The Mill Loaf With Natural Leaven


  1. In a large bowl, whisk the leaven with the water. Add the flours and salt. Mix the ingredients together to form a sticky mass. Cover and leave 10-15 minutes to stand, to allow gliadin and glutenin proteins in the compound gluten to hydrate and bond.
  2. On a lightly oiled work surface, place the dough and knead briefly, 20 to 30 seconds will be enough. Shape the dough into a ball and put it back into the mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Next day, scrape the dough on to a lightly oiled work surface and pat it out to form a rectangle, roughly 40cm x 20cm. Fold one end, a third of the length, back to the centre. Fold the other end back over it, so we have 3 layers of dough, like folding puff pastry.
  3. Pat it out again and fold it once more. Leave one hour at room temperature and repeat. Leave another hour and repeat. The dough should be rising nicely. To check, slash the dough with a sharp knife. It is ready to shape once bubbles formed in the dough. Otherwise leave the dough a further hour to check again.
  4. Divide the dough into 3 smaller dough. Shape into balls on a lightly floured surface and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Form dough into a baton or round Turn the shaped loaves into the floured baskets or tins with the seams up and leave them to finish rising. They're ready for baking when doubled in size, about 3 hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F. Upturn the loaves on to floured baking trays and slash a few times across it. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling wire.

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