48 Hour Bread

(photo of bread after step #6)

Over the last couple of decades I have made lots of bread.  I have my go to bread that is not a recipe but more of a method and a base that I use for a great variety of breads– rosemary walnut buns, spelt foccacia, salty baguette...

Over the years I have experimented with different recipes, flours, starters, methods...

Recently I have been trying some new methods– One of these is a slow rising bread I have been working on for the last couple of months.

48 Hour Bread

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 cups all purpose unbleached flour

2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon fresh compressed yeast

1 ½ cup water at room temperature

1.Dissolve yeast in water in a large bowl.

2.Add additional ingredients and mix until incorporated.

3.Cover with plastic and let sit in a warm spot for 48 hours.  If you want to pinch a small piece of bread and keep it in reserve to incorporate into your next batch of dough (the more times you do this the more flavor and complexity your bread will have).

4.Lay a dish towel out on a flat surface and dust generously with flour.

5.Dump dough onto the towel and make into 10 inch square.

6.Fold square into thirds, dust top with flour, cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

7.Fold in thirds using short end.

8.Brush off excess flour and gently stretch top layer over the seams visible on 2 sides of the dough.

9.Cover ½ of a clean dish towel generously with flour and top with several tablespoons of wheat bran.

10.Place bread on part of towel covered with flour and sprinkle top with more flour and bran.

11.Cover with the remaining half of the towel and let rise for 2 hours.

12.After 1 hour of rising place a 2 quart casserole (I use a Le Cruset, enamel covered cast iron pan) with a cover in a 500 degree oven.

13.After an hour remove cover, place dough in the casserole and cover and bake for 30 minutes, uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes.

14.Remove bread from the casserole and let cool for at least for 15 minutes before slicing.