2 1/3 cups pâte fermentée (*see below)
2 2/3 cups unbleached bread flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp diastatic barley malt powder or,
1 tbsp barley malt syrup
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp instant yeast
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 tbsp unsalted butter or shortening, room temperature
3/4 cup, plus 2 tbsps water, lukewarm
Semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting
Remove the pâte fermentée from the refrigerator 1 hour before making the dough. Cut it into about 10 small pieces with a pastry scraper or serrated knife. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour to take off the chill.
Stir together the flour, sugar, malt powder (if using), salt, and yeast in a 4-quart bowl (or the bowl of an electric mixer). Add the pâte fermentée pieces, egg, butter, malt syrup (if using), and ¾ cup of the water. Stir together with a large metal spoon (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) until the ingredients form a ball. If not all the flour is absorbed, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of water, or as much as is necessary to make the dough soft and supple, not firm and stiff.
Sprinkle flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Knead for about 10 minutes (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook for 6 minutes), adding flour if needed to make a firm but supple dough, slightly tacky but not sticky. The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 77° to 81°F. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Ferment at room temperature for 2 hour. If the dough doubles in size before then, remove it from the bowl and knead for a few seconds to degas it (the ‘punch down’) and then return it to the bowl to continue fermenting until 2 hours have elapsed or until the dough doubles in size again.
Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into 2 equal pieces for loaves, or into 9 to 12 smaller pieces (3 to 4 ounces each) for pistolets. Shape larger pieces into boules or smaller pieces into rolls. Mist the dough lightly with spray oil, cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap, and let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
Shape the larger pieces into batards or the smaller pieces into pistolets. Line a sheet pan with baking parchment, dust with semolina flour or cornmeal, and transfer the dough to the pan. Mist the dough lightly with spray oil and cover the pan loosely with plastic.
Proof at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the loaves or rolls have risen to approximately 1 ¾ times their original size.
Prepare the oven for hearth baking, making sure to have an empty steam pan in place. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Just prior to baking, mist the loaves or rolls with water and dust lightly with bread flour by tapping some through a sieve or by flinging the flour across the surface of the dough. Score the loaves or rolls down the center, or leave the rolls uncut.
Slide the loaves directly onto the baking stone, parchment and all, or place the sheet pan with the loaves or rolls in the oven. Pour 1 cup hot water into the steam pan and close the oven door. After 30 seconds, open the door, spray the oven walls with water, and close the door. Repeat twice more at 30-second intervals. After the final spray, lower the oven setting to 400°F and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the bread 180 degrees, if necessary, for even baking and continue baking until they are medium golden brown and register at least 200°F at the center. This should take anywhere from 5 additional minutes for rolls, to 20 minutes for loaves.
Remove the loaves or rolls from the oven and transfer them to a cooling rack. Cool at least 45 minutes before slicing or serving.
* Pâte Fermentée
Makes 16 to 17 ounces
- 1 1/8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/8 cups unbleached bread flour
- ¾ ts salt
- ½ tsp instant yeast
- ¾ cup to ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp water, at room temperature
Stir together the flours, salt, and yeast in a 4-quar bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). Add 3.4 cup of the water, stirring until everything comes together and makes a coarse ball (or mix on low speed for 1 minute with a paddle attachment). Adjust the flour or water, according to need, so that the dough is neither too sticky nor too stiff. (It is better to err on the sticky side, as you can adjust easier during kneading. It is harder to add water once the dough firms up.)
Sprinkle some flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Knead for 4 to 6 minutes (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook for 4 minutes), or until the dough is soft and pliable, tacky but not sticky. The internal temperature should be 77° to 81°F.
Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and ferment at room temperature for 1 hour, or until it swells to about 1 ½ times its original size.
Remove the dough from the bowl, knead it lightly to degas, and return it to the bowl, covering the bowl with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight. You can keep this in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze it in an airtight plastic bag for up t 3 months.
Source: The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, by Peter Reinhart