I’ve been occasionally baking no-knead bread in a Dutch oven over the past few months. A couple weeks ago I captured and developed a sourdough monster with the intention of using the same Lahey method only using wild yeast – the monster – rather than commercial yeast. The monster has been looking and smelling just right over the past 2 or 3 days so I figured it was time to test it and bake up a loaf.
I used about half my monster (which I re-upped with flour and water), added a little water and salt then added bread flour to form a sticky dough. I wasn’t sure how long I was going to need to proof the dough with this starter – I formed the dough very early this morning. I’ve heard of some people proofing sourdough at a cool temperature for 24 hours or longer. At the 12 hour mark, though, it was looking right, right enough that I decided to proceed. I covered a tea towel with flour and corn meal, pulled the dough from its bowl (it was very glutonous), folded two sides in then folded the other two sides in, then loosely wrapped the dough with the towel. I let it sit for another half hour, then heated my Dutch oven to 500 F. I plopped my dough in, put the lid on and baked it for half an hour, then took the lid off and gave it another 15 minutes. It’s cooling on the rack now and I can’t wait to try it.