The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Simple Rustic White-Delicious!

ehanner's picture

Simple Rustic White-Delicious!

Recently I have been trying to find breads that deliver great flavor with a nutty after taste and also look good. After I found Mark Sinclair's Back Home Bakery recipe for Multi Grain bread I have come to appreciate his experience and sense for selecting grains and methods. I have made 5 or 6 batches of the Multi Grain and it is just so full of flavor I can't get over it.

I thought I would give his Rustic White Bread a try since he had recently changed the formula to include a Biga or sponge and it's a simple recipe that only requires starting the process the evening before. The link to the new recipe is here "Mark's Rustic White"

The recipe calls for a rye sour starter which I have going most of the time. I just started feeding my white 100% starter with Rye whole flour and in a day or 2 it was very active. The recipe calls for 15 grams of starter and if you don't want to convert or don't have a starter at the moment you can use 15 grams or whole rye and 1/4th tsp of yeast instead.

After about 10 hours the biga is active and has doubled at least and I think any time after that you can mix the dough. Mark has you add 50 grams of Whole Wheat in the final dough which is one of the things that helps with the flavor. It seems like a small amount but believe me this is a very good white bread.

One thing I did change the second time I made this bread was to reduce the amount of salt slightly. He calls for 25 grams in 1050 G of flour which I could taste. It wasn't salty enough that any one else has tasted it however so maybe it's just me. I lowered the salt to 2% or 21g, it's a little thing.

The dough is soft and not quite ciabatta like so you need to use flour on the counter when you do the folds and move quickly. The 2 in the picture below are 1.5 and 1 pound (on the right) which I didn't get the end tucked in.  It does seal up well when I put the bottom side up in the banneton for proofing. The crumb is slightly ope, just enough that it's a great sandwich loaf also if you use a pan to bake in.

This is a simple white bread that has a complex and delicious flavor. The biga is a natural yeast so you do get a hint of mild sourdough taste.  I retarded a loaf in the banneton overnight and got a slightly more sour flavor which was nice.

I think this would be a good base for all sorts of things. Savory or raisin come to mind. This will be my "Daily Bread" for a while. It's easy and surprisingly full of after taste flavor.  

Mark's Rustic WhiteMark's Rustic White


josordoni's picture

Did you work your dough in a mixer or by hand?  I only have a little hand held mixer that although it has dough hooks is just not strong enough (and too small, all the dough does is climb the hooks and plaster itself around the mixer...) so what sort of working of the dough would you recommend?






ehanner's picture

I used a mixer but this would be easy enough to combine by hand. I would combine the final dough items and then spread the Biga over the top and frishage and fold the biga into the mix. You might have to stretch and fold a few times to get it evenly incorporated but it's a soft dough and shouldn't be a problem.


mcs's picture

You bakers are sooo fussy. My webdiva fixed the typo. I'd fire her, but then I wouldn't get any dinner tonight. Plus it's our anniversary. Nice post Eric, and once again, very nice coloring on your loaves.


AnnieT's picture

Mark, Happy Anniversary to you and the diva, and many thanks for all the recipes you have shared with us at TFL, A.

mse1152's picture


Gorgeous loaves.  Makes me want to bake it.  It's a shame that Wonder Bread and this bread are both called 'white' bread.


Judon's picture

These are beautiful loaves - the recipe is no longer available on Mark's site - would you share yours with me?

Thanks for all your posts,