Good bread takes time. This delicious sourdough mill loaf is loved all over the world, and I almost succeeded making it.
I’ve already told you that Dan Lepard’s book “The Fresh Loaf” added a new layer to my passion for baking. This sourdough loaf was the first bread I baked from the book, and I can see that bakers all over the world love it too. With good reason too. It is also one of my favorites with an incredibly deep flavour from the whole grain wheat and rye, complemented by a slight acidity. It tastes great with sausage, cheese and sweet marmelades. At least when I actually succeed in baking a good one, which I’m happy to say was the result this time round. All I need now is a bit of consistency.
Compared to the original recipe I have used half the amount of sourdough (Lepard’s recipe states 550 g). Everything went fine until I scored the bread and discovered that I had let the dough proof for too long. When you score down the side, you risk (like me) that the whole thing flows out making the final loaves flat. Oh well, visuals aside, it was a tasty failure. It will be better next time. Otherwise the recipe follows the one in the book.
Retarding adds bags of flavour
I also tested a long second rise in the fridge, so I baked two loaves one day and the last one about 16 hours later. Boy did that final loaf have taste, although it was slightly denser than the ones baked a day before. Next time I’ll let them rest at room temperature for a couple of hours before baking. Good news was that the cold proofed loaf wasn’t more sour than the others, which suited me fine.
Why call it a mill loaf?
I read somewhere that the miller, after the day’s work, would sweep up the flours lying around and mix them all together for baking rather than throw it all away.
This recipe uses a different way of kneading. Dan Lepard suggests that you knead in short bursts and let the dough rest between. Try it yourself, it’s amazing how the dough changes character between east rest. The only disadvantage is that you’re bound to your kitchen most of the day. Use Bertinet’s slap and fold or your machine if it suits you better.
In any case let the dough rest for 15-30 minutes after mixing (autolyse). Then add salt and knead away.
500 g sourdough
650 g water
100 g whole grain rye
300 g whole grain wheat
700 g all purpose flour
21 g salt
- Mix all ingredients together except salt and leave for 30 minutes
- Knead in the salt – you can do it directly in the bowl
- Let the dough rest for 10 minutes, then pour a little olive oil on the table and knead the dough quickly for 10-15 seconds
- Repeat af 10, 60, and 60 minutes
- Pour the dough out on the table and divide into 2-3 pieces and let them rest for about 15 minutes
- Shape them and let proof for 3-4 hours, until they have grown by 2/3
- Bake them at 230°C for 35-45 minutes until the crust is dark golden