General instructions for yeast breads

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These are general instructions for some of the yeast based breads here. Translated from “Backen in Perfektion mit Hefe” by Lutz Geißler.

Ingredients

  • flour

  • water

  • salt

  • yeast

  • optional additional ingredients

Equipment

Directions

  • Dissolve the yeast in some of the water (around 20g). In a big bowl mix the rest of the water with the salt. Add the flour. Add the additional ingredients, if any. Add the yeast water. Mix with your hand until well combined. Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature for 24h, interrupted by two stretch & folds after around 8h each.

  • Stretch & fold (after 8 and 16h): With a wet hand grab the side of the dough in the bowl, lift, stretch, fold into the middle. Repeat on all sides.

  • After 24h the dough will be fairly bubbly. Prepare a banneton with flour. Move the dough onto a floured surface (e.g. your kitchen counter). Pull the sides of the dough into itself until you get a ball. Tighten that on the counter. A dough scraper helps. Take a look at this video that demonstrates shaping the dough.

  • You’ll end up with your dough ball on your counter, seam side down. Lift it up and place it in the banneton (still seam side down). Cover and let it sit for another hour. Meanwhile put a cast iron dutch oven with a lid into your oven and preheat it to 250°C.

  • Upend the banneton on a piece of parchment paper. Score the top with a razorblade or a sharp knife to give the dough room to expand while baking. A good pattern is a basic cross scored into the top.

  • Open the pot and lift the doughball into it using the parchment paper. Put the lid back on, close the oven, reduce the temperature to 230°C and bake for 45min.

  • Remove pot from oven, remove bread from pot, and let it cool on a cooling rack for at least an hour. Do not cut into it earlier than that!