Sourdough Bread made with Whole Wheat, Spelt, and Bread flour
This Three Flour Bread was inspired by the Three Kings Day (el Día de los Trés Reyes Magos), which I learned about from my holiday trip to Puerto Rico. My original scoring design, which the world will never see, included three crowns for each of the kings: Gaspar, Baltasar, and Melchor.
The bread turned out beautiful and soooo delicious, but, unfortunately, I could not take photos of it. I got sick on the day I planned to bake it and had to rush to take a COVID-19 test, which took half a day but thankfully was negative. That's how I missed the Three Kings Day. However, since we loved this recipe so much and ate half of the loaf in the first hour of its life, I knew I still had to share it. So, I decided to bake it again but change the scoring design to the flag of Puerto Rico.
The photo above was inspired by the streets of Old San Juan, where the roads are paved with gray and blue cobblestones and surrounded by colorful historic buildings.
The city is really beautiful, and I loved the time I spent there, but that's not what I'll remember most about the trip. It's the people I met, their hospitality, generosity, and warmth towards someone they have just met. In every house I visited, I ate a traditional Puerto Rican Christmas dish called Pasteles. Pasteles are made from green plantains and stuffed with meat. I tried so many versions that I have to admit I returned with a few extra pounds but without any regrets!
Besides Pasteles, I really loved a homemade Tripleta sandwich, which I still have dreams about today. Also, fried cheese called Queso del País with guava paste was amazing and is permanently added to my favorites along with sweet Pan Sobao, which, of course, I want to learn how to bake myself.
To create the flag design, first, I used the thread to mark the lines. Then I used a ruler to draw the lines with a sharp wooden stick (a new wooden cuticle pusher works perfectly). And, lastly, I cut over the drafted lines with a razor blade.
Make sure the main cuts, in this case, the four sides of the flag, are cut slightly deeper than the rest so the loaf doesn't burst open in the center of your design.
Make a sketch of your scoring design on paper before drawing it on the dough. Measure twice (or more!) before cutting.
To make the flour stick better, slightly mist the dough with water, so there is a bigger visual contrast with the design when baked.
Use a linen liner with your banneton to create a smooth surface while proofing the dough.
As usual, I simplify my recipes so they are easy to follow for beginners. I avoid using complex numbers and ingredients, so the recipe is more clear and less intimidating for new bakers. I list ingredients for 2 loaves so you can bake 2 and share 1 as a gift. To make a single loaf, simply divide each ingredient by 2.
Ingredients for 2 loaves:
Starter feeding 1:3:3 Ratio
50g Sourdough Starter (we use Whole Wheat starter)
75g Bread flour
75g Whole Wheat Flour
150g Water (bottled or filtered)
600g Bread flour
200g Whole Wheat Flour
200g Spelt Flour
700g Water (bottled or filtered)
300g Starter @ 100% Hydration
Rice Flour for dusting
Prepare the Starter (morning 10 am)
Feed 50g of starter with 75g bread flour, 75 g whole wheat flour, and 150g water at 85-90°F, cover, and leave it on the counter to ferment for 6 hours. It should double in size by then.
Make the Dough (afternoon 4 pm)
Combine 300g of starter with 700g of water at 85-90°F in a large mixing bowl and mix until the starter is dissolved.
Then add 600g of bread flour, 200g of whole wheat flour, 200g of spelt flour, and 20g of salt to the mixture and mix the dough with fingers until all of the ingredients are well incorporated with no dry bits left.
Cover and leave it on the counter for 10 min to autolyse.
Stretch and Fold
For the next 40 min perform stretching and folding technique every 10 min: take one side of the dough, stretch it as far as you can, and fold it on top of the dough. Turn the bowl counter-clockwise and do it 7 more times, stretching and folding each side.
Cover and leave the dough on the counter for 3-4 hours to rise at about 76°F room temperature.
Shape and Proof (evening 8 pm)
Mist the bannetons with water and sprinkle with Rice flour.
Gently take the dough out of the bowl, place it onto an unfloured surface, and divide the dough into 2 equal parts.
Shape the dough into the final round shape using the same stretch and fold technique as above, stretching and folding 4 sides until you see a smooth side of the dough (about 8 times).
Gently turn the dough with your hands round and round to create the surface tension and make it into a tight ball. Do not over-shape.
Flour the top with bread flour and put each piece in the banneton seam side up and dust the top of the dough with rice flour.
Place the bannetons in plastic bags and let the dough rest overnight in the fridge.
Bake (next day)
Test the dough if it's ready to bake by gently pressing it with your finger. If it springs back up slowly - it's ready.
Preheat the oven to maximum temperature (550°F in our case).
Carefully flip the dough out of the banneton into the dutch oven or a cast iron combo cooker (no need to preheat it.)
Dust off the rice flour with a brush, mist the top of the dough with a little bit of water and cover it in all-purpose flour spreading it evenly.
Score the dough with a razor blade and put the lid on.
Reduce the temperature to 475°F and bake for 30 min.
Remove the lid, reduce the temperature to 450°F and bake for another 20 min uncovered.
Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool completely before cutting.
Tools I used: