You like a good ciabatta and baguette? Then you will also like this French country bread made with sourdough starter!
It’s a perfect addition for a barbecue or a mild summer night that you spend outside. Add a good cheese and a glass of wine to it and you have the perfect meal.
Things to know before you start
|Bulk Fermentation, Stretch & Fold
This French country bread will be ready to be eaten in 18 to 24 hours.
A moderate recipe for a great French country bread. We are going to handle 2 loaves at once and proof our loaves in a bakers couche, instead of a proofing basket.
Consider having a look at our recipe sourdough bread for beginners if you have never baked a sourdough bread before to get some insight.
|Sourdough starter – Preferably from whole wheat flour
|Water – 40°C (104°F)
- Mix your starter with the ingredients above
- Store sealed for 3 to 4 hours at 28°C (82,4°F)
- Afterwards store for another 6 to 12 hours at 5°C (41°F) in the fridge
|Whole wheat flour
|Water – Cold
|Yeast – Fresh
- Same as in the first levain step, mix the ingredients above in a second bowl
- Store sealed for 12 hours at 20-22°C (68-71,6°F)
- In the bottom picture you can see our poolish (after 4 hours) on the left and our levain (after 18 hours) on the right
|Water – 70°C (158°F)
- Mix the ingredients above together with a sturdy spoon in a big bowl that you plan to use for the main mix step
- Make sure that your dough doesn’t contain any flour lumps
- Cover with a clean kitchen towel and store for 30 minutes at 20-22°C (68-71,6°F)
|Yeast – Fresh
- Mix all of the mentioned ingredients together with a stand mixer for 5 minutes on speed level one
- The dough shouldn’t stick too much to the bowl at the end of the mixing
5. Bulk Fermentation, Stretch & Fold
- Cover the dough and let it rest for a total of 2,5 hours at 20-22°C (68-71,6°F)
- During that time stretch & fold the dough every 30 minutes (3 times in total) and after the 3rd time let it ferment further for another hour until 2,5 hours in total are reached
- Afterwards put it back to the bowl and cover it for one more hour so it doesn’t dry out
- Take the dough out on a floured surface and divide it into 2 even pieces
- Get each dough in shape by long moulding it
- Tip: If your oven / baking stone is too small to fit both loaves at once, put the second dough piece in the bowl back, store it sealed in the fridge and do the next steps about 40 minutes later for the second dough
- Spread your bakers couche out on the counter
- Dust it with a decent amount of first clear flour
- Put both of your previously shaped doughs seam-side-up on the bakers couche
- Add some flour on top of the doughs
- Cover them with the other half of the bakers couche
- Let them proof for 30 minutes at 20-22°C (68-71,6°F)
- Cover a pizza peel with parchment paper
- Gently put / role the loaves seam-side-down on the pizza peel
- With a bread lame make one long flat cut lengthwise (about 2 to 3 cm deep) on top of each loaf
- Preheat oven to 250°C (482°F) for ~45 minutes with the upper and lower heat function
- Put the loaves in the oven, create steam and bake for 40 minutes
- After 10 minutes lower the temperature to 230°C (446°F), let the steam out by opening the oven door for ~45 seconds and close it again
- Let your French country breads cool for about 1 to 2 hours on some kind of grid
This french country bread has a nice crunchy crust with a powerful taste and a light layer of flour.
Unlike the crunchy powerful taste, the crumb is mild and fluffy. It has fine and even pores and a pleasant humidity.
From the look and the taste, this bread reminds of a mix of ciabatta or baguette. Aromatic but still mild.
Goes good with
Wine and cheese, cold cuts, marmalade or honey.
This recipe was inspired by Französisches Landbrot.