We had a fantastic weekend. Our friend, Othello, was in town from Los Angeles, and he was nice enough to snap a few photos of Kramer and I. We never had engagements photos done or anything like that, so it was a lot of fun to see how wonderfully these turned out, even if we felt kind of awkward posing at first. I am honestly just in love with how all of these turned out, and he was really able to tell a story through the photos. We started off at the end of the new section of the Highline, where the light was just beautiful and we got over the fact that people kept staring at us as they walked by. These definitely more than make up for the lack of couple photos that we have from the time we were engaged, and honestly, I think that they are better than most of our wedding photos. Obviously, Othello also has some crazy lenses, so he was able to grab some larger than life looking shots, which I also adore. So thank you again, Othello! You’re the man (as always).
You know who is also the man? Kramer, for making this sourdough boule. When Kramer gets into a bread baking mood, it’s only good news for me, because he stands in the kitchen, slaving over a big ball of dough, while I get to lounge on the couch, watching television and drinking beers. Isn’t that the life that all women want for their daughters? I know my mom couldn’t be happier, right mom? Either way, Kramer is a master bread maker, and this boule only proves that point. It’s perfectly crusty on the outside, with a crust that actually crackles as you cut into it, and the inside is chewy and full of delicate holes – there’s nothing better when it comes to sourdough. The bread itself has just the right amount of sourdough-y bite to it, and I don’t think there’a anything better than slathering a big slice of this in some nice butter or using it to make the most delicious sandwich imaginable. So thank you, Kramer, for continuing to take the initiative and bake some beautiful boules, and please know that I will always be there for you, watching TV and waiting, whenever you want to bake some more.
A sourdough culture/starter is absolutetly essential to this recipe. The flavor developed in a sourdough starter is cultivated over time as it slowly ferments in your fridge. The starter should have a crisp sour aroma, slightly alcoholic smelling. We start our recipe by feeding our sourdough culture a 50:50:100 ratio, by weight, of sourdough starter:water:bread flour. This creates a 50% hydration starter, or a “stiff stater.” This will be sticky and a little hard to work with. We let this ferment in the fridge overnight.
Thoroughly combine your dry ingredients and mix your 110 degree water and the starter with your hands, slowly add in the dry ingredients. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Do exactly one “stretch and fold” kneads and form the dough into a ball by tucking in the bottom. Place into a floured bowl, cover and let rise for an hour, make sure the room tempature is above 75 degrees. Repeat the “stretch and fold” knead after and hour and then let rise for another hour. After the second rise stretch and fold it for a third time.
Lightly score your bread with the sharpest knife you have in the house, for me that was a fresh exacto knife. This allows for maximum oven spring, letting the dough expand uninhibited in the baking process.
Preheat your oven at 450 degrees. Place your stone on a middle rack and a cast iron pan on the bottom of the stove, both of these surfaces will require sufficient time to preheat, give them at least 20 minutes. The pizza stone will create a crispy crust on the bottom of the boule and the cast iron will generate steam to give your crumb oven spring and help to caramelize the crust.
Slide the boule onto the stone and dump 1/3 cup of hot water onto the cast iron pan. Immediately shut the door to preserve as much steam as possible.
After 3 minutes open the oven to place your boule under a metal mixing bowl. Make sure you get a bowl that has enough space for the boule to expand, especially in height. The steam will be dissipated, but no need to worry, the bowl will continue to promote the correct environmental settings for your boule.
After 15 minutes remove the bowl from the oven and let the boule bake uncovered for another 20 minutes. Pull out when crust has reached desired level of browning.
This post was submitted to Yeastspotting.
- 300g King Arthur’s high gluten flour
- 205g of 110 degree F filtered water
- 50g of “firm” (50% hydration) Sourdough Starter
- 6g kosher salt
- Thoroughly combine your dry ingredients and mix your 110 degree F water and the starter gently by hands, slowly add in the dry ingredients.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Do exactly one “stretch and fold” kneads and form the dough into a ball by tucking in the bottom.
- Place into a floured bowl, cover and let rise for an hour, make sure the room temperature is above 75 degrees F. Repeat the “stretch and fold” knead after and hour and then let rise for another hour.
- After the second rise stretch and fold it for a third time. Place the dough in a heavily floured banneton making sure that the seams of the boule are facing up. Pace in an airtight bag and let rise overnight in the fridge.
- Turn out the dough onto your floured feel by flipping the banneton upside down. Let rise in a warm space for 2 hours.
- Lightly score your bread with the sharpest knife you have in the house, for me that was a fresh exacto knife. Meanwhile preheat your oven, baking stone and cast iron pan to 450 degrees.
- Slide the boule onto the stone and dump ⅓ cup of hot water onto the cast iron pan. Immediately shut the door to preserve as much steam as possible.
- After 3 minutes open the oven to place your boule under a large oven safe bowl. After 15 minutes remove the bowl from the oven and let the boule bake uncovered for another 20 minutes. Pull out when crust has reached desired level of browning.
- Let cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before slicing.