Let’s see. Almost 6 days to get to this point. But, the starter is made and can now be saved and used again. So, unless I mess up the starter I have, I should not have to make any more for, say, 100 years!! Now we start the bread making process. This will take 2 1/2 days, or there abouts.
For the starter: (04/13/10) See Note #4 below
• 1 piece of starter the size of a tangerine (kept out at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours or in the refrigerator for a few days)
• 2 cups warm water
• 2 cups organic, unbleached white or all-purpose flour
1. (04/13/10) Break up the starter, dilute it in the water, and mix in the flour. Cover this mixture loosely and set it aside in a warm spot for 18–24 hours or until it is quite bubbly.
After mixing the 2 cups of water and the 2 cups of flour. Let this sit and rise. Remember: There is only wild yeast in this bread. No cultured yeast. So be patient!!
For the dough: (Not quite yet, but soon!)
• 2 1/2 cups organic, unbleached white or all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 3/4 cup starter from the previous step
• 3/4 cup cool water
• Cooking oil (to grease the bowl)
2. Mix the flour and salt together in a food processor fitted with the plastic dough blade. Pour the starter in and pulse the machine several times to mix the ingredients. Then, with the machine running, slowly add the water and continue mixing for a few minutes (If you don’t have a food processor, simply mix the dough in a bowl for about 5 minutes, until it forms a ball.)
3. Remove the mixture from the bowl and place it on a well-floured work table and round it into a ball.
4. Let the dough rise in a well-oiled bowl, covered, in the refrigerator for 12–15 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and allow it to warm up at room temperature for 2 hours.
5. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, and stretch them into tight baguette shapes. Place each one on a baguette tray or a parchment-lined baking tray.
6. Cover the baguettes and let them rise for 6–7 hours, until they have doubled in size.
7. Preheat the oven to 450° F.
8. Using a sharp razor blade, slash the tops of the loaves diagonally 3 or 4 times (this will allow them to expand more easily while baking) and spray them with a fine mist of water from a spray bottle.
9. Place the loaves in the oven and immediately spray them, along with the walls and floor of the oven, with water. Repeat this step after about 5 minutes of baking.
10. Bake the loaves 25–30 minutes, until they are entirely golden and the crust is crisp and blistered. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before slicing.
1. The (Dates) represent the days that I performed the stated tasks.
2. Step #4 (04/09/10). I added 1 c King Arthur flour and 10 T of water. I placed the starter in a bowl and covered it with a warm, damp towel.
3. This starter is the same starter that Boudain Bakery in San Francisco uses. They have had theirs since 1849.
4. (04/13/10) It looks like this amount of starter is enough for about 8 loaves.
I know it looks like a bread making. But, I won’t normally change any new recipe until I have tried it. Then I can see how the recipe works and can change it at that point. Cheers!