Almost artisanal!

Main Image
Cooked loaf

My starter was looking stronger than ever, so I was excited by this bake!

I'd fed the starter wholemeal flour to give it some oomph, and that gave me a much stronger and thicker starter - certainly stronger than the previous runny starters I had been working with.

My previous bake had gone well, but I've suspected that the distribution of holes in the dough may have suggested that the bread hadn't fermented enough, and this could have been because my starter wasn't strong enough. I'm hoping this stronger wholemeal based starter would change this.

I also really wanted to get the lines from the banneton into the dough, to get that true artisan look. I certainly now have more confidence in my method and can this time spend a bit more energy focusing on the look of the loaf.


Dough after second rise

The building blocks...

Baker's percentages:
500g strong white bread flour, 75% water, 15% starter, 2% salt
Bulk Proof:
12 hours overnight in fridge
Final proof:
25 minutes at 260C with lid on, 20 minutes at 230C with lid off, 20 minute cool in oven with door cracked.


I stuck with strong white bread flour with only a slight addition of wholemeal from the starter. I also reduced the hydration level to 75% to ensure it would be easier to remove the dough from the banneton following the second rise. 

As usual, I used a 'no knead' method, with four 'stretch and folds' over two hours, an overnight bulk rise in the fridge, a 30-minute bench rest and then a final proof of two hours in the banneton. 

To ensure the dough didn't stick to the banneton when it was ready to come out, I made my own rice flour and scattered a mixture of this with strong white bread flour and scattered this very liberally across the basket.

I also changed my scoring; replacing my usual 'x' with just a single line across the dough.

Dough in banneton
Ready for the oven
Par-baked loaf


I am truly delighted with this bake. You can clearly see the lines from the basket around the loaf and it has gone a nice colour.

The crumb was also fantastic with very few large holes and an evenly distributed structure.

It also tasted great!

Finished loaf
Loaf cut open