Recipe: Overnight Country Bread

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The cookbook Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast, by Ken Forkish guided the development of our Flour from the Front blends.

Starting with the Overnight Country Brown recipe on page 173, using no commercial yeast, we inversed the amount of white flour and whole grain flour in the final dough to make beautiful loaves.

Our sourdough starter (levain) is maintained with approximately 1/3 Big Sky Rye flour and 2/3 unbleached white flour from Wheat Montana. We have found that a drier–less soupy–starter to be more complimentary to the flavor of whole grain flours.

“Overnight Country Rye” Final Dough:

  • 276 g white flour
  • 604 g Big Sky Rye flour
  • 684 g water
  • 22 g sea salt
  • 285 g sourdough starter (levain)
  • 30 g caraway seed

The same recipe works nicely with High Wide & Wheatsome flour for a full-flavored, grain-sweet sourdough.

“Overnight Country Wheatsome” Final Dough:

  • 122 g white flour
  • 758 g Wheatsome flour
  • 684 g water
  • 22 g sea salt
  • 285 g levain 

Later, when test-baking our Old & Ancient flour–a blend of spelt and Kamut, we aimed for a 100% whole grain, low gluten bread. It worked! Because spelt and Kamut have weaker gluten structures, be gentle with your dough. The flour is slow to absorb water so expect the dough to be sticky, but do not add extra flour. Limit folding the dough to twice. Refrigerate for 24 hours before the final shaping. This has become our favorite everyday bread.

“24-Hour Old & Ancient” Final Dough:

  • 880 g Old & Ancient flour
  • 684 g water
  • 22 g sea salt
  • 285 g levain (same proportions which include white flour*)

*Note: We tried to eliminate white flour from the levain and it lost too much structure, so we retreated to our original levain proportions of 1/3 Big Sky Rye and 2/3 unbleached white. Total white flour in 24-Hour Old & Ancient is 18%.

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