To me, there is nothing better than fresh bread. In Germany, where I grew up, you find bakeries and the smell of homemade bread at every corner. Since moving to Canada, I’ve tried to make a good loaf with a nice crust on the outside. A few years ago, my mom gave me Portland-based artisan baker Ken Forkish’s book Flour Water Salt Yeast. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, this book shows you how good bread can be, simply made from four principle ingredients: flour, water, salt, and yeast. Since then, I have never used another recipe.
I even talked about this book at one of my Portland shows; funny enough, Ken Forkish was in the audience.
30 mins + 6 hrs (fermentation)
7 hrs 15 mins
Two large bowls
Dutch oven (stainless steel or clay)
White flour 1,000g
Water 720g (35 °C)
Fine sea salt 21g
Instant dried yeast 4g
- Mix liquid into the flour
- Cover and let rest for 20 minutes
- Form a dent in the middle of the dough, add salt and yeast evenly on top and knead by hand until incorporated
- Reach underneath the dough, fold the bottom over the top a few times until salt and yeast are fully enclosed and dough has tightened into a ball
- Let dough rest for 5 hours, repeating step #3 once an hour (take your time with this, it’s how you bring air into the dough to make it fluffier)
- When dough has tripled in volume, carefully divide into two loaves and let rest for an hour
- Preheat oven to 245 °C
- Put Dutch oven inside and let heat up for 45 minutes
- Flower bottom of Dutch oven and carefully place first loaf in it
- Put back inside oven and bake for 30 minutes with lid on
- Remove lid and bake another 15 minutes
- Take loaf out and let cool on a rack for 20 minutes
- Repeat steps #7 to #9 with second loaf
Start at 9:30 a.m., finish mixing at 10 a.m., shape into loaves at 3 p.m., and bake at 4:15 p.m. The bread will come out of the oven just after 5 p.m.