Total time: 16-18 hours including just 10 minutes of active work, plus 20-30 minutes baking time.
Mix the preferment as follows: 60g flour blend 60g warm water 15g levain or yogurt. Loosely cover with a damp kitchen towel and leave in warm place for 12 hours. (At night before bed works great. If it's cold outside, you can put in an oven that's been heated up and then turned off. )
2) MIX THE DOUGH
Add the following to the preferment:-remaining flour blend-380g warm water-11g salt-5g active dry yeast (This is needed only if using a yogurt preferment, but can be omitted if using a levain preferment. If you use levain and omit the commercial yeast, you’ll need to double the bulk fermentation time.)Mix together to form a homogenous, wet dough.
3) BULK FERMENT
Scrape into a lightly oiled bowl and let sit to bulk ferment, loosely covered, for an hour. Stretch each side of the dough up and fold over the rest of the dough in turn. Let sit for another hour.
4) SHAPE AND PROOF
Lightly flour a work surface and place the dough on the surface. Pull all the corners of the dough to the center to form a dumpling shape and then flip it over. Push the dough in all four directions, pull the edges under, and form a round boule. Flip the boule over and place it, upside down, in a flour-dusted proofing basket or a bowl lined with a flour-dusted, clean towel. Lightly cover and let rise for 1-2 hours until it’s almost doubled in size.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (with a baking stone if you have one). Once preheated, turn the boule out onto the baking surface (stone, baking pan, Dutch oven, etc.) so that it is right side up again. Cut a plus sign or a pound sign on the top surface of the boule with a razor blade or sharp knife. Bake your loaf for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. (If using a Dutch oven, remove the lid for the last 5 minutes.) Test for doneness by tapping the bottom of the loaf - it should sound hollow. When done, cool on a cooling rack completely before enjoying. We love it with salted butter and apricot jam.