A rural country bread thanks to the use of stone ground flour.
I’ve called it country bread, as it is suitable for being tasted with cold meats, cheeses or pickles.
This bread requires a long workout but it will give you great satisfaction.
- 2 cups (272 g) bread flour
- 3 cups (378 g) stone ground flour
- 1.5 cups + 3 tbsp (380 g) water
- 8 g fresh yeast
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2.5 tsp (18 g) salt
- 1 tsp barley malt
In the bowl of a stand mixer, pour water and sifted flour.
Mix with a fork, cover with a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
Add fresh yeast, barley malt and olive oil and knead until you get a smooth dough.
Then add salt and knead for a few minutes more.
Shape the dough into a ball, cover with a bowl and let sit for 30 minutes.
Now, flatten the dough, bring a part of the dough and stretch to the center and continue like this with the remaining part of the dough.
Place the dough into a greased bowl, cover with cling film and let rise until double in size.
Then, deflate the dough and stretch and fold bread twice, with a rest of 30 minutes between the one and the second stretch and fold method (see notes)
Cut from the dough 3 pieces, 3 oz (80 g) each, shape into a rope, long about 8 inches (20 cm) and braid them.
Place the braid on a baking sheet lined with floured towel, flour the braid as well, cover in cling film and refrigerate for 8/12 hours.
Shape the remaining dough into an oval loaf and place in a well floured oval banneton (11 inches long - 30 cm).
Wrap the banneton in a plastic bag and refrigerate for 8/12 hours.
Heat oven at 445 F - 230°C.
Invert the loaf on a baking tray lined with baking paper, brush the central part with water and gently stick the braid on.
Bake for 10 minutes with steam, then remove steam and low temperature to 390 F – 200°C.
Continue to reduce temperature, 375 F, 355 F, 320 F, 190-180-160°C, until you get 60 minutes of baking timing.
Place the country bread on a wire rack to completely cool.
Stretch and fold: Gently, deflate the dough and shape in a rectangle.
Grab the right part of the dough, stretch and fold over the end towards the middle.
Grab the left part of the dough, stretch and fold over the end towards the middle.
Then give a 90 degrees turn and fold in thirds once again (now you should have seam side up).
On a tray, place a floured towel, invert the dough (seam side down) and sprinkle the surface with flour.