Have a lot to say about this one (skip rant and go straight to Recipe) – I don’t have natural starter, no Dutch oven, or banneton, nor time to wield at my convenience! But my whole family loves artisan breads (and all breads for the matter). I’ve tried some recipes involving days of fermentation until the dough turns gummy, or made some successful ones but they were so flat because the high hydration dough just had no strength to get puffed up nicely.
This one I will say is a huge success for me, it hits all the right spots in terms of crispy crust and soft airy interior. It puffed up a third in the oven, and showed a little round belly. First time I can get such a crumb. Tasters all gave the thumbs up – whether with a slab of butter or with oil-vinegar dip. I must thank Autumn Kitchen’s videos on her Instagram because I incorporated many of the sourdough techniques she shared.
The recipe involves very little elbow grease, but will still take minimally 5 hours.
Recipe (2 medium loaves)
- 300g bread flour (can replace with wholemeal up to 30%)
- 220 -240g water
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 1.5 tsp salt
1. Add all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix using spatula till no dry flour.
2. Cover with cling wrap and leave on counter for 1 hour.
3. After 1 hour, prepare an oiled kneading mat, and oil your hands too.
4. Turn the dough onto mat and stretch dough gently in all directions till dough is thin but not broken. This gives the dough strength without kneading.
5. Fold this 1/3 up and down, then left and right. Please handle dough gently.
6. Cover dough. Every 15 mins, turn dough out onto mat and do a gentle stretch and fold on all 4 sides of dough, then flip it round. Repeat 3-4 times.
7. After the 3rd S&F, it is ready for the final shaping. Dust flour on top of dough and around. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts.
8. Roll out dough on mat and stretch it out and flatten gently. Pat out the big air bubbles.
9. Swiss roll it up. Pinch the seams tight. This step is important to get a nice crack and ‘ears’ later. When Swiss rolling, really try to tighten and firm up the roll. Pinch the seams real tight.
10. Repeat for other dough. Place the dough onto a heavily floured baking paper and then into a baking tin. Place into the fridge for cold fermentation for 3-5 hours.
11. After the few hours, remove doughs from fridge. Proof on counter-top for about 30-45 minutes till about 1.5 – 1.75 times of the original size.
12. Preheat oven with an empty baking tray inside at 250 deg C, with lower heating element only.
13. Dust doughs with flour and make a slit. Spray water all round the dough generously onto the doughs and the baking paper.
14. Lift doughs by the baking paper and placed onto the very heated baking tray in the oven. Turn temperature to 230 deg C, still with lower heating element only.
15. After 10 mins or so when ears are fully formed, turned on both upper and lower heating elements and bake for another 10-15 mins till bread is golden brown.
16. Cool (at least 30min), slice and enjoy.