- 240g ripe starter
- 265ml warm water (250-300ml)
- 500g flour (e.g 125g spelt + 375g hard white, or whatever, use more water if using whole wheat, e.g. 100g ww, 100g spelt, 300g white)
- 13g salt (2.5 tsp)
The recipe is very flexible and fool proof as long as you adjust the time to work for your starter, which needs to have been fed and expanded when used.. I use 75g starter, 75g water, 75g flour. I usually take the starter out of the fridge the night before, then feed it in the morning so that I can make the bread dough in the evening (and cook the following morning).
Combine ingredient in a stand mixer and knead for 2-4 min. Let the dough rest for 20min covered, do a “stretch a fold” , rest 20min more minutes covered, then rest and fold again.
Leave the dough covered with a damp towel to proof overnight at room temperature, or in the fridge after a few hours at room temperature. It will about double in size. It can be as short as 4-5 hours depending on the started and the temperature. If the dough has doubled or more and you’re not ready to use it, put it in the fridge.
Punch the dough down, flatten on a table and get any big bubbles out. Fold and make a ball with tension in the surface, shape into a loaf and close off the seam. Poke gently with a finger, it should spring back almost immediately. Let proof for 30min-2hours (poke with a finger, and it should spring back, but not as fast, usually about an 1 hour, but depends on temperature and starter).
Heat oven to 410F not convection. Heat a cast iron skillet (or some other vessel with good heat capacity) in the oven, as well as the surface on which the bread will cook.
Make slashes on the bread to let it expand (2-3cm deep), spray the top with water to delay the crust forming. Add 1 cup of boiling water to the skillet and spray the inside of the oven with water. Place bread in (hurry to trap the steam) and cook for 12min. Then remove the skillet and let the steam out and cook another 35min. The bread should be edible, with a thin crust. For a thicker crust, lower temp to 275F convection, and cook another 45min.
Let it cool down before slicing, ideally more than an hour!
To make baguettes instead, make 2 baguettes (make a normal loaf, with a seam on the bottom, and keep making the loaf longer, about 40cm). Proof for about 2 hours. Heat oven to 450F with pan for water. Brush with water, make 2-5 diagonal cuts on top, and place in oven with 1 cup of boiling water into the pan. After 10min of steam, lower to 425F, remove steam pan, cook another 15min (total of 25min), then lower to 275F convection for 20 min. Cool before eating. Best baguette ever.