here's what: if you start feeding your starter twice a day starting today (saturday), you can have this bread for christmas day. that's what i'mmunna do. i'll make one for my friend jen too (yes, you can just double the formula). together we'll rip off pieces of it and dip it in our christmas soup. after our hot chocolate. and presents.
here's a snapshot of your schedule in case you do want to make it: 1) feed the starter twice on saturday, 2) then twice on sunday - like 8am and 3pm, 3) then start the levain on sunday night like 11pm or midnight, just before bed (be sure you feed the starter again after you rob it for your levain. yes, it's fine if you feed your starter 3x in a day. and yes, it's fine to feed your starter spaced apart by, oh, i don't know, 6, 7, 8 hours. if you have a good strong starter, it will be fine, i do it all the time, it makes her good and robust and ready for action) 4) start the dough on monday morning, like 7am or 8am, even 9am, but you will have to determine the best time by the health of the levain 5) and bake the bread tuesday morning, after a full 20 hours of fermentation.
oh, hey, a note on shaping. when forming your dough into a boule, be sure to get it as round as possible, because when it's resting in its hammock, it is going to retain the shape that you shaped it in. that means, if you left it knobby or misshapen, that's how the bread will bake up. when i shaped this loaf, i remember thinking that i should give it a couple more twists to round it out. there was a little 'point' on one side of it, and i used it as an opportunity to see if it would round out in the bowl. one would think, right?
alas, it will not, so, if you want a perfectly round boule, 1) make sure that you don't over-hydrate your dough 2) be sure that fermentation is complete from levain through final fermentation 3) be sure to take care when shaping the boule. it's not that i mind a little funkiness to the shape of my bread, after all, it is rustic. i just thought you might want to know. little tweaks in this experiment, yeah?
so, this just about uses up all of my BRM light spelt. i wanted to do a post about it because there it is, on the supermarket shelf, it is its own product, and perhaps you were passing it by all these long months thinking 'what is 'light' vs. white vs. whole? how will it behave? should i try it?'
light spelt is a cross between whole and white spelt. bob sifts out enough bran to lighten the flour (personally, himself, just kidding. is there even a real bob? or is he like aunt jamima? a mere mascot to make us personally connect with his flour? yeah, too much time on these here hands...) so you get to eat a 'white' bread that won't make you feel so guilty. not that i feel guilty about eating white flour. what's the point in that? guilt is overrated. just drop it and you'll be fine.
back to bob and his flour. verdict? i personally appreciate the flour. flavor: when i took my first bite, i literally said 'wow'. the crust: was earth shattering, the crumb: was perfectly gelatinized. so there's that. and here's this.
THE NIGHT BEFORE DOUGH DAY
make your levain:
111g dark rye flour, i used BRM
mix this together to make a paste and ferment. mine took 7 hours 15 minutes.
make the dough:
275g BRM light spelt flour
275g KA bread flour
12g sea salt
mix together the levain, the flours and water until it reaches a shaggy mass. autolyse for 1 full hour. after autolyse, squish the salt into the dough with your hands.
begin the bulk fermentation. for the first two hours of the bulk fermentation, you will perform a series of turns every half hour at room temp. for the last two hours, pop the dough in the fridge and allow it to ferment, untouched.
after the bulk fermentation is complete, turn the dough out onto a counter dusted with brown rice flour, gather it up into a loose round and let it rest for 10 minutes. after it has rested, shape it into a boule, focusing on getting it as round as possible if you wish. But don't go too crazy. you don't want to compact the dough after it has developed such lovely gases or risk tearing the 'skin'.
pop this into a bowl lined with a linen that has been dusted with brown rice flour, pop in the fridge and ferment for 20 hours.
one hour before you bake, preheat the oven to 550 degrees. make sure your stone and both halves of the combo cooker are in there too.
after a FULL HOUR (i'm serious), unearth the dough onto a peel lined with a piece of parchment, score the dough in some lovely pattern, then slide it into the shallow half of the combo cooker.
pop on the top half and turn the oven down to 475 degrees. steam for 30 minutes.
after the steam, remove the top half of the combo cooker using an oven mitt to avoid a nasty steam burn.
turn the oven down to 450 degrees and bake until the richest marron.
to the staff of life!
this post has been exhibited on Susan's wild yeast blog. thank you susan, for giving us a platform to share our bread!