Classic country bread

I could have sworn I over proofed this bread because I forgot it twice over the planned schedule. I normally do not leave my breads that much to raise between the adding of the starter and placing it in the fridge. But this one stayed for 6 and a half hours at a temperature of 27ºC. I thought it was a lost cause, but when I removed the Dutch oven lid, I had a such a beautiful surprise. That made me wonder.... was I under proofing my breads before? A question that would haunt me for the next bakes for sure. Then, I need to test this new discovery to find the best timing in correctly proofing my bread. Join me in this journey and you'll find out too...


  • 175g sourdough starter at 100% hydration
  • 760g strong wheat flour
  • 100g whole wheat flour (organic)
  • 100g spelt flour (organic)
  • 700g water at room temperature
  • 19g salt

  1. [Day 1, Saturday, 8:00] In a big bowl, mix only the flours with water.  Cover the bowl and leave the dough to stay on the counter for 2 hour and a half for the autolyse phase.
  2. [Day 1, Saturday, 10:30] Add the starter over the dough and knead for 10 minutes with a standing mixer or by hand. Then, leave the dough to relax for 30 minutes.
  3. [Day 2, Saturday, 11:00] Salt. Incorporate the salt and knead for 5 minutes more in the standing mixer. Then cover the bowl and let the dough to relax for 30 minutes.
  4. [Day 2, Saturday, 11:45] Divide and Stretch and Fold. Take the dough out of the bowl, put it on the slightly wet table board and divide it in 2. Stretch and fold each piece on the board and place them in squared glass bowls. Let them sit covered for 30 minutes.
  5. [Day 2, Saturday, 12:45] Lamination. Take each piece out of the bowls and do the lamination. Let the dough rest covered for 1 hour. 
  6. [Day 1, Saturday, 13:15] Coil fold 1. Do a coil fold, directly in the glass bowls. Let them sit for  30 minutes covered.
  7. [Day 1, Saturday, 13:45] Coil fold 2.  Do a second set of coil folds in the glass bowls and let them sit for 45 minutes covered.
  8. [Day 1, Saturday, 14:30] Coil fold 3.  Do a third set of coil folds in the glass bowls and let them sit for 30 minutes covered.
  9. [Day 1, Saturday, 15:00] Coil fold 4.  Do a third set of coil folds in the glass bowls and let them sit for 1 hour covered.
  10. [Day 1, Saturday, 16:00] Shape the loaves on the lightly floured board. Place the dough face down into a well floured banneton. Repeat the process for the second piece of dough. Cover the bannetons with a shower cap and let it sit for another hour at room temperature. 
  11. [Day 1, Saturday, 17:00]  Place the loaves in the fridge to sit at cold over the night. 
    The time to keep it in the fridge is quite flexible. Depending on your schedule, you can keep the dough in the fridge and take it out whenever you want the next day without the risk to over ferment it. Ensure however that your fridge gives a good temperature of 4-5ºC).
  12. [Day 2, Sunday, 12:00] Preheat the oven at 270ºC with a Dutch oven inside. Although I have a small oven, I manage to fit 2 Dutch ovens inside, one on top of the other one. But if you have only one Dutch oven, bake one bread after the other. It will take 45 minutes to heat properly the oven and the Dutch oven.
  13. [Day 2, Sunday, 12:15] Take the dough out from the fridge and return it over a baking sheet. Score the bread and decorate as you like. Take also the Dutch oven from hot oven (wear heat proof gloves as it is extremely hot), remove the lid and put the dough inside. Cover the Dutch oven with its hot lid and slide it inside the big oven. Close the oven and bake at 275ºC for 15 minutes. After these 15 minutes, remove the lid of the Dutch oven and continue to bake for 30 minutes at a reduced temperature of 220ºC.
  14. [Day 2, Sunday, 13:00] Cool. The bread needs to cool for at least 2 hours until it reaches the room temperature. The cooking process continues slowly even after taking the bread out of the oven, so this is why it is important to not skip this step and to resist cutting it too early. If you can, of course.
  15. [Day 2, Sunday, 15400 Cut. Now you are ready to cut and eat the bread. Do you want to try it? 


suez said...

Should I remove the bread from the Dutch Oven when the bread is removed from the oven or leave it in the D.O. without the cover for 2 hours?

HungryShots said...

Remove it from the Dutch oven after taking it out from the oven. This is how I do all the time to allow it to cool. Now, thinking about what if you let it more in the Dutch oven... hmmm you may only risk a hard crust on the bottom and a slowest cool down of the bread. The pan will cool much faster than the bread itself. You actually could take advantage to leave the bread in the pan if you feel that the bread is not 100% baked. But give it a knock on the bottom first and if it sounds empty... remove it from the pan.

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