This is my second bake of this bread in the last few days. I had made a batch of dough to go with my wife’s football party eggplant parmesan and chicken parmesan with homemade sauce, meatballs and sausage. She also had made some fresh croissants with chocolate inside and all I was going to do was make some bread.
Well of course I didn’t hear my wife tell me she wanted to make garlic bread out of my bread so I ended up making several baguettes instead of the original boules I was going to make. It was not easy to form the baguettes in my small kitchen since my wife had croissants baking and eggplant frying etc. so I was not too pleased with the shape but in the end they came out pretty good.
I needed some bread to eat in the house and my freezer was devoid of any so I decided to remake the same recipe and make it into the shape I desired this time.
I must say, this simple recipe makes the most elastic and silky dough I have ever made. It baked up perfectly with a nice crispy crust and golden-yellow crumb along with lots of nice holes to drip olive oil all over my chin and shirt.
Mix all the levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled. I usually do this the night before.
Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.
Main Dough Procedure
Mix the flours, and 350 grams of the water together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute. Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 20-30 minutes. Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), honey and olive oil and mix on low for a minute. Add the rest of the water unless the dough is way too wet. Mix on low-speed for another 4 minutes. Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds. Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold. Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold. After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.
When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours. Remove the dough and shape as desired. I made 2 loaves using my bannetons. Place your dough into your proofing basket(s) and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.
The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature. Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.
Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees F. and prepare it for steam. I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf. I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.
Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.
After 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees. Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.
Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.
This post has been submitted to the Yeast Spotting Site here: http://www.wildyeastblog.com/category/yeastspotting/.