Artisan Style Bread

Edited February 5th, 2014

This is the recipe I use for baguettes and batards.
 1000 g
650g  to 820g water -  65% to 82% hydration
4 to 5 g yeast
26g salt


NOTE:  I usually double my recipe and refrigerate half the dough for a few days. 
The longer fermentation further develops the flavour and texture.

 Leave out the yeast or reduce yeast to 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon  if making sourdough bread

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I use a Magic Mill mixer to do all my mixing and kneading.

Mix flour and water (Biga  or Levain if using) together and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes. 
This allows the flour to absorb the water and will cut down on the kneading time.

Add yeast and salt mix and again set aside for 20 minutes.

Let the machine Knead the dough until it comes together and forms a smooth ball.

Oil a large rectangular container with a lid.

Because of the amount of water this will be a very soft dough. 
Tip out on to a well floured board.
Knead by hand just long enough to shape into a ball and then place dough into oiled container and cover with lid.

After 10 minutes fold dough a few times.
(Using the Ken Forkish method of folding).
 Keep the dough in a ball shape.   As the dough rises it will spread out to fill the container.  
Repeat the fold once more in the next hour.   Then leave dough to triple.

Carefully tip dough out on to floured board and cut in half.  Recipe makes two large loaves or a number of baguettes. 
Also makes a wonderful pizza crust.

Shaping Loaves

Baguettes  (4 to 6 Baguettes depending on size)  Shape , dust with flour and cover with tea towel.

Rounds - Shape into two large rounds and place.  seam side down, in floured tea towel lined basket/bowl.
Dust with flour and cover with tea towel.

I bake baguettes on a stone preheated to 500°F. 
When the baguettes have proofed, almost doubled, slash and place on preheated stone. 
They take about 20 to 25 minutes.

Rounds can be baked on the stone at 500°F or in preheated Dutch Ovens (475°F). 
If baking on a stone, tip the round out on to floured board,(seam side will now be up) slash and slide onto stone using a pizza paddle.

If baking in a dutch oven, tip loaf out on to floured board.
Carefully pick up and place into preheated Dutch Oven.(seam side will be up. No need to slash) 
Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
 Remove lid and continue to bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Option:.  Cut dough in half and shape each half into four balls. 
Place balls, seam side down,  into proofing baskets/bowls.
 As the dough rises, the balls form one large loaf. 
When ready to bake, carefully tip loaf on to floured board. 
Very carefully pick up loaf and place into hot pot. 
When the loaf is baked and cooled split into four smaller loaves.

Optional Preferments

Regular Biga

1 1/2 cups flour (230 g)
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 cup water (230 g)

Stir well, cover and leave to rise overnight.

 Sourdough Biga 

2 oz sourdough starter (60 g)
1 1/2 cup flour (230 g)
1 cup water (230 g)
Stir well, cover and leave to rise overnight.

Sourdough Levain

2 ounces sourdough starter (60)
1 cup flour (150 g)
1/4 cup (more as needed) (65 g)

The Levain is stiffer than the Biga.  Mix the ingredients together and knead for a few minutes.
 Place in oiled container and allow to rise overnight

Edited July 1st, 2014

 Hamburger and Hot Dog buns.

1 Tablespoon honey
1/3 cup of butter
enough milk ( buttermilk or cream) and water to equal 650 g.
1 egg

If you don't have a scale and would like to try this recipe, 
you can make it using the following :

7 1/3 cup of flour
3 2/3 cup of water
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons  of salt 
1 1/2 to  teaspoons of yeast

Close enough.