A couple of months ago I manage to grow my first sourdough start and I became interested in more professional looking breads.
I found out that those beautiful flour patterns and the perfect loaf shapes where attained by usinga Banneton – a proofing bread basket.
It is pretty easy to use,just generously flour the surface of the Banneton and leave the bread to proof.When the Bread has risen enough you gently turn the dough in a baking paper, score and put it to bake.
By the way, scoring was another thing I was struggling to do.Scoring is the process of making cuts in the surface of unbaked bread to allow the steam to find its path in a controlled way, making beautiful patterns.The thing is, if you score it badly you can deflate your bread or in my case make it all “wonky” 🙂
I have solved my scoring issue by purchasing a Lame.It is nothing but a very sharp blade used to make precise cuts in the bread.
And here are my new toys:
They arrived yesterday and I put them to use immediately!The results were amazing, I was so proud of my very professional looking bread!
The recipe I used was the one that came with the Bannetons plus a few changes on my own (like adding my seed mix).You can make the bread without the Banneton and the Lame, the changes are purely stetic.
If you would like to invest in them I recommend you have a look at the ebay store I bought – it is not the cheaper one but after some research It looked like the most reliable and the one with the highest quality products :Ministry of Bread
Sure there are other great stores there but for now this is the one I can recommend.
And now let’s get going with the recipe 🙂
Whole Wheat and Seeds Bread
300g Strong Flour (Bread Flour)
120g Wheat Flour
50g of mixed seeds (my mix: flax, linseed, sesame, poppy seeds, chia, pepitas and sunflower)
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of dried yeast
300g of lukewarm Water
Mix part of the water with the yeast and whisking it well until dissolved.
In a very large bowl mix up the seeds, the flours and the salt.Make a cavity in the middle of the Stir in the Dissolved yeast.
Knead the mixture for about 15 min – you can use a food processor or a mixer to knead, in this case it will be much faster.Depending on your flour it might be a bit of a wet dough and that is ok.
Oil a bowl and put the dough inside, cover with plastic wrap and leave it to rest in a warm place for about two hours, until it has more than double its size.
Place the down in a floured surface and gently deflate it with your hands, folding it in four.
If you are using a Banneton, dust inside well with flour and place the loaf in it with the seam facing up.If you don’t have a Banneton just shape the loaf and put it in a baking sheet lined with baking paper and dusted with flour or semolina.Cover with a humid tea towel and and let it rest proof for another hour.
Towards the end of the proofing time heat the oven to 220C.
When the bread has risen enough, if you are using a Banneton, gently turn the bread on floured baking tray.If not just place it in a floured baking tray.Score the Bread with a Lame or a Knife – if you does not score it, is also ok… it is just a cosmetic detail.
Spray the loaf with water,and bake if for about 40 min.Loafs should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. For crispier skin allow it to cool inside the oven.