400 g (2 ⅔ cups) Baker’s flour
7 g (2 tsp) dried yeast
310 ml (1 ¼ cups) warm water (37ºC)
1 tsp salt flakes
Extra Baker’s flour, for dusting
- HBS 60 Baking stone. Buy online here.
- Make a poolish by combining 120 g flour, 3 g yeast and the warm water in the bowl of a freestanding mixer. Cover with a tea towel and place into the oven on Prove yeast dough for 1 hour.
2. Add the remaining flour, yeast and salt into the bowl and knead with a dough hook on low speed for 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
3. Cover the kneaded dough loosely with the tea towel. Place into the oven on Prove yeast dough for another 45 minutes, or until it doubles in size.
4. Cut a piece of baking paper to the size of the wooden paddle of your gourmet baking stone. This will indicate how long your loaf can be.
5. Remove the bowl from the oven and sprinkle the workbench with flour.
6. Place the gourmet baking stone in the oven on shelf position 2 and preheat on Conventional at 230°C for 30 minutes.
7. Turn the risen dough onto the workbench and divide in half. Working with one piece of dough at a time, shape the dough into a long baguette.
8. Place baguette diagonally onto the baking paper with the wooden paddle underneath. Dust baguette liberally with flour.
9. To shape baguette into wheat stalk, use sharp scissors and working from top to bottom, cut a piece of dough about three quarters the way through at a 45° angle and lay to the side. Repeat and lay the next piece on the opposite side until you reach the end. Repeat the process for the other dough.
10. Leave dough to rise again while waiting for the baking stone to heat up. When ready, slide the bread with the baking paper onto the baking stone.
11. Change the oven function to Moisture Plus with Fan Plus at 200°C with 2 manual bursts of steam, releasing a burst 15 steam immediately and the second burst of steam at 10 minutes. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a deep golden crust has developed.
12. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on wire racks before serving.
- This method of bread making uses the poolish method, where a “sponge” is made from one part water, one part flour and yeast and left to ferment. When the sponge is ready, it will have bubbles on the top of the liquid and give off a lovely yeasty smell.
• Epi can be made the day before and reheated on Moisture Plus at 180°C for 10 minutes.
• The baking stone will retain the heat evenly and provide a superior crust.
• Where possible, try to buy your flour from a local grower, both to reduce food miles and to use flour when fresh.
Think of flour as an important ingredient, different wheats will give you different flavour.