Double-fed sweet levain bread

I am struggling for a while to get a bread with a good structure inside and nice holes. Not that this would give me my perfect bread but it is a challenge with myself. I blamed the flour, I blamed the recipe and a lot of other elements. This time I manage to get my dream. A nice airy and chewy crumb and an incredible flavor. When I took the lid off, I was disappointed to not see a clear score but when I cut the bread.... this was a revelation. Comparing to the first 3 breads of Ken Forkish, this one had a different method: bulk fermented at room temperature and proof in the fridge over night. The next day, when I have opened the fridge I was shocked ... it had raised so much that it was almost over the banneton. So, immediately I had to turn on the oven and wait to be ready to bake.

Great recipe, great bread! Strongly recommended.


First feeding:
  • 17g sourdough (100% hydration)
  • 67g wheat flour
  • 17g whole wheat flour
  • 67g water (room temperature)
Second feeding:
  • 125g sourdough (100% hydration)
  • 200g wheat flour
  • 50g whole wheat flour
  • 200g water (room temperature)

Final dough:
  • 760g wheat flour
  • 40g whole wheat flour
  • 540ml water (room temperature)
  • 20g salt
  • 4g fresh yeast 
  • 540g the above preferment after the second feed

  1. Saturday 9:00 AM, mix ingredients of the first feed and let it sit in a covered bowl. Room temperature 21ºC.
  2. Saturday 12:00 AM, mix ingredients of the second feed and let it sit in a covered bowl.
    Room temperature 22ºC.
  3. Saturday 17:30, mix final dough flours with water and let it sit for 50 minutes for the autolyse phase.
  4. Saturday 18:20, mix the final dough, by adding the preferment and salt into the flour and water mixture. Room temperature 21ºC.
  5. Saturday at 19:00, 19:30, 20:00 and 20:30 give the dough a stretch and fold with your wet hands.
  6. Saturday 22:00, shape the bread into a boule (or 2 if you prefer) and put it in a round banneton. Put the banneton into a plastic bag and let in in the fridge over night. 
  7. Sunday 9:15 AM, turn on the oven at 260ºC with the Dutch oven and the lid inside. This is 45 minutes before the end of the proofing time.
  8. Sunday 10:00 AM, take out the dough from the fridge. 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 260ºC.
  9. Sunday 10:30, open the oven and remove carefully the lid. Continue to bake for another 30 minutes but reduce the temperature to 230ºC.
  10. Sunday 11:00, take the bread out of the oven and let it cool on a wire rack.


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