Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Less Flour Equals a Wetter Dough Equals Better Results

Lately I have been experimenting with making the dough by hand and I have been very please with the results. Here is the recipe:

1 batch starter (Wasatch Willy in this case) (about a cup)
3 Cups water
1 Tablespoon Salt
6 Cups Flour

I use an IKEA cup that holds just over a cup when filled to the lip. 

In a large bowl combine the starter, water and salt. Stir. Feed the starter and continue.

Now add the flour a cup at a time. The flour will be very lumpy and sticky. Be sure and wipe the sides and bottom of the bowl to get all of the flour mixed into the dough.

Cover the bowl and let it sit for 12-16 hours in a cool location. My basement has been around 60-65 degrees F and is perfect for this.

Turn on the oven light and get the oven warmed up to  around 80-90 F.

On a large clean work surface spray water and then dump the dough onto the surface. Keeping your hands wet form the loaf.

Take a baking sheet and lightly spray with oil and sprinkle corn flour or dry creamy wheat cereal. Place the loaf on the baking sheet.

Place the racks in the oven on the bottom two shelves. Place a cast-iron skillet on the bottom rack. Pre-heat the oven to 475 F.

Boil two cups of water and pour into the skillet when the oven is at temperature. Place the baking sheet with the loaf in the oven and set the timer to 45-60 minutes and lower the temperature to 400 F. If the loaf is not too dark go ahead and bake it for the full 60 minutes. 

You can also apply a wash to the dough at the 45 minute mark and bake for another 10 minutes. Prepare the wash before you bake the bread. For the wash boil two cups of water and a heaping tablespoon of cornstarch until it starts to thicken. Then set it aside and cool.

You should get a nice oven bounce. Place the finished loaf on a cooling rack and let it sit for 15 minutes before serving.

To simplify the updating process of my blog entries I have created a single ORDER page you can go to by clicking here. As the blog slowly grows in size (a few posts each month) it becomes an arduous labor updating each and every one of them so hopefully this will make the pages easier to peruse and more enjoyable. Thank you.