The photos are stamped Bombance instead of Farine because I first published them here on my French-speaking blog. For a 2-kg miche, Frank puts in a big bowl:
900 g unbleached bread flour
628 g water @ 78 degrees F (26 C) for a 75% dough hydration rate (levain water included in the calculation)
449 g levain @100 % hydration
22 g salt
1 g instant yeast (he adds some in class to make sure the loaf will be ready to go into the oven as scheduled but at home there is no need to use any)
First he takes the water temperature. Since hand-mixing doesn’t heat up the dough as much as a mixer and since the temperature in the lab is 66 F/20 C, he decides that the water temperature needs to be 78 F /25.6 C for a desired dough temperature of 73 to 76 F (22 to 25 C). The levain is at room temperature.
When mixing dough at home, it is much less important to calculate the desired dough temperature exactly than in a bakery where fermentation times must be respected and loaves must look as much alike as possible from one day to the other.
Frank weighs the water then adds the levain to it.
He mixes the flour into the water-levain mixture…
…until a dough starts to take shape.
When a rough dough is obtained, he places it on the table…
…and starts hydrating it, a very important step which, in this method, takes the place of the autolyse.
He does that 3 or 4 times.
The dough remains very sticky and wet but it relaxes progressively and we can see the gluten chains become more extensible and elastic.
First fold :
The dough has become more stretchable. Frank folds it upon itself like an envelope, north to south, then east to west, then south to north, then west to east, then he sets it back in the bowl.
The first fermentaion is over. The dough will be put into a big basket heavily sprinkled with a mixture of bran, bread flour and rice flour. The mixing lesson is over.