The whole process can take a while, but once you have the levain you will become addicted to this recipe.
Making the levain
- all-purpose flour
- some fermented liquid: yogurt, fruit juice, etc.. (optional)
- Combine the flour, water, and if you wish to accelerate the process, some fermented liquid. The proportions may vary a lot, but a safe rule of thumb is 1 to 1 (flour and water). I used yogurt to accelerate the process, just a spoon is enough.
- Mix it very well and leave it a non sealed container (outside the fridge)
- On the next day, discart half of the mixture and add a bit of flour and water (1 - 1 - 1) (refresh process)
- Repeat the process until you get a mixture that doubles in size in between the refresh periods
- Now you can store your levain in the fridge
- Every week you can refresh the mixture (then leave outside the fridge until doubled in size, then store in fridge again)
Making the bread
- 400g all-purpose flour (for the bread)
- 240g water (for the bread)
- 80g levain
- 20g flour (to activate the levain)
- 20g water (to activate the levain)
- 10g salt
- 10g sugar
- 10g olive oil
- Combine the flour (400g) and the water (240g), mix it well and cover it to maintain the humidity.
- Combine the levain (80g), flour (20g) and the water (20g).
- Wait until the levain is fully activated (doubled in size).
- Mix the flour-water mixture, the activated levain, sugar and the olive oil. After mixing, join the salt.
- Let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Fold the dough from the bottom up about 5 times and then let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Repeat this process 4 times.
- Give it a desired shape in a banneton (I used an improvised one). Let it rest for 24h in the fridge.
- Decorate the bread with a very sharp knife or with a custom made bread scoring tool (see below)
- Place the dough in a closed pan (you can place a baking paper in the bottom).
- Let it rest for more 8h hours, this time outside the fridge.
- Bake for about 25 minutes with the pan closed (280ºC)
- Remove the lid from the pan and let it bake for more 25 minutes (220ºC)
Custom made bread scoring tool
Thanks to https://www.youtube.com/c/ChefMancuzo