Interesting facts about this bread:
This is a robust dough for creative shaping. It has a small amount of wholegrain flour (Wholewheat or Rye) and this gives the bread more character, flavour and colour that distinguishes it as a country style crust. This dough has a large percentage of preferment and this adds to the flavour.
3 cups pate fermentee
1 ¾ cups white unbleached bread flour
½ cup plus 1 tbsp wholewheat or Rye flour
1 teaspoon instant yeast
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
Semolina flour or cornmeal (polenta) for dusting
Remove pate fermentee from fridge and cut into 10 pieces.
Leave in a wide bowl to come to room temperature, about 1 hour.
Combine with the remaining ingredients and knead for 5-10 minutes, either with a dough hook in a mixer or by hand on the bench. Knead only as much as it needs. The ferment has to be incorporated well and the dough should be tacky but not sticky. It should pass the windowpane test (stretch a small golfball sized piece of dough between your fingers to see if you can create a thin, skin-like membrane without it ripping. This is like a window and it means the gluten has developed well.
Set the dough aside, covered, to double in size, approx 1-2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees C and prepare the oven (shelves and steam pan in place)
Shape into batards or rolls, brush with milk and scatter seeds on top.
Place on trays dusted with semolina or cornmeal, or on a peel to slide onto the baking stone.
When ready, open the oven and pour boiling water in the steam pan.
Place the bread in and close the door.
After 30 seconds, spray the oven walls with water.
Do this in 30 second intervals total 3 sprays.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Adjust trays if loaves are browning on one side.
Continue baking for another 10-15 minutes depending on the size* of your shaped loaves.
*For Baguettes or Rolls 10min, for larger loaves like Batards (wider, larger) 15min.
Loaves should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped underneath.
Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes. This is important because the wholewheat flour needs to continue baking and evapourating moisture, otherwise the bread will be doughey. Once they are cool you can warm them up in the oven briefly for 5 minutes if you really like warm crusty bread (the crusts harden this way).