The Folding Proofer provides the perfect environment for a long, overnight pre-ferment, creating great flavor and a soft crumb in this rustic bread.  The long pre-ferment also takes the place of some of the process time on the day of baking, making the Proofer a time-saver.

Printable Recipe    • recette imprimable    • druckbares Rezept    • Receta Imprimible

A beautiful golden crumb, a sweet, complex aroma and rustic crust. Bread flour from hard red winter wheat forms the backbone of the bread, while durum and whole grain “white” wheat contribute wonderful flavor.  This bread is equally at home with olive oil or butter and pairs wonderfully with soups or roasts. It’s also great with Manchego cheese or for making Panini.

Maintaining good texture with whole wheat and coarse semolina.  Both durum wheat and whole wheat compromise the extensibility (ability to stretch) of bread dough, durum because of the hard nature of its protein, and whole wheat because the bran particles impede the bonding of gluten. To create a lighter, more open crumb while still enjoying all the lovely flavor from durum and whole wheat, we use an overnight poolish to maximize enzyme activity and soften the semolina. We also sift out the larger bran flakes from the whole wheat flour and use them to coat the outside of the boule for a rustic, nutritious crust.

Yield: One boule.

Timing: The leaven needs to ferment for 12 hours (overnight) before mixing the dough.



Leaven Volume Grams Ounces
Unbleached flour, about 12% protein* 5/8 C, spooned 79 2.8
Semolina (coarse durum) flour 1/4 C, spooned 39 1.4
Instant yeast 1/16 tsp                   0.2              0.005
Water, cool room temperature (68-70F / 20-21C) 1/2 C 118 4.2

*Such as King Arthur All-Purpose or Gold Medal Better for Bread.

Equipment:  Fine strainer or sifter, Brød & Taylor Folding Proofer. A Dutch oven works well to create a steam chamber for the bread as it bakes.

Mix and Ferment the Leaven.  Set the Proofer to 72 °F / 22 °C and allow it to preheat. For the yeast, measure 1/8 tsp and pour it out onto a clean surface or plate, forming a little mound. With a table knife, divide the mound into two equal portions, and use one portion for the leaven.

Add all the leaven ingredients to a bowl and stir or whisk vigorously until smooth and lump free. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover, and ferment in the Proofer for 10-12 hours at 72 °F /22 °C. When the leaven is ripe, it will have doubled in size and the surface will be covered with bubbles.

ripe poolish

Main Dough Volume Grams Ounces
Poolish, all from above
Unbleached flour, about 12% protein 1 C, spooned 127 4.5
White whole wheat flour (bran sifted out) ¾C, spooned 86 3.0
Instant yeast ¼ tsp 0.8  0.03
Water, lukewarm (80-85 °F /27-29 °C ) scant ½ C 113 4.0
Salt 1⅛  tsp 6.4  0.23

Prepare the Whole Wheat Flour.  Before measuring or weighing, remove the larger bran particles from the whole grain flour by tapping it through a fine strainer or sifter. You’ll create a mound of golden high-extraction wheat flour and have coarser bran left in the strainer. Reserve the bran for coating the outside of the boule.

Mix the Dough.  Add the flours, yeast and water to the poolish and mix until all the flour is moistened. Cover and let rest (autolyse) for 20-30 minutes.

Add the salt and knead it into the dough until well combined, about 3-4 minutes.

homemade high-extraction flour

Ferment and Fold the Dough.  Transfer the dough to an oiled container with a capacity of about 6 cups / 1.5 quarts and turn to coat the dough with oil. Allow the dough to ferment in the Proofer for a total of 2 hours at 78 °F / 26 °C. During the first hour, stretch and fold the dough two times. To stretch and fold, gently stretch one side of the dough, then fold it towards the center and repeat on the opposite side, creating a business letter fold.  Repeat with the other two sides, forming a square package in which all four sides have been stretched and folded to the center. Then stretch and fold each of the four corners.  After two folding sessions, leave the dough undisturbed for the remaining hour, until it doubles in size. The top of the mound of dough should reach about five cups volume.

Shape and Proof the Boule.  Cut an oval of parchment about 12″ / 30 cm long (the longer ends will serve as handles to lower the bread into the Dutch oven) and set aside.  Cover a circular area about 7-8 “/ 18-20 cm  in diameter with a thick layer of the reserved wheat bran, then turn the dough out onto the bran, smooth top side down. Being careful to maintain as much air in the dough as possible, gently fold all four sides of the dough to the center, then pull the corners up and towards the center, to round the shape. Gently flip the boule over onto the oval parchment and set it on a quarter sheet pan or plate for support. Proof at 78 °F /26 °C for 60 minutes.

Shaping the dough

Preheat the Oven and Bake the Bread.  While the boule is proofing, place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 450 °F / 232 °C. Prepare your favored method of creating steam in the oven.  If using a cast iron Dutch oven, preheat the pan for only 10 minutes to avoid scorching the bottom crust.

Gently score the bread with a very sharp knife or lame, dipping the blade in water before each cut.  Place the boule in the preheated Dutch oven or on a sheet pan still on its parchment. Carefully and gently use the parchment to lower it into the hot Dutch oven or pan. Place the lid on top and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the lid, rotate the bread for even browning and bake for an additional 20 minutes, until well browned.  The internal temperature should be 205-210 °F /  96-99 °C.  Remove the bread from the pan, slide it off the parchment and allow to cool before slicing.

Scoring the dough with a serrated knife.

Overall Bread Formula        Grams Ounces  Baker’s      Percentage
Unbleached flour, 11.7% – 12.3% protein        206 g 7.3 oz     62.5%
Whole grain white wheat flour (sifted to remove bran)          86 g 3.0 oz     25.9%
Semolina flour          39 g 1.4 oz     11.7%
Instant yeast         1.0 g 0.04 oz      0.3%
Water        236 g 8.3 oz     71.5%
Salt         6.4 g 0.23 oz      1.9%
Total flour        331g 11.7 oz 100%

Proportion of total flour that is pre-fermented: 36%