First step last year was to successfully created the levain using what ever wild yeasts are in my house and on my flour. Keep a portion of it in my refrigerator and take out and refresh when needed. This is what the levain looks like when its been refreshed.
Next step is to weigh out the flours and water, mix, and autolyse for 30 minutes. The recipe calls for 276g of whole wheat flour, but I like the slight tang of rye so I weighed out 200g whole wheat and 76 g of rye flour.
After mixing for the autolyse the dough is nice, soft, and shaggy. Although Forkish calls for hand mixing, I prefer to use a dough whisk at this stage.
|Flour and water mixed for autolyse|
After 30 minutes the salt and levain is added to the flour and water mixture. The salt is kept out until now to because it would retard the gluten development.
|The dough after adding the salt and levain|
Now to start developing the dough. My oven had a proofing setting that is about 75oF. and the bins of dough are going in there for the next stage of bulk fermentation. No longer do we need to knead the bread, especially with higher hydration doughs. This Overnight Country Brown has 78% hydration, that is 78g of water to every 100g of flour. The technique that has replaced kneading is generally known as stretch and fold. With a wet hand slipped under the dough about a quarter is lifted up until resistance is felt. The section is then folded down over the other side.
|First stretch and fold before inverting|
|See how much smoother the dough has become|
Working around the container, this step is repeated four or five times until the dough is in a ball. Then the ball is inverted so all the folds come together face down.
Three to four stretch and folds should see the dough really nice and subtle. That's it for tonight. The dough will now continue to bulk ferment overnight. Tomorrow's episode will be the final shape and bake.