I participated in World Bread Day in October , and wanted to bake an “Overnight Bread” for November’s Bread Baking Day.
I have a new, beautiful bread book (Flour Water Salt Yeast, by Ken Forkish ), with a formula for an 82% hydration,
75% whole wheat levain bread (there’s a tiny bit of instant yeast, too). I wanted to try this one, adapting it for a long, cold overnight fermentation, encouraged by the lovely result David achieved recently .
The dough was hand-mixed after a 90 minute autolyse; three sets of stretch-and-folds in the bowl with 10 minute rests in between yielded a gluten window like this (tried to stretch a gluten window with one hand while holding the camera in the other):
Dough temperature was 73F prior to mixing and had cooled to 69F, at the start of bulk fermentation. Bulk ferment was two hours at room temperature with a fold after one hour. The dough showed signs of movement after the two hour bulk ferment; it was then refrigerated overnight.
The dough was removed from the fridge after 18 hours (the dough had doubled at this point). The dough was warmed at room temperature for one hour, then divided, preshaped and rested for 25 minutes. After shaping, proofing was at 80F (humidity added) for one hour, prior to baking.
In the Professional Baking class at Kneading Conference West this past September Jesse Dodson mentioned that for whole wheat breads, proofing has to outpace the loss of gas and so recommended a warm, fast proof for breads for these types of breads. Phil’s comment in David’s post  reminded me of this.
David and Phil certainly get wonderful results with their bakes! so I was curious to see what might happen if I attempted similar fermentation and proofing temperatures/times.
I was thinking of Eric Hanner’s beautiful version of Katie’s Stout and Flaxseed Bread  when I shaped this loaf, the natural, organic opening of the seams that was so pretty after baking. I tried proofing seam-side-down, for this bake, grateful for Eric’s example.
Baking started at 460F, in a reducing oven, final bake temperature 435F and loaves left in oven for 10 minutes with door ajar at the end of the bake.
The baked bread, and crumb (crumb shot is from the loaf on the right)
In his book, Mr. Forkish writes about bringing his bread back to the place where it was born.
It was nice to read that, as I was using locally-grown whole-wheat flour, baking one of these loaves
for my local farmer and his family :^)
Very grateful to Mr. Forkish for his lovely book (full of so many gorgeous breads), and to Eric and David for their inspiring posts; and happy to have baked this for November’s Bread Baking Day (we loved the flavor of this one)!
Happy baking everyone!