Overnight country bread

This recipe is one that I wanted to do for a long time. It is just that I was not finding the perfect weekend for it as it spreads over 2 days to make it. It is my first recipe I try from Ken Forkish book.

Uhhh... and what an experience ... I was almost about to fail this bread but finally I saved it. This recipe is called by the author Overnight Country Blonde. Mine arrived to be more brown than blonde as I had to add extra 200g of flour (half white wheat flour and half whole wheat flour). The problem was of course the type of flour I had. There is a difference between the American type of flour and the European one. The first one get a higher percent of gluten and following exactly the recipe with the European flour made my dough to become extremely liquid. In fact, the texture of my dough was more looking like a sour cream than a sourdough. Even after 4 stretch and folds, the dough didn't get any shape. The next day was even worse, so the only option I had to save the dough was to add more flour when shaping.

The resulting bread was not bad at all. It had a more than normal sour taste due to the long bulk fermentation over night at room temperature but not extremely. I've got some wholes in the bread but less than I was expecting. In the Dutch oven the bread got some acceptable oven spring considering the fact that I tried to keep the dough to a high hydration but in the same time to give it a shape to at least be able to remove it from the table and throw it in the Dutch oven.

Finally, I was satisfied with the result but for sure next time I will add more flour from the start or I might use a trick to add gluten powder in the dough so I can keep the same hydration as indicated in the recipe.


  • 33g sourdough (100% hydration)
  • 132g wheat flour
  • 33g whole wheat flour
  • 132g water (29-32ºC)
Final dough:
  • 804g + 100g wheat flour
  • 26g + 100g whole wheat flour
  • 50g rye flour
  • 684ml water (32-35ºC)
  • 22g salt
  • 230g preferment

  1. Saturday 11:00 in the morning, mix the preferment and let it sit in a covered bowl. It should normally take 7-9 hours.
  2. Saturday 18:30, mix all the flours with water and let it sit for 30 minutes for the autolyse phase.
  3. Saturday 19:00, mix the final dough, by adding the preferment and salt into the flour and water mixture. Let it sit covered overnight. Room temperature 25ºC.
  4. Saturday at 20:00, 21:00, 22:00 and 23:00 give the dough a stretch and fold with your wet hands.
  5. Sunday 8:30 AM, shape the bread into a boule (or 2 if you prefer) and put it in a round banneton. Cover with a towel and let it proof for around 5 hours. Room temperature 25ºC.
  6. Sunday 13:15, turn on the oven at 245ºC with the Dutch oven and the lid inside. This is 45 minutes before the end of the proofing time.
  7. Sunday 14:00, take out the hot Dutch oven and put the dough inside. Put the lid on and return the pot back in the oven while maintaining the temperature at 245ºC.
  8. Sunday 14:30, open the oven and remove carefully the lid. Continue to bake for another 30 minutes but reduce the temperature to 220ºC.
  9. Sunday 15:00, take the bread out of the oven and let it cool on a wire rack.


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