The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Overnight Country Brown (FWSY)

Sjadad's picture

Overnight Country Brown (FWSY)

It's been quite some time since I baked a pure levain from FWSY so yesterday I decided to make the Overnight Country Brown.  Right off the bat I had a couple of problems.  First, I use equal weights of white and whole wheat flours in my starter and keep it at 100% hydration while Forkish uses an 80% hydration starter.  This was not a huge obstacle since I'm pretty good at math so I could do a conversion.  My second problem was that I didn't have enough whole wheat flour to make the levain per Forkish's formula and still have enough to make the final dough, and I didn't feel motivated enough to go to the store.

Since the final dough requires only 216g of levain, I scaled down the formula while simultaneously adjusting so the final levain hydration was 80%:

Active Levain @ 100% hydration     22g

White Flour                                       82g

Whole Wheat Flour                           27g

Water                                                85g

Otherwise I followed the directions without deviation.  As an experient I used two different sizes of dutch ovens.  One was a standard Lodge cast iron dutch oven and the other was a smaller 4-quart Emile Henry.  My experience was exactly what Forkish said it would be (p. 47), which is the loaf in the smaller D.O. baked up higher with a more pronounced split.  You can see the two loaves side-by-side in a photo below.

This is a delicious bread with a very moist, creamy crumb and a wonderful substantial crust.  I won't wait so long before making it again. 


The loaf baked in the 4-quart D.O. is on the right. 


nmygarden's picture

want some right now!

Beautiful bake. My copy of FWSY is here on the desk... no more excuses, must try it.


Sjadad's picture

Cathy - you must!!

greenbriel's picture

I love the shot with the book in the background. Couldn't be any closer to Forkish's ideal.

I just made the blonde version as baguettes. I messed up the hydration, but damn they were tasty. Looking forward to trying the brown version.