This bread is made mostly with white bread flour, but one quarter of the flour has a surprisingly tasty variety of flavors. Arrowroot flour, barley flour and cornmeal contribute to a not-at-all boring white bread that is topped with oats and caraway seeds.
Lovely crumb and delicious.
52g arrowroot flour
47g bread flour
20g barley flour
Mix and leave out covered all day or overnight.
Mix and let rest for 15 minutes.
277g bread flour
Either split the water between the soaker and the autolyse, to do both phases at the same time. Or do the soaker first and add it to the autolyse mixture.
Mix, cover and let rest for 20 minutes to a half hour.
Add everything, plus the bit of salt called for, and mix thoroughly.
Sponge overnight - but check the heat in the kitchen
Combine the sponge ingredients and leave covered on the kitchen counter either all day or overnight. Good thing I woke up before dawn while on a winter-break from work because someone inadvertently left on the heat all night (no accusations or crying over spilled milk as the kitchen was deliciously warm). In the warm kitchen, the sponge took 10.3 hours to get to a nice bubbly ripe state. I had expected the sponge to be ready somewhere in the vicinity of 9 to 11 a.m., but a peek before 7 a.m. revealed a weirdly warm kitchen for a winter morning and a sponge that was practically shouting I am ready to become part of a wonderful dough. Hurry up already!
I stayed awake to make the dough - promising myself a nice nap as reward. Vacation time at home is a precious and enjoyable treat. So nice to sneak a nap into the middle of a winter day, especially a nap with the dog.
Soaker and autolyse at the same time
Tell the sponge to hold its horses and prepare the soaker and the autolyse, preferably so that they are resting at the same time. I did not do that.
The soaker will need to rest for 15 minutes and only takes a minute to prepare. No cover is necessary. The autolyse should sit for 20 to 30 minutes and will require a few minutes of mixing to fully blend the flour and water. I did the soaker first and added it to the autolyse mixture. My autolyse did not incorporate all of the flour; it was very dry, but it still had some nice gluten development. I resisted the urge to add more water because the eventual mixing into the sponge possibly would supply all needed moisture. Cover and let autolyse rest for 20 minutes.
Dough gathers everything
To make the dough, put together the sponge, autolyse and the soaker. Sprinkle the salt on top and then mix thoroughly. This will take some effort; get those hands - wet first - in the dough. Do three stretch and folds over the course of 60 to 90 minutes. I did mine at 30-minute intervals. The dough developed nice strength. I covered it and let rise on the counter for two and a half hours.
Went to the farmers market, ate breakfast, read, and needed to cash in on that nap. I looked at the dough and it looked at me. It had risen well. We decided it needed to be shaped and take a hiatus in the fridge. This would take all anxiety out of the nap. I floured a cutting board, gathered the corners of the dough, and shaped it into a boule. I took out my handy round small wicker basket and lined it with a well-floured kitchen towel. On the flour, I dumped a nice sprinkling (no measure taken) of caraway seeds and oats. I put the top of the dough onto the lined bottom of the basket, covered, and placed the dough basket in the fridge for an uncertain period.
I left the dough basket in the fridge for several hours later - 6.7 to be exact.
Oven and dough preparation
Preheat oven and top of la cloche for one hour at 470 degrees. After the hour preheat, I took the dough almost straight from the fridge to the oven. Just a set of slashes on top and putting the dough on some parchment paper that was waiting on a baking peel.
I removed the parchment paper after 30 minutes, but kept the bread covered with the top of the la cloche for the whole time. The bread only took 39 minutes, not much for a boule at 470 degrees.
Beautiful, loud crinkly sounds emanated from the freshly baked bread. It was gorgeous as well with respectable oven spring. The bread made a delicious breakfast the next morning. Great, great taste. And though the bread looked all white, it had some decent whole grain participation.
It was so good that I did not take the time to shoot some photos of its lovely, truly impressive, crumb. I just wanted to keep eating.