09. February 2014 · 1 comment · Categories: Bakery · Tags: ,


This bread just came out by accident. I was 100% convinced it would not work but it did! I wanted to make a larger loaf of rustic bread than I did before, and figured that it might just be as easy as increasing ingredients proportionally. What could go wrong, right? I set the fermenting base for the night and started reading a little bit more about ways of making yeast bread. I should have probably done it the other way round… but it wasn’t too late to fix it. What is important is not to let the bread intimidate you. The sponge is what gives the bread the real flavor. It’s not like a sourdough starter, which takes weeks to prepare. But the sponge will need feeding the next day, which is where the additional flavor kicks in. The bread will be much more hearty and chewier. So my suggestion is: don’t be afraid of experiments since there are always ways to still fix your dish.

Serving: 16 slices
Preparation: minimum 12 hours
Cooking : 45-50 minutes
Calories for 1 slice – 145

1lb 1 ½ oz/500g bread flour, sifted, plus extra for sprinkling the working surface
16 oz/2 cups of cold water
1 cups of whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon of instant yeast
2 teaspoons of table salt
2 teaspoons of sugar

Add sifted flour, salt, and sugar to a large bowl. Stir it all together. Add the instant yeast and water. Stir it all together again until the ingredients are combined. The dough will be very sticky and loose at this point. Cover it with a plastic wrap and put it aside for at least 12 hours. It will create a sponge texture.
On the day of baking transfer the sponge into a mixer and install the kneading attachment. Mix it for 1 minute and add the cups of whole wheat flour. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until it forms a smooth round ball. Flour is always very different so keep an additional ¼ cup of whole wheat flour on the side in case the dough is still sticky. Transfer the dough onto a working surface and knead the dough, tucking the edges under itself.
If you don’t have a stand mixer you can still use your hands. It will take a little longer. Be gentle but firm and try not to rip the dough , and don’t add too much additional flour while kneading.

Use another bowl and add a teaspoon of canola oil to cover the bottom and edges.
Transfer the dough into the bowl with the seam side down. Cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rest for another 2 hours. Put it in a warm place and let it rise until it doubles its original size.

Place the oven rack on lower medium position and preheat the oven to 450F/230C with your cast iron Dutch oven inside with a lid on top. Spray the inside with canola oil or vegetable oil. For this amount of dough the best size would be a 9-inch pot. This bread will be almost twice as large as this Rustic Bread. If you decide to use larger pot it will still be ok but a little flat.

When the dough has risen and your pot is in the preheated oven, get a 12-14 inch piece of parchment paper and put it on your work surface. Sprinkle the top side with flour. Slide the dough out of the oiled pot onto the parchment paper. Score the dough on the top with either two lines or an x sign with a sharp paring knife or razor. Using the parchment paper, gently transfer the dough into the preheated Dutch oven together with the parchment paper. Cover it with a lid and bake it for 30 minutes. Take the lid off and bake it for another 15-20 minutes. Be careful when lifting the lid because it’s super hot!
The internal temperature should be between 200F/93C-210F/98C.
When the loaf is done take it out of the oven and, using the parchment paper again, take the bread out of the Dutch oven and let it rest for at least 2 hours before you slice it.


1 Comment

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