There hasn’t been as much fan-fare around Yohan Ferrant’s do-nothing method, and I couldn’t find an original posting from him, just a lot of chatter about it on baking blogs. So, I checked out his Instagram feed, and finally came across a reel of him demonstrating how to make it. I’m listing the ingredients, but not a lot of detailed instructions, because, well, there aren’t any! Just mix, rest and bake!
Place a bowl on your scale and add ingredients in the order listed below.
90g sourdough starter (levain)
350g flour (I used 325g bread flour + 25g whole wheat flour)
Mix with the handle of a wooden spoon, scrape sides down, flatten with wet fingertips, then cover and let rest for 12 ~ 24 hours, or until doubled in size and bubbly on top. The temperature of the room makes a difference, if it is 70 degrees, or thereabouts, it should take about 14 hours.
I like to put the dough into a straight-sided container, because then it is easier to tell when it has doubled in size.
Shape dough by lifting a side, stretching it out a bit and folding it over. Flip it, then round it into a ball. I let mine rest overnight in the fridge, because I was ready for bed.
.He puts his directly in the baking receptacle , then straight into a pre-heated oven. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes, then 20 more uncovered.
Making focaccia with sourdough and everything bagel seasoning gives it just a little more umph, both in texture and flavor. If you don’t have a starter on hand, check out Week 9: Focaccia and/or Week 33: Winemaker’s Foaccia made with grapes.
You’ll need to refresh your starter the night before, (or really early in the morning) and be forewarned that once you mix the dough, it will need to proof overnight in the fridge.
Here are the ingredients so you can have them at the ready and follow along to the video linked below. I am so pleased to have stumbled Mile Zero Kitchen’s video tutorials. They are as informative as they are relaxing, and I highly recommend them.
100g active Liquid Starter
400g Bread Flour
15g Olive Oil
Substitute the 8g salt with 6g salt + 2g everything bagel seasoning. And put cream cheese in some of the dents.
Sprinkle the fresh herbs (I use basil) on just after the focaccia comes out of the oven, to keep it from burning.
I line my baking pan with parchment so I can easily lift out the bread.
This is a hybrid sourdough, calling for both a wild yeast starter levain/sourdough) and commercial yeast. There’s a lot of shouting on bread forums whether or not using yeast in a sourdough loaf is sacrilege, or cheating, but I’ve come across recipes from Dan Lepard, Peter Reinhart and Ken Forkish (the three kings of bread), and if they can do it, then so can we. If you want to make a beautiful loaf, but don’t want to wait three days, then this is your answer.
The following is adapted from from Dan Lepard’s Mill Loaf. I wanted to share the minimalist kneading technique that he accidentally discovered when working in a very busy restaurant. He was constantly having to run between kneading doughs and prepping other dishes, and the time period in which the doughs were left to rest were often getting overextended. Much to his surprise, he found that this was a good thing. His book, The Handmade Loaf, is one of my favorites because it has easy to follow recipes that are beautifully photographed and unique.
You’ll need a Dutch oven, or any other pot with lid to bake the bread.
Step 1: Feed starter
You’ll need 250g of starter
My starter is a 1:1:1 ratio. i.e. 100g each of starter/water/flour.
The flour I use is a mix of 70g wheat + 30g rye
Step 2: Make dough (next day)
250g active white starter
275g water from the tap (about 68 degrees)
300g bread flour
150g whole wheat
3/4 tsp salt
Measure water into a large bowl.
Add the starter and whisk to combine.
Measure out all the dry ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
Add dry flour mixture to the water/yeast liquid.
Mix with the handle of a wooden spoon, til no dry bits remain. If you prefer, or if it’s not coming together, go ahead and use one hand to squeeze the dough together and get it thoroughly mixed.
Cover and let rest 15 minutes in a warm place.
Step 3: Knead and proof
Now it’s time to do the stretch and fold method of kneading:
With wet fingertips, pull up a section of the dough, then fold it over itself. Do this 8 to 12 times, rotating the bowl as you go along. Don’t pull too much, and if it starts to tighten stop. Turn over, cover and rest 15 minutes.
Repeat this stretch and fold kneading/resting for 15 minutes two more times.
You’ll have done 3 stretch and fold cycles and 1 hour total resting period since mixing the dough together.
Place dough on an oiled countertop and gently press to flatten.
Pick up the sides, one at a time, pull out and gently flap up and down to stretch it out into a rectangular shape.
Now you will do the envelope fold of kneading:
Pick up the right hand side, stretch it out a bit, then fold the right side over, then fold the left side over on top of that. Then, fold the top portion down and the bottom portion over on top of that. Flip this over and return it to the bowl. Cover and rest 1 hour.
Repeat this envelope fold knead one more time, cover and rest for another hour.
You’ll have done 2 envelope kneading cycles and 2 more hours resting for a total of 3 hours.
Step 4: Shape
Remove dough from bowl onto a lightly floured surface.
This recipe comes our way via Gina Tan, who runs a bakery out of her home in Singapore, “Baking With Gina“. Lucky for us she also has many bread recipes on her blog here. This one is unique and delicious, as I’m sure they all are. The instructions are a little vague, so I’ve written them down with more detail in case you’re new to baking. Here’s the original recipe, if not.
This bake is a 3-day affair, if you count feeding your sourdough the night before. Resting periods while dough goes through it’s various proofing stages is 6 hours, and then there’s an overnight rest in the fridge.
Step 1: Feed starter the night before. You’ll need 50g of active starter for the bread.
Step 2: Prepare oats
10g unsalted butter
Melt butter, add oats, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. The oats will get nice and brown – but you don’t want them to burn.
Turn off heat, and let cool for just a little bit. If you add the liquid when the pan is super hot, it’ll all evaporate before having a chance to cook the oats.
Add the milk, water and honey. Stir to combine and cook on low heat until thickened and oats are cooked.
Turn off heat and transfer to a bowl. Cover until ready to use so it doesn’t dry out.
Step 3: Make dough
200g bread flour
25g all-purpose flour
25g semolina flour
Measure flours into a med-large bowl and whisk to combine.
Add water then mix with the handle of a wooden spoon until there are no dry bits left.
Scrape sides down.
Cover and let rest 90 minutes
Add starter to the dough and with a wet hand, squeeze dough with your fingers and thumb to mix. You don’t want to squeeze the dough through your fingers, or use your entire hand, just your fingers. When dough starts to stick to your fingers, wet them again.
Scrape dough off sides, cover and let rest 30 minutes.
Add salt and oats, and mix to combine. If you have a rectangular container, transfer dough to that for the rest of the resting/kneading steps.
Cover, and let rest 30 minutes. Total resting time so far is 1 hour.
Step 4: Knead and Proof
Stretch and fold*, cover and rest 30 minutes
Lamination**, cover and rest for 30 minutes
Coil folds***, cover and rest for 30 minutes.
2nd coil fold and 30 minute rest
3rd coil fold and 30 minute rest
4th coil fold
Cover and let rest for 1 hour. Total resting time is 6 hours.
Step 5: Shape and proof overnight
Shape the dough, then place in a lined & floured container for 20 minutes.
Cover then place in fridge for an overnight rest.
(Next day) Step 6: Bake
Preheat oven to 500 degrees, and place a Dutch oven with lid instead to heat up along with the oven.
I went straight to the source to learn how to make a San Francisco sourdough, Tartine’s iconic Country Loaf. This bread has only three ingredients: flour, water and salt, and although I’ve baked a loaf a week, for the last 86 weeks, it still amazes me how something so simple can taste so good. The recipe is published on their website here, and it’s a good place to start if you don’t already have a sourdough starter (levain) going.
I actually found the first couple of steps a little confusing, and only wanted to make one loaf. So, I simplified the method for starting off, cut the recipe in half, and am sharing some steps that helped me but weren’t in the original instructions. And maybe it’s sacrilege, but I used a stand mixer. Think about it: the bakers in Tartine are using large professional mixers, so why can’t we?
San Francisco sourdough has a unique taste that we might not be able to replicate 100% outside of the region (turns out it’s because of local bug poop, not the local bacteria), but this is a close second.
Note: Many bakers, me inclued, prefer to use a square or rectangular container for dough resting. Most people use plastic, but I find that the light plastic lifts when you lift the dough, so I’ve switched to glass. For this amount of dough, an 8 x 8 square of 9 x 13 rectangle works.
Step 1: Feed your starter so it is ripe and ready to go. I always feed mine the night before and leave it out on the counter. If it’s really warm (over 72 degrees), it could over-ripen, so it might be better to feed it first thing in the morning so that you can monitor it.
Step 2: Make dough
350g warm water (about 90 degrees)
100grams active sourdough
Measure water into the bowl of a stand mixer. It’s important to use warm water, which helps to achieve a nice sour taste.
Add starter. If it floats in the water, it’s good! (If you mix your starter, so that it deflates, then it won’t float in the water. So, just spoon it out, and drop it in the water until you have 100g worth.)
Mix with a whisk to combine well.
450g bread flour
50g whole wheat flour
Add the flours to the water and mix on low speed (#1) for 2 minutes, scraping down sides with a rubber spatula to get the flour thoroughly incorporated.
Lift hook out, scrape dough bits off and add them to the bowl.
Cover with tea towel and let rest in a warm place for 45 minutes.
Rinse the dough hook off so it’s ready for the next step.
25g warm water
Add the water and salt then mix on low (#1) speed for 2 minutes.
Stop to scrape the dough off the hook and the sides of the bowl to incorporate it all.
Up the speed to med-low (#4) and mix for 2 more minutes.
Step 3: Proofing/Kneading
Add a little oil to your container, enough to cover the bottom so the dough doesn’t stick.
Empty the dough into the container, scraping sides of the bowl to get it all.
I’ve been working on making 100% rye bread, but have yet to make one that I thought was any good. And then it occurred to me that maybe I just don’t like bread made with only rye flour. I decided to nix that goal, and make a rye/wheat version. This loaf is only 35% rye, but the addition of the caraway seeds and barley malt syrup gives it a great flavor and I’m really happy with it.
I found this on the Foodgeek’s YouTube channel. He is one of my favorite bakers, and I highly recommend checking out his channel if you’re serious about learning how to bake good bread. He’s also got two great tutorials on scoring, so I’ve linked those as well.
I’ve listed the amounts of all the ingredients so you can have them at the ready and follow along with him in while watching the video that’s linked below. He makes two loaves; I’ve listed what you need for one and two. Because you need to activate your sourdough the night before, and the loaves have a final rest overnight in the fridge, this takes 3 days total.
White Rye Flour
Dark Rye Flour
I only had white rye, so used whole wheat in place of the dark rye.
I did not have bread flour, so measured out all purpose flour, took away 2 tablespoons and then added 2 tablespoons of vital wheat gluten.
I used my stand mixer with the paddle attachment to mix the dough.
I lightly oiled my countertop before shaping the dough. He doesn’t use flour to keep his dough from sticking, but I think his countertop is made from a material that is more of a non-stick surface. Mine is wood, so it needs flour, oil, or water. I didn’t want to be adding flour to the dough, so I used oil.
I did 4 stretch and folds (with 30 minute rests after each one) just like he does. But then I did 2 coil folds after that, so my total rest period was an hour longer. See Video page for links to both methods.
20 grams of malt syrup is about 1 tablespoon, as is 10g caraway seeds.
I mixed seame seeds in with the caraways seeds, mostly for looks.
I forgot to add the seeds before placing the shaped dough in the proffing basket. If you need to add them after the dough’s been proofed, lightly spray the loaf with water, then add seeds, then score.
My oh my, I don’t think a bread can get much better than this! I adapted it from Ken Forkish’s Pain au Baconrecipe in Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast, one of my all time favorite bread making cookbooks (see all my favorites here). After ditching a successful 20-year tech career, he opened up Ken’s Artisan Pizza and Ken’s Artisan Bakery in Portland, OR. and hasn’t looked back. He’s got quite a lot of video instructions for pizza and bread making on his website that every aspiring baker should view.
Step 1: Make the levain
25g active starter
100g white flour
25g whole wheat
100g warm water (85-90 degrees)
Mix the starter, flours and water until incorporated.
Cover, and let rest 9~10 hours.
Step 2: Prep bacon
1/2 lb bacon
Chop bacon into small pieces, and fry until nice and crisp
Drain on paper towels
Reserve 1 Tbsp bacon grease
Step 3: Make the autolyse
432g white flour
8g whole wheat
342g warm water (85-90 degrees)
Mix the flours and water together in a large bowl until incorporated
Cover, and let rest for 30 minutes
Sprinkle the salt onto the top of the dough and fold it in.
Step 4: Make dough
Add the levain to the autolyse and use the pincer method to mix it in. See Ken demonstrating this method in the “Mixing By Hand” video here.
Let rest, then spread the bacon fat over the top, and sprinkle the bacon over that.
Mix again with the pincer method.
Step 5: Proof and knead
The dough needs to rest for about 2 hours. Knead the dough using the stretch & fold method every 30 minutes. See the “Kneading during Proofing” videos on the Video page.
Step 6: Shape dough
Gently remove dough onto a floured countertop, using a dough scraper.
Dust flour around the perimeter, then lift sides just a bit and scoot the flour under.
Lift sides up, then over to form a circular shape and tighten it up a bit.
Flip over and push sides down and under with cupped hands to make the surface taught. See “Shaping” video on the Video page.
Dust a proofing basket, or a tea towel placed in a bowl with a generous amount of flour.
Gently lift than lower the dough into the basket, seam side down.
Cover and proof about 3-1/2 to 4 hours.
Cut a sling out of parchment paper to use for lowering the dough into your baking receptacle.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 475 degrees, and place a Dutch oven with lid (or any heavy pot that has a lid) inside to heat up as well.
Step 7: Bake
When dough is proofed, place the paper sling on top of the basket/bowl, then a cutting board on top of that.
Carefully invert so the dough is on the cutting board, and out of the container.
Remove the Dutch oven/pot from the oven, remove lid, and carefully place dough inside.
Replace the lid, then return the Dutch oven/pot back in the oven and bake for 30 minutes
Uncover, reduce heat to 450, and bake for 30 minutes more, until it’s a medium dark brown.
FRANCE: Pain de Campagne is a multi-grain French sourdough, made with white, whole wheat and rye flours. Back in the day, French villagers would bake very large loaves in communal ovens, which could feed the family for weeks. Some say scoring was a way to identify your loaf.
This recipe follows Maura Brickman’s method for Pain de Campagne introduced on King Arthur’s website (see video link below) whereby you can use your starter straight from the fridge. You don’t have to feed it the night before, and you don’t have to create a levain with an active starter. This removes two steps from a very long process.
Baking a sourdough loaf is a two-day affair, because there are so many stages in the prepping and proofing. I set out to find if it was possible to a.) make a loaf in one day, and b.) be 100% satisfied with the result. And, I’m here to tell you that there is! This is a method for baking a sourdough loaf with no overnight rise, and if you get started early enough, (8:00 AM) you’ll have a warm loaf to bring to the dinner table.
So far, my sourdough loaves have not been very sour. My starter is young, and I think that might have something to do with it. To make this have that familiar sourdough tang, I used a more mature starter, less starter than usual so that I can extend the resting times, skipped the autolyze step, mixed in a little whole grain (wheat or rye works) because they contain complex carbohydrates, which results in a higher production of acetic acid, and used a warm proofing temperature throughout.
*King Arthur has a Extra Tangy Sourdough Bread recipe that suggests adding 1/4 ~ 1/2 tsp citric acid if you really want that sour boost.
STEP 1:Activate starter (4~6 hours)
Feed your starter so you can use it when it is active/mature. Mine usually takes between 4~6 hours, depending on the temperature. Keep it close by, so you can monitor the rise, and use it when it’s mature, and not starting to fall. My starter is a 1:1:1 ratio, i.e. 100g flour + 100g starter + 100g water.
STEP 2: Mix dough
20g levain (active starter)
350g lukewarm water (room temperature)
450g bread flour (all purpose is okay, too)
50g rye or whole wheat flour
Gently whisk the levain (your active starter) with the water to thoroughly combine.
Add the flour and salt and mix with your hands by picking up portions and squeezing through your fingers, until flour is thoroughly incorporated. Use the dough to pick up areas that have dried flour to incorporate.
Rub your hands together to remove bits of dough and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Cover and let rest for 4 hours in a warm place.
STEP 2: Fold Dough
Pick up one end, stretch it up, and fold it over almost to the other side. Pick up that side, stretch it up and fold it to cover. Now fold the other sides in the same way. Don’t worry about scraps of dough in the pan, they’ll get covered as the dough spreads overnight.
Cover and let rest 30 minutes.
Repeat step one, cover and let rest 30 minutes.
If it looks to be holding it’s shape a little better, then stop. If not, do another fold. Cover and let rest 30 minutes.
By now it should be ready for it’s big rest. Keeping it in the same warm place, let it rest overnight about 12-13 hours. If your house is cool in the evening, find a warm place like the oven with the light on and the door cracked. I read a recommendation to place it on top of the water heater. You just want it to be somewhere in a consistent 72-75 temperature.
STEP 1: Shape dough
Gently turn your dough out onto a lightly oiled surface if it’s a wooden counter. If it’s granite or Formica, you don’t need the oil.
Follow the video instructions on the tips page on how to shape your dough into an oval (batard) or round (boule) shape
Prepare a proofing basket or a banetton, and place the dough in, seam side up.
Cover with plastic wrap then proof in fridge for 6-8 hours.