Back to baking

Another busy week in Geneva, a long, cold week, actually. Low clouds and light snow from Monday to Friday. I missed Italy so much. I arrived home yesterday, in the late afternoon; in a couple of hours I prepared everything for my baking weekend.

The sourdough rye starter, nicknamed Mr. Rye, was ready, bubbly and sour enough to be used. I prepared the poolish for the day after. Then I mixed the dough for a batch of croissants and pain au chocolat. My baking Saturday was fully booked.

Mr. Rye

Sourdough bread with rye starter


The poolish (9:00 pm, Friday)

  • 230 gr flour
  • 230 ml water (room temperature)
  • 30 gr rye starter

The dough (8:00 am, Saturday)

  • 680 gr flour
  • 360 ml warm water
  • 15 gr salt

The poolish is a batter made by a small amount of sourdough starter, in this case a rye flour starter, water and flour; it is prepared the day before because it needs 10-12 hours to ferment. Put in a bowl the rye sourdough, the water and the flour. Mix with a spoon and cover with cling film. Store it overnight in a warm place. I keep it in the oven.

The morning after you need to add the remaining flour, the water (warm water, the temperature is related to the kitchen temperature, if it is winter and the temperature is 18-19 °C, you might need to heat water at 40-45°C). Mix in the stand mixer with the dough hook, for 1-2 minutes at speed 1. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes and then mix for another 4 minutes. Cover the bowl with the cling film and let the dough rest for 30 minutes (autolyse).

At this point you can add the salt and mix the dough by hand. Slap and fold the dough on your working surface for 5-10 minutes, until the gluten network is fully developed. If the dough is very elastic and extensible, you should have a good gluten network.

Lightly flour the working surface and stretch and fold your dough (stretch the dough and then fold it left over right, right over left, bottom over top, top over bottom). After the stretch and fold let the dough rest for 10 minutes and then stretch and fold it again for a total of 3 times. Put the dough in a bowl, cover it with the cling film and put it in the oven (with the oven light on, to keep the oven lightly warm) for 4 hours. This is the fermentation phase. The dough will rise (1.5 times the original volume).

Stretch and fold

After the fermentation, put the dough on a floured working surface and divide the dough in 2 loaves. Stretch and fold the dough and put it in a floured (50% rice flour, 50% bread flour) proofing basket. Cover with cling film. Keep it in a warm place for 2 hours.

Put a cast iron pot in the oven and eheat the oven for 30-45 minutes at 250°C. Put the dough in the pot, cut the top of the loaf with a bread scoring tool, put the lid on and cook for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and continue cooking at a lower temperature, 220-230°C, for 25-30 minutes.

When the bread is ready, let it cool completely on a wire cooling rack (1.5 hrs).


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