Updated: Mar 22
Due to the 36 inches of snow on my doorstep over the weekend, I decided to do some Sourdough experimenting, and I ended up stumbling upon my new favorite recipe. The dough smelled amazing right off the bat, starting with a mix of bread, whole wheat, spelt, and rye flour. After 3 hours of stretching and folding my dough to create a solid gluten structure, I could tell the fermentation was superior to any of my other recipes. The amazing quality that Rye gives sourdough other than the delicious flavor is a boost in fermentation. Rye contains different enzymes, yeast, and healthy bacteria that help the dough achieve an even and whole fermentation. After two sets of stretch and folds,
I added one cup of toasted sesame seeds (see recipe below). The sesame seeds lend an unreplaceable flavor and delectable crunch to the bread, making it the perfect bread for toast or sandwiches.
RECIPE (Makes 2 loaves)
Levain (sourdough starter) -200g
Bread Flour -600g
Whole Wheat Flour -150g
Spelt flour -100g
Rye flour -150g
Water (82 degrees)- 800g
Sesame Seeds (toasted)- 1 cup of 250g
For the Sesame Seeds
Preheat oven to 400.
Place Sesame Seeds on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
Take out and let cool completely.
For the dough
First, fill a large bowl with 800g of warm water, slowly add your levain and mix with a fork to disperse.
Next, add the flour mix and hand-mix until there are no dry bits of flour left and the dough feels soft and wet in your hand.
Wait 30mins to allow the bread to autolyse (absorb water). This is an important step in sourdough baking that helps the dough be prepared to stretch and fold.
After 30 minutes, wet your hands and mix the salt into the dough thoroughly. After mixed, grab the dough and perform the first stretch and fold.
Stretching and folding involve grabbing the dough with a wet hand, pulling it gently, doubling the length to stretch the gluten out, and finally placing it back on top of the dough. This is similar to fold a towel in half when doing laundry. Do this 2 or three times.
For the next 3 hours, prepare the dough by keeping it warm and performing stretch-and-folds every 30 minutes. During the last hour and a half, be especially gentle when folding to make sure not to remove too much air from the dough.
Add toasted sesame seeds into the dough after the second round of turns.
After the bulk fermentation, dump and scoop the dough out from the bowl onto a clean table. Taking a bench knife, cut the dough into two equal pieces. Then, fold the dough in half and gentle cup and shape the dough into a ball. This is very similar to shaping pottery and does take a lot of practice, but confidence is the most important part of shaping sourdough. Moving slowly and indecisively will produce bad results. Be swift and precise with your movements and allow the dough to create surface tension when shaping. This will allow the dough to shape into a tight round ball and give it a great crust.
Let the dough rest on the table covered by a towel for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, flip the dough over, so the bottom is now facing up, and shape the dough.
The Perfect Loaf has a great tutorial and blog here to explain https://www.theperfectloaf.com/guides/shaping-a-boule/.
Place the dough in a basket with a liner or banneton that is floured with a 50/50 mixture of rice flour and whole wheat flour.
Place in the fridge overnight for 8-24 hours.
To bake, place a dutch oven (Cast iron pot with a lid) in the oven and set to 500 degrees once the oven is preheated, set a timer for 15 minutes, and take one loaf out of the fridge.
After 15 minutes, take the hot dutch oven out of the oven and flour the inside with the 50/50 mix of rice and whole wheat flour.
13. Place the dough inside the bottom side down and make a couple of precise cuts (scores) that allow the dough to rise properly. I use a razor blade, but a sharp knife will do the trick here. Be very precise here. You don't want to be dragging your blade across the dough, creating wrinkles. Cut a half-inch deep and smoothly throughout the dough.
14. Place the lid back on the Dutch Oven and place it in the oven. Lower oven temp to 450 degrees and set a timer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, take the lid off the dutch oven and bake for another 25 minutes at 450 degrees.
15.Finally, Take the loaf out and cool for at least an hour