Easy, Sustainable French-Style Bread

Easy, Sustainable French-Style Bread

A sustainable twist on a classic bread that uses upcycled flours and minimal equipment and work


This one is a great introduction to baking for complete beginners, but at the same time, even experienced bakers will marvel at the results-to-work ratio. This recipe is adapted from Jeffery Hamelman’s Unkneaded Six-Fold French Bread recipe to include healthy, upcycled flours and to keep in mind the typical constraints in Singapore (climate, oven size, etc.).


Ingredients

  • 450g Bread or Plain flour
  • 25g SeedFuel Mango Flour
  • 25g SeedFuel Banana Flour
  • 365g Water, lukewarm
  • 10g Fine-grain salt
  • 2g Instant yeast

Statistics

  • Hydration: 73.0%
  • Upcycled flour: 10.0%
  • Salt: 2.0%
  • Yeast: 0.4%

Directions

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together; then add the water and mix just until all dry flour has been wetted; it is a good idea to use the back (handle side) of a large wooden spoon; the dough will be very shaggy at this point; cover the bowl and leave for 20 minutes
  2. Now fold the dough with a rounded dough scraper by scraping down the side of the bowl furthest from you then pull the scraper under the dough and lift the dough up onto itself, folding the dough toward you and slightly pressing to hold the folded dough in place; turn the bowl about a quarter turn and repeat the folding motion; fold about 20-25 times then cover the bowl and let rest again for 20 minutes
  3. Repeat the folding sets every 20 minutes for 2 hours for a total of 6 sets of folding; each folding set will show that the dough is becoming more smooth with good gluten development; allow one more rest of 20 minutes
  4. It should now be 2hrs 20min since you first mixed the ingredients to wet the flour; using the scraper, gently dump out the dough onto a lightly floured surface; try not to press out the gasses; use the scraper to divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and lightly flour each piece
  5. Pre-shape the dough pieces into cylinders, creating good surface tension but without overworking; cover and allow to rest 15 minutes
  6. Now shape into mini-baguette forms of about 30cm length and place onto a well-floured flax linen cloth (‘couche’); cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes
  7. While the dough is enjoying its final rest, heat the oven to 250C
  8. Transfer the shaped dough to a baking tray lined with baking paper; score the shaped dough then spray the surface with water from a clean spray bottle; immediately place the tray into the oven and then spray 5-10 pumps of water onto the walls of the oven; close the oven door and lower the temperature to 230C
  9. After 5 minutes and after 10 minutes, quickly open the door and repeat the water spraying; if the baking paper starts to brown too much, you can quickly yank it out at the 10 minute water spraying
  10. Bake for a total of 22-25 minutes; all ovens are different so you’ll need to experiment with yours; also, people like different levels of browning on the bread crust so experiment to find out what pleases you
  11. Cool the baked bread on a cooling rack for at least one hour before cutting

Tips:

  1. Because this is a ‘lean’ bread, it will not last long; either eat the bread the same day, or allow the bread to cool for 2 hours then place into an airtight wrapping and freeze the bread
  2. You can use either bread flour (higher protein content) or plain flour (lower protein content) for this recipe; for this particular recipe, bread flour gives a slightly more chewy crumb
  3. The salt content may seem high, but it is necessary for better gluten development and crust browning
  4. If you don’t own a couche, you can make a good-enough version by laying a tea towel over and between two boxes of foil or baking paper, then cover the towel with a sheet of baking paper; this provides the support that the dough needs while rising and prevents sticking

6 Comments on "Easy, Sustainable French-Style Bread"

    Definitely! The next time we make this, we’ll snap a ton of pics to add visual guides to the text instructions. We’ll also be uploading tutorials on individual techniques that can be applied to most any recipes. Keep an eye on our blog for future installments!

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