- STEP 1
DAY 1 - Prepare the starter. If your starter is in the fridge, remove it, discard half and feed it as usual. Leave it out in your kitchen until it's full of bubbles and doubled in size. This only takes 12h for me but it'll depend on how active your starter is. If you'd prefer to use levain, use the same weight as the starter.
- STEP 2
DAY 2 - Prepare the dough. In a large bowl, mix 10g of salt with 250g of lukewarm water until the salt has fully dissolved. Add 85g of starter and stir until any lumps have gone.
- STEP 3
Throw 370g of flour into the bowl and mix until there's no more visible dry flour (it'll be very wet at this stage). Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside for an hour.
- STEP 4
Grab the far side of your dough, pull it up and fold it over to the near side. Rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat until you've turned the bowl a full 360 degrees. Leave for 30 minutes. Repeat this process 4 more times. The dough will gradually get firmer and look much smoother.
- STEP 5
After the 5th set of folds, cover the bowl with cling film and set aside for an hour.
- STEP 6
Gently take the dough out of the bowl and place on a well-floured surface. Fold as before but this time, only fold into the center (not all the way from far side to near side), shaping the dough into a round. Once you've rotated the dough 360 degrees, flip the dough over so that the folds stay folded underneath. Rest, uncovered for 30 mins.
- STEP 7
Transfer the dough to a proofing basket, top down (folds up). Cover the proofing basket with a tea towel and place in the fridge. Leave for at least 12 hours. I've got into the habit of doing this on a work evening, so my dough goes into the fridge at 10pm and comes out the next day after work at 6pm (20 hours). Also worth noting, if you don't have a proper proofing basket you can use any old colander, lined with a well-floured tea towel!
- STEP 8
DAY 3 - Bake. Heat the oven to 260°C. If you have a Dutch oven (I use a glass Pyrex casserole dish), put that in the oven to heat up. If you don't have a Dutch oven, place a half-full tray of water at the bottom of the oven.
- STEP 9
Place the dough in the Dutch oven OR on a baking sheet and cook for 20 mins. After 20 mins lower the temperature of the oven to 230°C and cook for a further 10 mins. After this, remove the lid of the Dutch oven OR remove the tray of water and cook for a further 15 mins.
- STEP 10
Remove the loaf from the oven, place on a cooling rack and allow to cool for as long as your patience lasts :)