We frenzied on this fresh loaf of bread that we scored at a Scrumptious Chef cook’s meeting this past weekend.
Hope to have the recipe, and possibly a back story, up later today. Ok, it’s later today and we can post this formula from our buddy Paul, the newest member of our cook team: “About three years ago after failing to find good bread in Austin, I decided I should make my own.
Basic process is a bag of high quality, stone-ground organic whole grain flour.
In a jar goes 50g each of flour and water which is then mixed.
Once it starts bubbling ( 12->36 hours ) it is active, I then feed it the same 50g ea of flour and water every 12 hours from then on (discarding half of the starter each time)…
After about a week I switch to white bread flour (I use King Arthur Bread Flour as my standard) for the feedings.
After another week it is pretty active and capable of leavening bread.
Once the starter is nice and you strong can store it in the fridge after feeding for a few weeks (I’ve done four before, but I try not to let to go over two ) between feedings.
I don’t really have a recipe as such, but I do alter my flour:water ratio ( always by weight! ) depending on how much I want to handle it.
For example; a Ciabatta style loaf will get 500g Flour, 350-400g water (I’m pretty unprecise), for a baguette I will use more like 500g Flour, 300g water.
I also flit between preperation styles, usually based on how much time I have.
My current recipe for Ciabatta is this :
a scoop of starter ( 8 to 12 hours since last feed )
500g flour+750g water and the starter go into a large bowl.
Give it a good stir (no dry bits, but no need to go crazy )and then covered and left on bench overnight.
Next morning it should be super gloopy and the gluten should be really well developed.
Mix in the rest of the flour and the salt until it’s able to form into a ball. Again no real need to knead it here (unless you want to add some commercial yeast at this time for a faster rise) just cover it on the bench again.
Each hour for about four hours, dump the dough onto a floured bench ( helps stop it sticking, and also lets you do fine adjustments of wetness of dough ) and stretch it out ( gently! ), then fold the horizontal edges to meet in the middle, do the same with the vertical edges then form that into a ball ( light touch always … want to keep all the air in the dough ) and back into the bowl.
Oil the bowl with olive oil each time so it’s easier to slip in and out.
After the fourth folding you’ll want to use a bench scraper to cut it into four equal pieces and then just kind of let each piece of dough sit there in an irregular shape.
After an hour or so crank up the oven to 500f ( with a pizza stone ) and preheat for a good hour.
Cook the bread 2 pieces at a time on the stone ( give it a quick spray of water from a spray bottle on the way in ). It should take about 20 mins to cook,
It’s roughly ready if you tap on the bottom and it gives a hollow sound. pretty hard to overcook it.
For a round loaf like I gave you, I take one of the four pieces and fold it into a ball and rest in a small bowl or floured basket for two hours and then upturn it into a pre-heated chinese clay pot, put the lid on and bake for 30mins, then another 10 mins with the lid off. I also used half bread flour, half spelt flour for that particular loaf.
This should give a nice thick crust, and a good crumb with holes of varying sizes.”
ed note: This process yields an absolutely delicious loaf of bread. Good luck and happy baking.