Hey Marcey! I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions.
- 725g (3 cups) warm water
- 907g (6 1/2 to 7 1/2 cups of bread flour
- 20g (1 Tbsp) Kosher salt
- 17g (1 1/2 tbsp) SAF yeast
- 15g vital wheat gluten w/ ascorbic acid (optional, used as a yeast nutrient)
Mix all dry ingredients, then add water. Stir until dough begins to form. Mix with hand until a rough ball is formed in the bowl. Turn dough out onto counter and begin kneading.
This is a high hydration dough, about 80% (link to a great online hydration calculator), so it’s going to be very wet and sticky! Because of that, I find it best to use the traditional French method for developing the gluten.
Here’s a few technique videos. I don’t love either as “perfect” examples but you should be able to get the idea.
In this one, he’s way more aggressive and seems to focus more on slapping than stretching: https://youtu.be/PvdtUR-XTG0
This one is ok too. She definitely puts more emphasis on stretching to develop the gluten strands, which is the goal: https://youtu.be/WVPD-lz_K7g
Knead for about 15 minutes or until it develops a supple feel and a good skin forms on your fold. You’ll get the feel of it the more times you do it.
Place dough in a dough bucket (or a mixing bowl) and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Let rise on the counter for about 1 hour.
After 1 hour, place dough in refrigerator and let sit overnight or up to 7 days. A cold ferment helps bring out the flavor in the dough so don’t neglect this step.
When you’re ready to bake, take the dough out and begin heating your oven to 450F. I use a ceramic pizza stone in my oven. If you have one, heat that as well. I also have a cast iron pan in the bottom of my oven that I use to steam the bread. If you’re doing this, make sure you heat your pan with the oven.
Weigh out 775g of dough. If you plop this amount of dough on the counter, it’s close to the size of a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut. I weigh everything but there’s no right size — do what works for you.
Shape the dough into a boule (and put it into a brotform/banneton if you have one).
Let the dough rise for about 1 hour. Turn dough out onto parchment or your peel, generously dusted in cornmeal, flour, or (what I use) Cream of Wheat.
Slice dough 2-4 times with 1/2” slits to allow steam to escape while baking and make fancy patterns in the bread.
Slide dough into oven and add approximately one cup of water to pan at bottom to generate steam. Close oven quickly to seal in moisture.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until it’s a deep golden brown. Push the time as needed to let that color develop.
Remove from oven, listen to the delightful cracking of the crust and enjoy the smell. Do NOT cut open for at least an hour. Ideally you want to let it cool completely.
I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any questions. I absolutely love baking breads and I’m happy to help in any way I can.
Now go be as happy as Vincent Talleu in your kitchen!