Recipes

Sourdough Country Bread

Sourdough Country Bread /4K - Bruno Albouze - THE REAL DEAL

Sourdough Country Bread (Pain de Campagne Au Levain) Recipe

Makes 2 x 2 lbs (2x900g) Round Loaf Crown & Couronne
This bread recipe can be baked the same day or postponed to the next day; overnight chilled proofing method.

2.1 cups (525) spring water at ≈ 78ºF (26ºC)
0.17 ounce (5g) fresh yeast or 2.5 grams instant yeast*
1.25 lb. (550g) Firm levain (starter)
0.7 ounce (22g) grey salt (celtic sea salt) or kosher
3.8 cups (500g) bread flour
1.2 cups (160g) 100% stone ground whole wheat flour bread or all.purpose flour
Extra flour for dusting and some fine semolina flour for baking.

*A small amount of yeast is necessary in order to boost the fermentation process especially during cool weather.
In the mixing bowl (7qt & heavy duty mixer), add water and yeast, flours, salt and levain (starter). Mix for 12 min on low speed and 3 min on medium speed. The internal temperature of the dough should be at (75/77ºF) (24/25C). Transfer dough into a lightly greased bowl; cover and let rest to get the first fermentation going for 3 hours; punch down the dough half way through / 90 min.
Transfer dough onto a floured work surface and divide in half; gently degase dough and shape into 2 rounds (boule) not to tight, or, make one round and divide the other half into 8x 3 ounces (90g) portions to make a couronne Bordelaise (Bordelaise crown / technique originated in the Bordeaux region of France). Traditionally this ring-shaped loaf is composed of six to eight balls of campagne bread dough, blanketed by another flat disk of dough that holds the loaf together. Flour x2 banneton (linen lined crown basket) – Make a flat disk with one ball and place it in the center of the banneton making sure that it covers half of the basket bottom. Brush some vegetable oil all around the seam of the disk. Arrange the 7 remaining balls seam side up (re-tight them before). Open up the center of the disk and fold over the rounds.
To shape a regular crown, use your elbow and gently press down the center to create a hole and strech it out a bit. Flip (skin side down) and place dough inside basket. Cover with a couche, wet kitchen towel or plastic wrap –
At home: proof bread for 2 hours or until it has doubled in size and bake. Or, leave bread out for an hour and refrigerate to rest and proof slowly overnight (12 hrs) and bake. If using a controled temperature proofer leave bread to proof overnight at 50/54ºF (10/12ºC) / 90% humidity.

Baking (At home: bake one loaf at the time)
Heat up oven (conventional/baking) to 550ºF (290ºC) with a pizza stone. Dust top with some semolina flour and flip bread onto an upside down tray lined with a grill mesh mat. Score bread with the tip of a very sharp pairing knife or blade and slice off immediately onto the hot pizza stone – spray some water and bake for 5 min – then, lower temperature to 450ºF (230ºC); continue to bake for about 30 min more. Cool bread onto a cooling rack.

Levain / Starter Recipe
1.2 cups (300g) fresh organic apple juice or grapes; drain and discard the pulpe*
*Have the juice done using a juicer or purchase it in some grocery stores such as WholeFoods.
Place juice in a small jar and cover tight with wrap; poke a small hole in the center. Place jar near a heater or warm area 77/95ºF (25/35ºC) for 3 days or until fermentation is activated. During winter time, a pinch of instant yeast and be mixed in the juice.

Levain Chef (Liquid)
0.4 cup (100g) fermented juice
0.9 cup (100g) bread flour
Total weight: 7 ounces (200g).
Mix fermented juice and flour. Cover with plastic wrap, poke the center and leave at room temperature 72/85ºF (22 to 28ºC) for 24 hours.

Levain #2
3.3 ounces (100g) levain chef (discard leftovers)
0.4 cup (50g) bread flour
0.4 cup (50g) 100% stone ground whole wheat flour (bread or all.purpose)
0.4 cup (100g) water, at room temp.
Total weight: 10 ounces (300g).
Mix and cover with plastic wrap, poke the center and leave at room temperature 72/85ºF (22 to 28ºC) for 12 to 16 hours.

Levain #3
3.3 ounces (100g) levain #2
0.4 cup (50g) bread flour
0.4 cup (50g) 100% stone ground whole wheat flour (bread or all.purpose)
0.4 cup (100g) water, at room temp.
Total weight: 10 ounces (300g).
Mix and cover with plastic wrap, poke the center and leave at room temperature 72/85ºF (22 to 28ºC) for 12 hours.

Levain Tout Point (Ready to be used starter)
At this stage, the levain is going to get fermer; easier to handle than liquid levain.

10 ounces (300g) liquid levain #3
0.7 cup (180g) spring water at 77ºF (25ºC)
1.15 cups (150g) bread flour
1.15 cups (150g) 100% stone ground whole wheat flour.
Total weight: 1.7 lbs (780g)

Mix for about 6 min on low speed. Cover with plastic wrap, poke the center. Leave at room temp for 6 hours and chill overnight. Then, the starter is ready.
For your first sourdough bread, be sure that there will be 20 to 30% extra levain needed to be refreshed for the next batch. So, if you use this starter for this sourdough recipe, you should have ≈ 8 ounces (230g) left.

To Refresh Levain
Levain 100%
Water at room temp: 55% ≈ 77ºF (25ºC)
Bread flour: 50%
Stone flour: 50%.

Example
5 ounces /150g levain
5 ounces /150g flour
1/3 cup / 85g water
Total weight ≈ 0,9 lb /400g.

Mix 6 min on low speed. Cover with plastic wrap, poke the center and leave at room temperature for ≈ 2 hrs and chill. Refresh levain once a week at least.
Feeding a sourdough starter involves combining starter (levain), flour and water in a particular ratio to ensure the levain has the “food” it needs to stay healthy and active.

If the levain lack of acidy, refresh it and leave it at room temp for 12 hours and chill. Repeat this step if needed.

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