As I surfed the bread websites to further my knowledge of artisan bread baking, I stumbled across the 1.2.3 Sourdough method of Flo Makani, a french baker. Her site is in French but Google will translate it. I also read about it in a thread on the The Fresh Loaf in depth and on the Artisan Baker’s facebook page.
And of course, I just had to try it! It is the easiest way to make an artisan loaf of sourdough bread ever! I did apply many of the techniques I’ve been practicing for the past few months in my journey to master the art. I have now made this recipe twice with perfect results each time.
The method is simple: one part levain or starter, two parts water and three parts flour.
I fermented 250 grams of mature levain: This consisted of 25 grams of my mature rye starter that I keep in the fridge combined with 100 grams of rye flour and 125 grams of water. This sat out at room temperature overnight. It was ready when doubled and bubbled and a little bit of it dropped in a glass of water and floated.
I added the levain to 500 grams of 95 dF water to dissolve it and then added that to 750 grams of flour:
500 grams King Arthur Bread Flour
150 grams Hodsons Mill Rye Flour
100 grams King Arthur White Whole Wheat
Mixed it well with my hands and let it sit for 20-30 minutes in an autolyse phase.
I then added in my 12 grams of salt and mixed and pinched some more as well as stretching and folding the dough. I performed this stretch and fold every 30 minutes for the first two hours of the bulk fermentation. The longer you bulk ferment, the deeper the flavor of your bread.
And at this point you can take your dough and put it into your proofing basket/banneton and let it rise till about 70 percent double in bulk and then bake it, either in your dutch oven or on your baking stone in a steamed oven. Since I started using dutch ovens, that is all I use now for these types of loaves.
I let my dough bulk ferment for about four hours. It was about 1.5 times the original size. I poured it out on to a lightly floured counter, stretched and folded it into a boule shape and let it rest for about 20 minutes.
After this bench rest period, I stretched and folded it gently some more and shaped it into its final boule shape, placing it into my well floured bannetons.
These loaves got an overnight cold proof. I placed my bannetons inside plastic bags and put them into the fridge.
The next morning I tried the finger poke test and the hole did come back very very slowly, most likely because the dough was so cold retarded. I let them sit at room temperature while the oven/dutch ovens heated to 475 dF.
After 20 minutes the covers were removed to reveal nicely springing loaves. Baked for an additional 20 minutes until the internal temperature was 200+ dF and two lovely loaves were done.