Bluebird Grain Farms

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Makes 2 loaves

The overnight rise develops the flavor of einkorn beautifully in this crusty, naturally leavened loaf. It takes a few hours to make, but very little attention and the results are so remarkable, your friends won’t believe you made it at home. You’ll need an oven-proof cast iron Dutch oven pot with a lid to bake the loaf in a very hot oven to achieve a crackling crust. 

Ingredients & Method

Leaven

4 teaspoons fresh sourdough starter (the more bubbly the better)

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm (75°F) water

Scant 3/4 cup (100 g) all-purpose flour 

2/3 cup (100 g) Bluebird Grain Farms Pasayten Hard White Flour

The night before, mix leaven ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and set aside for 12 hours. To test, gently pinch off a bit of leaven and plop it into a small glass of water. If dough floats, it’s ready. If it doesn’t, try waiting for an additional hour or so. If it still doesn’t float, you may need to start over with a fresh starter.

Dough

3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon  (200 g) leaven

3 1/4 cups warm (75°F) water

2 2/3 cup (400 g) Bluebird Grain Farms Organic Einkorn Flour

2 cups (300 g) Bluebird Grain Farms Organic Pasayten Hard White Flour

1 cup (150 g) all-purpose flour

1/4 cup water

3 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt

flour, for dusting (semolina works great)

The next morning, start the dough. In a large bowl, whisk together leaven with water. Add flours and mix to combine. Cover and set aside to allow flour to absorb water for 1 hour. Add salt and 1/4 water and squish with your hands to combine. Cover with plastic and let rise 30 minutes. With a slightly wet hand, pull the dough up from the bottom and gently place on top of dough. Repeat all around the edges of dough until you’ve done 5 to 6 ‘folds.’ Cover and set aside for 30 minutes. Repeat folding. Do this 4 times total for a total of 2 hours of folding and resting.

Flour top of dough and turn out onto a clean work surface. Cut dough in half into 2 equal parts. Flip dough with a bench scraper and form into rounds, folding the sticky cut end into itself. Gently cup the side of dough with your hands and pull towards you, trap air in the loaf and give it lift. Cover loaves with large bowls and let rest for 20 minutes.

Flour tops of dough, flip with a bench scraper.  Gently coax/pull one piece of dough into a rough rectangle shape, don’t overstretch. Pick the left side of dough up and place it over the center of the dough, as if you were folding a letter. Repeat with the right side of the dough. Pick the end closest to you and bring it up and over center to meet the far end. Gently cup with hands to form a rough round.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Flour center of 2 clean dish towels with semolina or rice flour. Place dough in the center of the towels. Pick up towels and place in 2 medium mixing bowls. Cover with plastic. Let one loaf rest at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours, an indent of your finger will remain when the loaf is poked. Place the other loaf covered in the bowl in the refrigerator to bake the next day; this loaf will taste more distinctly sourdough.

30 minutes before the bread is ready to bake, place a 3-quart or larger cast iron Dutch oven with lid,  in the oven and preheat to 450°F. When dough is ready, discard plastic wrap. Place a large piece of parchment over a bowl and place a dinner plate on top. Invert bowl onto the plate. Remove the towel. Score center of loaf with a sharp knife to assist bread in rising to its full potential. Carefully, with oven mitts, pick up the loaf on the parchment and place it in a preheated Dutch oven. Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until the loaf is deep golden brown, about 25 minutes more. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf will register 206-210°F.

Transfer to a cooling rack, discard parchment, and let cool for 1 hour before slicing. The next day, bake the second loaf the same way, but allow the dough to sit at room temperature while Dutch oven preheats. This bread freezes well when stored in a zip top freezer bag for up to 3 months. Uncover while defrosting.