I love bread, I cannot lie. Our neighbors seem to enjoy it too. For months now I have been successfully trading bread for smiles, car washes, window cleaning, wine, and mmmmm my favorite nopales salad. Here is the loaf that has been really popular lately.
It’s a modification of my favorite Tartine recipe. The natural leaven makes it taste amazing even several days after it was baked. Try this bread fresh while still warm – and you are in danger of eating the whole loaf in one sitting.
- 200 g leaven
- 800 g water (75⁰ F/ 25⁰ C)
- 270 g whole-rye flour
- 830 g unbleached bread flour
- 20 g salt
Yields 2 loafs
Day 1: make leaven – combine 200 g water, 1 tbs of sourdough starter and 200 g unbleached all-purpose flour. Mix well, loosely cover the top of the container with a plastic wrap, and let ferment overnight. Discard the rest of the starter.
Day 2: Test the leaven: it’s ready if a tsp of it dropped in the water floats.
Once the leaven passes the floating test, combine all ingredients but salt and mix in a stand mixer with a dough hook.
Cover the mixing bowl with plastic and let rest for 25-30 minutes.
Save leftover leaven – it’s now your starter.
After the first rest, add the salt, and mix it well into the dough. Let rest for about 3 hours, turning the dough upside down with wet hands twice during the first two hours.
After about 3 hours, when the dough has increased in size, dump it onto a floured surface and separate into two equal parts.
Working with one half at a time: with a bread scraper fold the dough edges in to form a ball. Let rest, seams down, on a floured surface for about 25-30 minutes, covered by plastic or a floured towel.
Next, working with one half at a time, place it face down on a floured surface. Carefully fold the edges with your hands slightly pressing them into the remaining dough: starting by carefully stretching the bottom edge and folding it to meet the opposite end; repeating with left, right, and finishing with the top edge. Form a loaf. Place a loaf in a proofing basket, lightly sprinkled with rice flour, lined with a floured tile, face down, seam up.
Put the baskets in plastic bags and refrigerate for 8-24 hours.
To bake: place an iron pot with the lid in the oven and preheat the oven to 500⁰ F/ 260⁰ C. Dump the loaf into the preheated pot, seam side down. Cover with the lid, and bake the bread in it for 20 minutes at 475 ⁰ F/ 245 ⁰ C.
After 20 minutes remove the lid and let bake for 25 more minutes.
Let chill on a wire rack or eat while it’s hot.
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