My Daily Bread – Redone.

January 5, 2010

Simple bread can have great flavor if you do it right. This, for me, is right. A long fermentation time, from final mix through final proof, gives the bread flavor. A very small amount of yeast facilitates that fermentation time. A scant one teaspoon of sea salt complements the flavor in the bread. A good bread flour gives the dough the strength it needs to withstand the long fermentation.

You can substitute a little whole wheat or rye flour for part of the bread flour for different flavor.

This bread has a crisp, crackling crust. It sang to me when I pulled it out of the oven. Note that my shaping skills need work. My putting the loaf in the oven a little before it was fully proofed was likely the culprit than shaping, though, this time.

Sent to Susan for Yeastspotting, hopefully one of two this week.

My Daily Bread
Influenced by various sources.

300g bread flour
1/8 teaspoon instant yeast
scant 1 teaspoon salt
205g water

Fully mix bread flour, yeast, and salt. Add water, mixing with a spoon and then your hand until all the flour is moistened. Let stand 10 minutes.

After that 10 minutes, stretch and fold the dough in the bowl for 20-25 strokes, moving the bowl clockwise with your left hand while working the dough with your right (or the reverse if you’re left handed). Do this twice more before covering the dough and setting it in a relatively cold place for the night. Not your fridge, though, unless you want at least 24 hours before the dough is ready for the next step.

12 or so hours later, get the dough out of the bowl, degas, and do a French fold: stretch the dough out and fold it like a letter. I do this twice, once from side to side and then from top to bottom. Put it back in the bowl and ferment again until double. Shape as desired and proof, in a banneton, basket, or on parchment, until about double.

Your oven should be preheating at 425 degrees. If using a stone, preheat the oven for about 1/2 an hour. If not, preheat your oven for normal time. Place the dough on parchment if it isn’t already, slash it as you wish, and spray with water. Place in the oven, spraying both sides, and bake for 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave for at least 10 more minutes, or until desired coloring is achieved. Cool before cutting.

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