. (Too much and the flavour will be too dominant)

Starter made with white bread flour and at its peak activity, I vary amount dependant on how quick I want the bulk proof to be but I put a minimum of 50g and upto 130g.

METHOD for same day bake.

If you autolyse: Mix flour, water, salt and seeds and allow to autolyse for your preffered time and then add the starter, if no autolyse go ahead and mix all ingredients at the same time.

Once the starter has been added and the bulk proof has begun, wait 30-60 mins and then knead for 5-10 mins until smooth and extensible, I like to give a couple of very gentle coil folds (so as not to knock out too much of the air) towards the end of the bulk proof before shaping.

Or go with 3 stretch and folds every 30-45 mins. Maybe add a lamination or gentle coil fold at the end of bulk proof.

My bulk proof can take anywhere between 4-8 hours dependant on the temperature. Once you are happy that bulk proof is complete, shape your preffered loaf and put into banneton/tin. I have used some cracked rye in my banneton to stop the dough from sticking.

I then monitor until its ready to bake using the poke test.

I bake in a dutch oven as my oven only has fan assisted setting.

Put dutch oven/pot in oven, turn oven onto highest temperature and preheat thouroughly- at least 30 mins.

I flip out the loaf from the banneton onto baking paper with the aid of a peel or bread board (baking paper on top of banneton, peel or board on top of paper and banneton and flip, its a gentler method), slash and drop into the scalding hot pot, a few sprays of water for additional steam and lid on and back in the oven.

Bake with lid on for 20-25mins, lid off and reduce temp to 200c on fan assisted or 220-230c on conventional oven and bake for 20 mins or until you are happy with the crust colour.

My kitchen can be quite cool in winter and proofing can take the entire day, the pictued loaf was mixed at 9am and baked at 8.30pm same day. The bulk proof took around 8 hours. If your home or kitchen is warm you will need to monitor the readiness to bake.

I dont make note of exact timings and go by how the dough looks and feels, err on the side of caution with proofing and will risk to slightly underproof rather than risk overproofing.