Baking bread was more or less an accident. My father bakes bread, my friends bake bread, and for the last few years I’ve been trying to eat low carb. Somehow I thought I’d avoid the bug…
This recipe is probably the most popular white bread recipe on the internet, and there are already a LOT of variations on this recipe. My suggestions are limited, and already available on various comment threads. This recipe is mostly so that I don’t forget!
Here is how I synthesized the original recipe:
Rustic White Boule
Plan on making this dough on a Friday or Saturday night and baking the next morning. You will need a mixing bowl, a tea towel, and a dutch oven. A dough scraper and proofing bowl are “upgrades” but the dough can be happily made without them.
1g yeast (1/4 tsp)
16g salt (1.5 tsp)
345g lukewarm water
(optional 4 drops of red wine vinegar for a quick rise)
Farina (Cream of Wheat) for dusting.
Mixing the dry ingredients together by hand. For the yeast and salt it may be easier to use volumetric measures if your home scale is not accurate. This recipe is incredibly forgiving.
Add water and mix until dough is shaggy by hand. I suggest getting a dough scraper to help clean the mix off your fingers. Cover with a tea towel in a warm area for 12-18 hours. If it is winter you may consider leaving the dough in the oven with the light on (this should keep the dough at a good proofing temp). If you are trying to speed up your proof (to 4-9 hours), add a few drops of red wine vinegar to the water, and make sure the water is good and warm.
The next day generously flour your hands and work surface and shape the boule a bit. There are better Youtube videos on this than I can describe.
Place your boule seam side DOWN (This will give your bread a nice rustic top) on a tea towel that has been floured and dusted with farina. Dust the other side of the loaf with farina. Fold the towel over the bread, and let rise for two hours in a warm place. (You may also use a cloth lined proofing basket)
After 1.5 hours, preheat the oven as hot as you can get it (usually 500F) and place the dutch oven inside.
When the dough has gone through a second proof and the oven is hot, remove the dutch oven, place your bread seam side UP in the dutch oven, and return to the oven. Reduce heat to 450F.
Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, and again for 30 minutes with the lid off . You can check to see that your bread is done by inserting a thermometer in the bottom of your loaf and seeing that the temperature reads 190F.
This loaf is great fresh, but will hold a few days in a bread box, tin, or airtight container.