Attention all Bread Bible owners. If you have tried the Basic Sourdough Bread recipe, please give a shoot of this adaptation I’ve just wrote:
Simplified version adapted from The Bread Bible for the Italian home
by Hector Wong
200 gr flour (any Italian 00 flour without leavening)
More flour for your hands.
154 gr water (tap water, or use any Italian bottled water for added taste).
75 gr of 1 week old refrigerated stiff starter.
6 gr of salt (about 1tsp, to taste).
optional: up to 75 gr of frozen and thawed stiff starter (accumulated from the discarded starter during weekly feedings).
[Note: The bread we made was double this recipe].
Mix the flour, water, and salt. Knead in the starter(s). It will be very sticky.
Place the ball in a bowl three times the size of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap. Sit at room temperature for 8 hours. Place it in your bedroom if you don’t heat the house at night. Dough should have risen a little or up to twice in volume. If dough has risen more than twice in volume, use less than 8 hours or use cooler room.
Flour your hands and scrape the dough out of the bowl. It will be very sticky. Tuck the dough edges under itself, forming a ball. It will deflate. Do this many times until the ball is not sticky. Keep flouring your hands as needed.
Place the ball on a sheet of wax paper, cover with a large upside down bowl. The bowl should be lightly greased. The bowl needs to be large enough so it won’t touch the ball when it rises twice or three times in size. Instead of a bowl, you can use a large plastic box or bucket or pot with a cover. Let the ball rise twice or three times in size, about 8 hours.
Place an oven rack on the bottom shelf setting in the oven. Line rack with two layers of tiles. Preheat oven to 475oF, full convection. Place the ball on the tiles, still with the wax paper. Toss ½ cup of ice cubes on the bottom of the oven floor. Turn convection off. Bake for 5 minutes.
Turn the temperature down to 450oF. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn convection on and bake for 10 minutes or until the crust is brown. Remove the wax paper and place on a cooling rack. Tap the bread with your fingers, it will sound hollow. Let cool for 20 minutes before slicing. You will hear cracking noises as the bread cools. The hollow sound and the cracking noise mean bread is cooked.
How to feed and maintain your refrigerated stiff starter: every 7 days, mix 50 grams of flour with 25 grams of water. Knead in 50 grams of 1 week old refrigerated stiff starter. Keep in the refrigerator in a glass jar with a lid not fully tighten and wrap loosely with plastic wrap. Freeze the extra 1 week old refrigerated stiff starter for future use. Repeat every 7 days, be consistent. Once or twice a year if you go on vacation, you can skip up to 1 month, but feed your starter for 2 or 3 weeks before using it.