Sourdough Artisan Blend Bread
If you slow down a little, you can make this flavorful, hearty sourdough loaf with Janie's Mill 100% extraction Artisan Blend Bread Flour. This recipe will give you two beautiful loaves.
- 1,200 g Artisan Blend Bread Flour (100%)
- 750 g water (65% hydration)
- 200 - 250 g Sourdough starter (or 20g of yeast. Use 8 - 10 g of yeast if you are going to rest the dough overnight in the fridge).
- 18 g salt
- Combine water and flour. Cover. Autolyse for two hours in mixing bowl.
- Add between 200 and 250g sourdough starter - mix in - cover and pre-ferment for one hour.
- Transfer dough from the bowl to the counter, pat out, sprinkle salt on top, stipple the salt into the dough with wet fingers. Stretch and fold from four corners, then cover with bowl and pause for thirty minutes.
- Once the dough is relaxed, stretch and fold two more times over the next hour.
- Rest, on the counter, covered, for four hours. Divide and gently shape, place into bannetons, then either into the fridge for the night or allow to continue rising for another three or four hours.
- Bake at 500F in a Dutch Oven or Challenger Bread Pan for 25 minutes lid on and 25 minutes lid off. If you don’t have a Dutch Oven make sure to introduce steam into the oven. Either a pan of hot water or a hot pan with a few handfuls of ice thrown in just after you set the loaves in to bake.
Cecilia's Tips for Baking with Artisan Blend Bread Flour
- Less water - I settled at 65%.
- A longer autolyse - at least two hours.
- Then add the yeast or levain and pre-ferment. (use less yeast or starter if you are going to do a long retard in the refrigerator)- rest one hour.
- Then the salt.
- Then your folds - three over 90 minutes.
- Rise for 4 hours
- Into fridge for the night or rise another 2 - 4 hours and bake.
So: Less water and more time between changes are the keys. I know high hydration breads are all the rage but this is an old fashioned blend - it is not going to give you a lofty open crumb with its 11% protein level. We should not try to fit this round old fashioned loaf through a modern square shaped hole. Let the flour slowly hydrate and bloom and you will have a wonderful loaf of hearty bread.
- Be wary of too much bench flour on the last of your turns - we must be careful not to add unfermented flour during this slow fermenting process.
- Use wet hands for the folding.
- When folding be very gentle. Remember the bran and its sharp edges. I stretch and fold on the counter and place a large bowl upside down on the dough between folds to keep out drafts.
- I place the loaded banneton inside a large plastic bag with lots of air and fasten. The dough basically sits inside a balloon in the fridge.
- When I bring the boule out of the fridge I let it sit on the counter while the oven is heating - this is usually over an hour. Hopefully in that time you see some bubble movement or when you press gently into the dough with a floury finger there is a depression left behind.
Background from Cecilia
I get a lot of phone calls about the Artisan Blend Bread Flour and the first question I ask my caller is: What kind of loaf would you like to bake? Then: What kind of bread do you like to eat? Because once we know the answers to these questions (hopefully they are the same answer), it is easier for me to recommend a flour that suits you. If someone answers that they want a hunk of hearty, crusty, country bread coated in fresh butter and eaten with a lovely pumpkin soup - then I say Yes - Artisan Blend Bread Flour is the right one for you. If someone wants a whole wheat sandwich bread, or a bread without big airy holes, I recommend the Artisan Blend Bread Flour.
If my caller answers that they are after a modern, light, open crumb loaf then I offer the High Protein Bread Flour. Artisan Blend Bread Flour is not going to give you that open crumb loaf. It is a character-full flour. The Artisan Blend Bread Flour will give you a dark, flavorful medium crumb loaf, not so many holes that you cannot butter, and a deep rich colour. This is more of a sandwich bread.
Let’s look at the stats of this flour
Artisan Blend Bread Flour has a 90% extraction rate which means that 10% of the particular matter, including the bran, has been sifted out. There is still plenty of bran left in there and it is 11% protein so it is not too strong and will produce a heartier medium crumb loaf.
Artisan Blend Bread Flour is a blend of two wheats: Glenn Wheat which is very high in protein (15%) and Warthog Wheat which is quite low (8.4%). By blending these two wheats into a single flour, Jill our Head Miller has created a medium protein flour with a pretty reliable attitude. A lovely sandwich bread.
So why does this flour argue and whine and generally behave badly. Baking is so subjective, creating your loaf can feel like a delicate dance. And every loaf is different. I personally think the biggest influence is the bran, because not all brans are the same - but all brans carry sharp little edges that can cut into the gluten and can inhibit the production of gases that create the rise. My (very personal) theory is that the bran from Glenn is softer and more forgiving but the Warthog bran cuts more readily into those delicate gluten strands. Both these wheats absorb water at different rates too. If you were making a loaf of bread from the low protein Warthog you would use less water and more steam but expect a lower profile loaf. Whereas a loaf using 100% Glenn can take a whole lot of water and will rise without much work at all.
But all this creates a wonderful challenge - all that dense flavor and nutrition is the result of the bran so we need to love the bran, not fight it.
Posted on November 04 2021