No-Knead Method for Artisan Bread Baking: The Salt and Fold Method – Part 3 and 4

nokneadbreadSALTINGFOLDING

This is the last post in my series on the The Salt and Fold Method.  Here are the links to the entire series:

 Salting

Let the dough rest for half an hour in a warm place uncovered. By withholding the salt, you are giving your leaven or your starter a chance to inoculate your dough uninhibited. It’s like calling your teenage kids on a Friday night half an hour before you’ll be home – it gives them a chance to get their act together. This period is commonly referred to by bakers as the “autolyse period”. After half an hour, you are ready to add your salt. Do this by placing your salt in a small dish and adding just enough water to dissolve your salt into a thick solution. Dissolving the salt in water makes it easier to incorporate it evenly into your dough. Spread the salt evenly across the surface of the dough, wet your hands and scrunch dough together with both of your hands aggressively (like a cat sharpening its claws on the carpet). Keep scrunching until you feel the salt has been as incorporated as possible.

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Mason

Mason

Mason is a recent graduate of Augustana College and a die-hard foodie. He has a degree in philosophy, but also worked in a bakery using sourdough to produce bread with incredible flavor and texture. Apart from fermentation, he is fond of music, black coffee, nice wine, and thoughtful books.

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No-Knead Method for Artisan Bread Baking: The Salt and Fold Method – Part 2

nokneadbreadTESTING

Leaven Testing and Mixing

The best test for determining whether or not your leaven is ready to mix with is what is known as the “float” test. It’s pretty simple: take a fist full of leaven and place it in a bowl of water. If it floats, the leaven has enough aeration and bacterial activity to put levity into your bread. If your leaven sinks, put it back in the bowl and place in a warm spot for another hour or so. After 12 hours, your leaven will almost always be ready to go; however, during colder seasons it may take up to 15 hours. One way around this time difference is to build your leaven with slightly warmer (never hot!) water. This will speed along the fermentation.

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Mason

Mason

Mason is a recent graduate of Augustana College and a die-hard foodie. He has a degree in philosophy, but also worked in a bakery using sourdough to produce bread with incredible flavor and texture. Apart from fermentation, he is fond of music, black coffee, nice wine, and thoughtful books.

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No-Knead Method for Artisan Bread Baking: The Salt and Fold Method – Part 1

nokneadbreadLEAVEN

Building a Leaven

A “leaven” is a combination of flour and water that has been inoculated with a portion of a sourdough starter. In our bakery, building a leaven to mix with was crucial to avoid putting stress on the starter by using and feeding it in mass quantities. A leaven essentially acts as a medium between the bacteria in your starter and your bread dough that allows you to use smaller amounts of starter to achieve the same result. The leaven will be built the night before you intend to mix, and two days or more before you intend to bake, so plan accordingly.

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Mason

Mason

Mason is a recent graduate of Augustana College and a die-hard foodie. He has a degree in philosophy, but also worked in a bakery using sourdough to produce bread with incredible flavor and texture. Apart from fermentation, he is fond of music, black coffee, nice wine, and thoughtful books.

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No-Knead Method for Artisan Bread Baking: Introduction

nokneadbread1

This is a method a friend of mine and I developed at our bakery. It took a lot of trial and error, but over time we developed a process that both took the strain off of our bodies and yielded some professional-quality artisan bread. This method is an adaptation on the folding method that has been used by several professional bakeries, with our own unique twists…. 

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Mason

Mason

Mason is a recent graduate of Augustana College and a die-hard foodie. He has a degree in philosophy, but also worked in a bakery using sourdough to produce bread with incredible flavor and texture. Apart from fermentation, he is fond of music, black coffee, nice wine, and thoughtful books.

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