Levain Bread

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bread / In the Kitchen
bakedlevain2

It isn’t true that graduating from le cordon bleu in baking and patisserie makes you a fearless baker. I know. I have a diplome; yet the seemingly innocent combination of yeast, flour, salt and water gives me the shakes. Or, should i say
gave. On a bit of a whim, I signed up for a course at The Institute for Domestic Technology. I came for the goats, but i stayed for the bread.

Levain Bread
recipe from erik knutzen
(full recipe with detailed instructions here)
100 grams starter
250 grams white flour
250 grams whole wheat flour
375 grams filtered water
10 grams sea salt
Stir together the starter and water until dissolved. Mix in the flour until water and flour are incorporated. Do not knead, just get the flour fully combined. cover and allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes. Add the salt and mix together with wet hands. Cover. At the end of the 1st hour turn dough onto a floured surface. Hold one end of the dough and with your other hand, pull the other end to stretch. Fold the stretched end on top of it. Give the dough a half turn and repeat the stretch and fold. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover and let sit.
At the end of hour 2; repeat the stretch and pull and put back in the bowl. cover. At the end of hour 3 or 3 1/2: turn the dough onto a floured surface. Begin to shape the boule. Take the dough and pull the sides together as if you are making a beggar’s purse, press the edges together and pick up the dough. turn it over in your hands and turn to form a round.
Place the dough, round side down in a heavily floured proofing basket or in a bowl lined with heavily floured baking canvas/or cloth. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 3 1/2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator (preferred)
When ready to bake:
You will be baking this in an dutch oven. Preheat oven and cooking pot to 500 degrees. Turn the bread out of its basket or bowl onto a floured surface. Use a razor blade to score a 4″ square on the top of the bread. Once the oven/pot is up to temperature, plop the bread in the pot, round side up. Cover and let bake for 25 minutes. Remove the top and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes. The bread should be nicely browned and sound hollow when tapped. Allow to cool for 1 hour before eating

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