450g Organic Baker’s Flour
50g Organic Rye Flour
6g ground turmeric
125g ripe starter
370ml filtered warm water
10g sea salt flakes
200g raw sliced brown onion
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 tablespoon nigella seeds
7:00 am Levain Build
Build your levain by adding 25g refreshed starter, 50g Organic Baker’s White Flour and 50ml filtered warm water to a jar and mixing well. Cover loosely with a lid and leave it in a warm spot (or on a heat mat during winter) to rise.
8:00 am Caramelised Onion
Heat a tablespoon of butter or olive oil in a wide cast iron pan. Add 200g of thinly sliced brown onion and cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes until golden and caramelized. Allow to cool to room temperature.
12:00 pm Autolyse
Mix the Baker’s Flour, Rye Flour and Turmeric in a wide shallow bowl. Add the starter and 350ml of the water. Use a Danish dough whisk to mix the dough into a shaggy mess for approximately 5-6 minutes. If using hands to mix, use a pinching motion for 5-6 minutes to mix the dough into a shaggy mess. Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer with the dough hook attached to mix the dough for 5-6 minutes. Cover and rest for an hour
1:00 pm – Add Salt
Add the salt and the remaining 20ml of water to the dough. Mix using grasping/clenching motion with your palm until everything is incorporated. The dough will initially feel smooth, wet and stretchy. As you mix for a minute or so, it will start becoming less wet. Cover and leave for 5-10 minutes
1:10 pm – Coil Fold 1
To perform the coil fold, wet your fingertips with water. Loosen the dough from the edges of the bowl. Lift the dough up from the middle, letting the front hang as you lift it. Then coil the front hanging bit into the dough, rolling it like you would roll a rug. Turn the bowl 90 degrees and repeat the coil fold. Do this a total of four times.
You will find the first coil fold to be super easy as the dough is nice and loose. As you continue coiling and folding, the dough starts to develop structure and become stiffer. To address this, I lift the dough in the middle, move my hands up so I am holding the top end of the dough. I then jerk the dough so that the weight of the hanging dough pulls it down and then coil the whole thing up like I am rolling a poster with the flat edge against my body.
Alternatively, you can perform Stretch And Folds if you aren’t comfortable with Coil Folds.
1:40 pm – Coil Fold 2
Perform a second set of four Coil Folds (or Stretch And Folds if you prefer that).
2:10 pm – Lamination
To laminate the dough, rub your benchtop with water. Place your dough in the middle and gently start stretching it outwards as thinly as possible without tearing. Spread onion evenly over the surface and scatter the nigella seeds. Start folding the dough in from the outer edges, overlapping the onion and nigella seeds to create many layers.
2:30 pm – Coil Fold 3
Continue with your third set of coil folds (or stretch and folds). This one is the trickiest. Don’t worry if your onion escapes and your dough tears. It will all come together in the last set of coil folds.
3:00 pm – Coil Fold 4
Perform your final set of four coil folds (or stretch and folds). Your dough would have developed a lot in structure with many gas bubbles forming. Cover with a tea towel and rest for 2 hours.
5:00 pm – Pre-Shape
To pre-shape the dough into a boule (round shape), sprinkle the sough in the bowl with some flour. Loosen the dough from the edges of the bowl, upturn the bowl and let the dough drop on your benchtop. Lightly stretch the dough in all four corns. Now gather an edge of the dough in a pinching motion and bring it into the centre. Repeat this eight to ten times till you have a circle that looks like a flower with all the edges meeting in the middle.
Using your bench scraper, flip the dough over so that the part with the edges meeting in the middle is now under. Using both your palms pull the dough towards you while turning it gently so that it starts forming a tight ball. Repeat this four to five times till you have a tight round ball. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rest on your benchtop for an 30-60 minutes.
6:15 pm – Final Shape
Sprinkle a bannetone generously with rice flour. If you are lining your bannetone or a regular bowl with a tea towel, make sure you sprinkle that generously with rice flour.
The dough would’ve relaxed and spread. Dust your fingertips with flour. Using both your palms pull the dough towards you while turning it gently so that it starts forming a tight ball. Repeat this four to five times, turning and tucking till you have a tight round ball. Using a large bench/dough scraper and the palm of your hand, gently lift the dough ball and place it rounded side down in the bannetone so that the seam side is up.
Cover and wrap well with a tea towel or large plastic bag. Rest on your benchtop for 20-30 minutes.
6:35 pm – Place in fridge for overnight cold proofing for 12-15 hours
The Next Day / 8:00 am – Sourdough baking
At 8:00 am I start by pre-heating my oven to its highest heat setting (250C). If using a cast iron pot (I have now successfully used the Challenger Bread Pan and the Lodge Combo Cooker With Helper Handle) or a Dutch oven or a ceramic baking cloche, I place it in the oven to pre-heat. I pre-heat for 30 minutes. At 8:30 am, I bring my dough out of the fridge. I remove the tea towel/plastic bag. I place a baking paper over a chopping board and place that (baking paper side down) on top of the bannetone and then flip it over to bring my dough on the chopping board as seen below.
Score your dough using swift strokes. Lift the baking paper to place your dough in the hot pan. Add an ice cube or two. Cover and bake for 20 minutes at 240C. Take the lid of the pan off and bake uncovered at 225C for a further 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack for 3-4 hours before slicing.