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Crusty Country French Bread(and my "brick-oven")

Inspiration: Dan Lepard (the handmade loaf), and Baker's Manual

Sourdough breads take advantage of the unique tangy flavors produced by “wild” yeast and bacteria. Once you get to understand your own sourdough starter, the results would just get better and better....hmmm...that chewy, tangy, crusty....sourdough bread.

  • 1 cup Sourdough starter
  • 300 g German #550 flour
  • 500 g German #405 flour+extra flour for kneading
  • 400 ml Lukewarm water
  • 18 g Salt
  1. Put the starter, bread flour, half of AP flour, and one cup of water into a large bowl of mixer attached with dough hook. Mix well and let proof 2 hours at room temperature in a covered plastic container. Then transfer it into the refrigerator to ferment overnight.
  2. Next morning you take the dough out and return it to the mixer. Add in salt, remaining water and flour, one fourth at a time, until you have a smooth dough ball. Put the dough in a large bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap and a damp cloth to follow. Let rise in a warm place for 3 hours until doubled in volume.
  3. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into three or four pieces. Shape each into a ball and let the dough rest, covered with plastic wrap, for 30 minutes. Form each of dough ball into an oval and place them on the prepared tray lined with a linen cloth or baking paper dusted with flour. Sprinkle the loaves with flour and cover them loosely with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let rise for 45-60 minutes.
  4. Place a small pan for water on the bottom shelf of the oven and preheat the oven with baking stone. (I placed a layer of bricks at the bottom of my old oven. It works very well. If you need bake more bread, just place one more layer of bricks on a baking tray. ) to 220C/425F. Make a couple of slashes on the top of each dough. Five minutes before baking, pour 1 cup of hot water in the pan to form steam and provide a moist environment for the bread. Place the dough on a baking tray, brush with some water and bake for about 35-40 minutes on the middle shelf of the hot oven until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove the rolls from the oven and cool on a rack for at least 2 hours before slicing.


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