The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dutch Oven variant recipe of Essential's Columbia

pjkobulnicky's picture

Dutch Oven variant recipe of Essential's Columbia

Essential's Columbia - Dutch Oven Recipe

Picture link below 

LEVAIN - Evening before

45 gm  refreshed starter ( optimized for 70 F temps )
145 gm  lukewarm water
225 gm bread flour or KA AP

Dissolve starter into water and add flour. Knead until smooth. Let rise overnight in a closed container maintaining about 70F. Hint ... I use a capped bottle of hot water in a styrofoam cooler to maintain warm environment in cool climates .

Next morning ( if I start about 6 AM I will have finished loaves by 5 PM )

In a large bowl
30 gm barley malt syrup dissolved into 100 gm hot water. When dissolved add  an additional 575 gm lukewarm water
900 gm KA AP flour or equivalent
80 gm whole wheat
25 gm rye flour (coarse pumpernickel grind is preferred)

Mix into shaggy mixture and autolyse for 30 minutes. Maintain mixture in the 70'sF. While this is happening ...

Toast 30 gm of wheat germ

At the end of the autolyse, add to the flour mixture the wheat germ, 25 gm salt and the levain.  With a wet hand, use the pinch and fold method to incorporate the levain, the salt and the dough into one single dough.  When fully mixed, do a set of three or four stretch and folds and put the dough into a warm place ( 70-80F). Over the course of the next 90 minutes do three more sets of stretch and folds at 30 minute intervals. Then transfer the dough to an oiled four liter container, cover the container and place in a 70-80 F environment until the dough nears the top of the container. This may take 4-5 hours.

Turn the risen dough out onto a floured surface, divide in half, form gently into balls and let rest for 15 minutes.  Shape each ball into a boule of about 1 kg and roll seam side of shaped dough in wheat bran ( careful, bran not germ ) and place seam side down into lightly floured banneton. Lightly flour the top surface of the dough. Place into plastic bags or cover with a cloth.

Let shaped dough proof for2.5 hrs at 70F. At the 2.5 hour mark, preheat range oven with two, 4 or 5 qt. dutch ovens to 475F. When ovens are up to temp., remove each, one at a time and load with dough. Lightly flour surface next to stove, turn one boule out onto the floured surface, remove top from a dutch oven, quickly pick up dough and gently set/drop it into the dutch oven. Replace top on dutch oven and return to range  oven. Repeat for other boule. Note, I score the top when the dough is sitting  on the counter before I put it into the dutch oven but the loaf will open on the seams anyhow.  Your choice.

Bake in covered dutch oven at 475 for 30 minutes. At the end of 30 minutes, remove loaves from dutch ovens by removing the lids, tipping each dutch oven on the counter and letting the loaf fall into a gloved or clothed hand. Return loaves asap to oven on the oven racks, lower heat to 400 and bake another 15 minutes.

Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

Nice work, Paul.  Those loaves look fabulous! How did they taste?

One thing, though: I'm used to shaping my loaves and then putting them to proof with the seam side up, then inverting and scoring when it's time to bake.  I notice that Ken Forkish, and now you, proof with the seam side down and bake with the seam up.  Is this just so that the loaves will open on the seam? Is there any other advantage to doing it that way as opposed to scoring the smooth side?



pjkobulnicky's picture

The Columbia is one of my favorite breads for taste. The subtle sweetness from both the wheat germ and the malt syrup give the bread a nice balance and the crust carmelizes nicely.

As for the natural bloom as opposed to scoring the smooth side, it is just a matter of aesthetics. Seam side up may be a little more rustic looking.


dabrownman's picture

only shows up for a second or two before google says there is a doc error and it disappears.  Still, they look awful nice.  Is it easy to score though the bran? This opening on the seams upside down is the same method David Snyder uses for his fine Pugliesi Capricciosso and cracking on the seams is the basis for my Chacons too.  It really works well and every loaf looks different.  My slashing is bad enough that I would'lt try to cut through bran too!  Now that would be rustic :-)

Nice DO baking Paul.