Bake Day………..

Or maybe Bake Week would be better 
since I made two batches of dough and will bake both over the week.
Early Monday morning I fed two sourdough starters, 
one with white flour and one with rye.
And I made both a biga and a levain.
This is what they looked like by late afternoon.

and the Levain.
Late afternoon, I kneaded up two doughs, one with the Biga and one with the Levain.
The Levain batch went into the fridge and I will probably bake with it on Thursday.
The dough made with the Biga was divided in half and 
I baked four baguettes Monday night.
Sliced one this morning for breakfast.
Moe had it toasted and topped with jam.
The other half of this batch was put in the fridge overnight and then taken out this morning, left to warm up and then shaped into two French Batards.

Used my new toy – a Lame
to score the loaves.


I’m really happy with my Sourdough Breads.

How to Make a Sourdough Starter

Bread  – Print Recipe

Artisan Style Bread

Edited February 5th, 2014
6 cups flour  (1000 g)
3 1/2 cups water (820g water – 82% hydration)
1 1/3 Tablespoons salt (4 teaspoons) (21 g)
1 1/4 teaspoons yeast (5 g)


The flour that I use weighs 160 to 165 g per cup

( Leave out the yeast or reduce yeast to 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon  if making sourdough bread)
~~ ~~ ~~

I use a Magic Mill mixer to do all my mixing and kneading.

Mix flour and water (Biga  or Levain if using) together and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes. 
This allows the flour to absorb the water and will cut down on the kneading time.

Add yeast and salt mix and again set aside for 20 minutes.

Let the machine Knead the dough until it comes together and forms a smooth ball.

Oil a large rectangular container with a lid.

Because of the amount of water this will be a very soft dough. 
Tip out on to a well floured board.
Knead by hand just long enough to shape into a ball and then place dough into oiled container and cover with lid.
After 10 minutes fold dough a few times.
(Using the Ken Forkish method of folding).

 Keep the dough in a ball shape.   As the dough rises it will spread out to fill the container.  
Repeat the fold once more in the next hour.   Then leave dough to triple.

Carefully tip dough out on to floured board and cut in half.  Recipe makes two large loaves or a number of baguettes. 
Also makes a wonderful pizza crust.

NOTE:  I usually double my recipe and refrigerate half the dough for a few days. 
The longer fermentation further develops the flavour and texture.
Shaping Loaves

Baguettes  (4 to 6 Baguettes depending on size)  Shape , dust with flour and cover with tea towel.

Rounds – Shape into two large rounds and place.  seam side down, in floured tea towel lined basket/bowl.
Dust with flour and cover with tea towel.

I bake baguettes on a stone preheated to 500°F. 
When the baguettes have proofed, almost doubled, slash and place on preheated stone. 
They take about 20 to 25 minutes.

Rounds can be baked on the stone at 500°F or in preheated Dutch Ovens (475°F). 
If baking on a stone, tip the round out on to floured board,(seam side will now be up) slash and slide onto stone using a pizza paddle.

If baking in a dutch oven, tip loaf out on to floured board.
Carefully pick up and place into preheated Dutch Oven.(seam side will be up. No need to slash) 
Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
 Remove lid and continue to bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
Option:.  Cut dough in half and shape each half into four balls. 
Place balls, seam side down,  into proofing baskets/bowls.
 As the dough rises, the balls form one large loaf. 
When ready to bake, carefully tip loaf on to floured board. 
Very carefully pick up loaf and place into hot pot. 
When the loaf is baked and cooled split into four smaller loaves.

Optional Preferments

Regular Biga
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 cup water
Stir well, cover and leave to rise overnight.
 Sourdough Biga 

2 oz sourdough starter
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup water
Stir well, cover and leave to rise overnight.

Sourdough Levain

2 ounces sourdough starter
1 cup flour
1/4 cup water (more as needed)

The Levain is stiffer than the Biga.  Mix the ingredients together and knead for a few minutes.
 Place in oiled container and allow to rise overnight

8 Comments Add yours

  1. gld says:

    There is nothing more beautiful than loaves of fresh baked bread and yours are gorgeous!

  2. I would be very happy with youir sourdough loaves too:)

  3. Judi says:


  4. You are just such a wonderful baker. I study a lot of recipes trying to get it right. Your bread is perfect.

  5. Big Dude says:

    \”I'm really happy with my Sourdough Breads.\” – I can see why

  6. Maureen, Milwaukee says:

    I love coming to your blog – every dish is fantastic. These breads are nothing short of professional. What is your cooking background and training?

  7. Maureen, thank you so much for your kind words. I don't have any special training. I just have always loved to cook and bake. And eat. Took a couple of cooking lessons for something to do when I lived in Grand Rapids, MI back in 1980. I just cook to please myself and my husband. ~Ann

  8. First time visitor here — this bread looks absolutely perfect, and your cutting boards are stunning, I'm looking forward to exploring your site 🙂

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