200 g Leaven
700 g lukewarm water (bit more if your flour is thirsty)
1000 g flour (50:50 whole wheat:white or all white)
15 – 20 g Olive Us Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
Wash hands. Weigh out leaven and water into a large bowl and stir together with spoon or clean hands until the leaven has incorporated. Weigh flour into water mixture and incorporate with spoon or clean hands. Add a bit more water if needed. Scrape out dough onto an unfloured or lightly floured surface and knead for 4 – 5 minutes. Avoid adding any additional flour, dough should be sticky (and can be hard to manage admittedly). A dough scraper can help the kneading process to prevent dough from sticking to the counter and to hands (trust me, my dough has NEVER looked as submissive as the tutorials I’ve watched before).
Punch down dough and sprinkle salt over the top along with a splash of water. Knead to incorporate salt evenly into the dough. Dough should be slightly elastic and there should be no remaining loose flour. Turn dough back into bowl and cover with a damp tea-towel for an hour.
Coming back to dough, use your dough scraper to fold one point over the top then turn the bowl in a quarter turn and do the same until all the edges have been folded inward. At this point you’re supposed to be able to magically pick the entire dough ball up and flip it over but this has always ended in disaster for me, so I leave that method to the professionals and just continue to wing it by leaving the dough in place. Repeat this folding every 45 minutes or hour for about 3 or 4 hours (shorter in hot temperatures).
In the mean-time, prepare two bowls or proofing baskets. Flour (I use corn starch or rice flour so no gluten forms) the baskets or flour 2 tea-towels and place inside the bowls, floured side up. This will prevent dough from sticking during the second rise.
Pour the dough out onto the counter and cut in half with your dough scraper or knife. *To prepare dough for the baskets, pull the top of the dough towards you with one hand and to the bottom of the ball. Then in a braiding motion, from top to bottom, pull sides of dough towards center repeating left and right until you reach the bottom. With your hands, roll the dough in on itself from bottom up to create surface tension. This whole process is best described by watching our Olive Us Oil & Vinegar Tasting Room Instagram (@oliveoilbc) tutorial which you can find in our IG highlights! Place dough seam side up in basket, cover with the flaps of the tea-towel, and place in fridge overnight.
In the morning, place your baking dishes (should be different from the ones the dough spent the night in) into the oven and preheat to 500 degrees F. If using an open baking dish/vessel place a tray of water in the oven as well to create steam (this isn’t necessary if using a Dutch oven or a lidded vessel). Once the oven has been preheated, take the dough out of the fridge. Cut pieces of parchment to turn the dough out onto, big enough to grab the sides of the parchment when lowering the dough into the vessel. Put parchment over the dough and flip upside down to release from bowl. Remove tea-towel. Take a sharp serrated knife (or razor if you’re fancy) and cut a design into the dough (like a slash, my way, or a wheat blade if you’re trendy). Remove the heated baking vessels and place dough into each, cover with lid and bake for 20 minutes. Remove lid, take out pan of water, and turn temperature down to 400 degrees F and bake for another 15 – 20 minutes. Remove from oven and put on rack to cool! Enjoy with a hearty drizzle of Olive Us Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO https://shop.oliveusoils.com/oils/olive-oil/varietals/) and balsamic vinegar https://shop.oliveusoils.com/vinegars/!!
* To make the roasted garlic and EVOO version of this bread, roast one head of garlic (per loaf, so two heads for this recipe) in its peel for 20 – 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Peel cloves. In a small bowl combine 2 – 3 tsp dried rosemary, 2 tbsp Olive Us Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (we like using a robust single varietal EVOO), the garlic, and a pinch of salt; stir to combine. When the dough has been turned out after its first proof gently press it in a few places and pour roasted garlic mix on top. Fold edges over top and keep folding to spread the mixture out throughout dough (do not knead dough). Do the tuck and roll and place into basket like the original recipe calls for.
Thanks to Barbara at Bear Valley Highlands for passing on the recipe!! ♡
In case you’re on the lookout for a fabulous vacation rental with incredible hosts, check out Bear Valley Highlands in the beautiful Okanagan https://bearvalleyhighlands.com/