(Based on the formula in the book “Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes" by Jeffrey Hamelman)
|Baker’s %||Grams||Ounces||Approximate||If you plan to maintain your culture using this formula, increase the levain ingredients by 10% to 25% so you will have enough leftover for your next batch.|
Step 1: Build the Levain: Part 124 hours before starting the bread, start to build up the levain. Start with ripe culture and add half of the levain ingredients listed above (it will be pretty stiff). Cover the container with a lid or plastic and leave at room temperature.
Step 2: Build the Levain: Part 212 hours before starting the bread, continue building the levain. Add the remaining levain ingredients and knead to combine. Cover again and let the sourdough happily multiply.
Step 3: Mixing the dough (part 1: Autolyse the Flour)Combine the flours and water. Mix only until all the flour is wet (no dry clumps). Cover and let the gluten form on its own for 30 to 50 minutes.
Step 4: Mixing the dough (part 2)
Sprinkle the salt over the dough and begin mixing the dough, adding the levain in pieces to help it mix evenly. After you add the last of the levain, continue mixing on speed 2.
The dough will need very little kneading (2 minutes tops!). The gluten has been developing from the autolyse, and the levain (17% of he dough) has been forming over the past day. You only need to work the dough long enough for all the ingredients to combine evenly.
Step 5: Bulk ferment (rise) for 2.5 hours (folding every 50 minutes or so)
To fold, transfer the dough to a well-floured bench. Stretch the dough to extend the gluten. Fold it over on itself — left over right and top over bottom.
Make sure that you always fold the same side over itself — one side always remains on the “outside” with the folds moving toward the middle.