Simple wheat bread refined with buttermilk, which keeps the bread longer fresh and benefits the flavor. Its delicate-sour note makes the small but subtle difference.
- 585 g plain wheat flour
- 250 g water, cold
- 200 g buttermilk
- 12 g salt (that’s about 1 tbsp of salt)
- 0.5 g fresh yeast (a hazelnut-sized ball of fresh yeast)
- cast iron pot or pottery dish with lid
Prepare the dough: Put flour in a large mixing bowl. From the water set aside about 4 tablespoons and dissolve the yeast in it. Add salt to the remaining water, stir to dissolve the salt, and add to the flour. Add the dissolved yeast and buttermilk to the mixture. Using your hand knead the dough until it is smooth and slightly sticky. Cover the dough airtight with a lid or aluminum foil. The surface of the dough shouldn’t get dry. Set the dough aside to rest and mature for 24 hours at room temperature (at least 22°C / 72°F).
Stretch and fold the dough: During those 24 hours stretch and fold your dough every 8 hours (first time after 8 hours of resting and again after 16 hours of resting). To stretch and fold the dough first dip your hand in water. It will prevent the dough from sticking to your hand. Then push your hand deep under the dough, pull the dough to you and fold it over the rest of the dough. Repeat the process from all sides until the whole dough is folded and lies round and tight in the bowl.
Form a loaf: Transfer the dough onto a flour-dusted workspace and – depending on what kind of a pot you are using – form a round or oblong loaf. Generously sprinkle the loaf with flour and gently rub the surface with your hands. Place the dough, seam – side down, in a proofing basket dusted with flour. Cover the basket with a clean cloth and set aside for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven, with the pot in it, to 250°C / 485°F.
Take the hot pot out of the oven, let the dough fall out of the basket directly into the pot, cover the pot with the lid and put it back in the oven. Reduce the heat to 240°C / 465°F and bake for 45 minutes. If you like your bread’s crust darker take off the lid for the last 15 minutes of baking. Let the bread cool down on a wire rack before slicing.