48-Hour Italian Rustic Sourdough Loaf with Kamut

48-h kamut sourdough

If you ask me what makes a loaf looking like a typical Italian rustic sourdough, I would say that is the absence of scoring. Quite often loaves are cooked seam-side up, and not seam-side down like in French breads, and the loaves either look whole (with a smooth surface) or they can even show natural cracks. Steam in baking is used less than in French breads, but I am still in the learning process and I will update my knowledge as I learn more on Italian breads. From what I understood so far, when it comes to bread Italians care more about the “flesh”, the hard facts, than about the look. Which is somehow against the strongly developed Italian aesthetic sensitivity (just think of Italian architecture, fashion and sport cars). But bread is another thing. Flavor and consistency are what matters, who cares about the look?

This loaf, shaped the Italian way, is a further development of my previous 24-hour sourdough. With it, I wanted to test if I could prolong the fermentation to two all days. Why? Because longer fermentations are healthier: during the long resting of the dough the flour is transformed into something way more digestible and nourishing -and our bodies will thank us for this- and because the flavor is improved in the process. On a practical note, distributing the work necessary for an ambitious loaf (like a real sourdough) over three days makes possible to do this without having to sacrifice a whole day to the making. That is history. With this method, you can actually bake great bread and… have a life. One night you mix, another night you shape, the third night you bake. Letting the fridge to take care of your loaf while you go out in the world and do fantastic things, knowing that some happy ferments are working for you at home.

48-h kamut sourdough

So, if you follow me, I will guide you step-by-step through a three-day process that takes very little of your time and can give you freshly baked sourdough bread even during a busy working week. And not any bread… a crusty Italian rustic loaf with an incredibly airy crumb and a deep and intense flavor. Lots of “flesh” here for sure.

You need:

400g young leaven* (1 1/2 c)
250g whole-wheat kamut flour (2 c)
200g all-purpose flour (1 5/8 c)
350g bread flour (2 3/4 c)
500g water (2 c)
3 1/2 teaspoons marine salt

*Prepare the young leaven on the morning of the day you intent to start your loaf, using 1 table-spoon mature 100% sourdough starter**, 200 g (4/5 c) water, 150 g (1 c and 3 tablespoon) bread flour, and 50 g (1/3 c and 1 tablespoon) whole-wheat flour.

**If you don’t have a sourdough starter, no problem: find here a foolproof way to make your own.

DAY 1, Evening

Combine all the ingredients except for the salt. You can use your hands and scrape the dough off with a dough scraper or tablespoon. Let rest covered for 40 minutes.

48-h kamut sourdough

Add the salt and combine well. Again, don’t be afraid of using your hands: it’s fun!

48-h kamut sourdough

Let rest covered for 3 hours, stretching and folding the dough on itself like a package every 1/2 hour. The dough will be sticky in the beginning and will become smoother after each fold.

48-h kamut sourdough

Seal the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to rest until the evening of the day after.

48-h kamut sourdough

DAY 2, Evening

After close to 24 hours in the fridge the dough has risen of about 1 1/2 its volume and looks totally smooth.

48-h kamut sourdough

Take the dough out of the fridge and transfer it on a working surface.

48-h kamut sourdough

Fold the dough stretching the four corners as if you were to close a package. Have a scraper to help you if you see that the dough sticks to the surface at any time.

48-h kamut sourdough

48-h kamut sourdough

48-h kamut sourdough

Flip the package upside-down and let rest for 1 hour, covered.

48-h kamut sourdough

Protect your loaf from dangerous hairy intruders…

48-h kamut sourdough

After the 1 hour bench rest the dough will have spread and will look soft.

48-h kamut sourdough

Cut the dough in 2 parts, one larger (2/3) and one smaller (1/3). I used the large piece to shape the loaf and the rest to make a small filone or batard. This dough can also make excellent pizza and can be used up to the day after if kept in the fridge.

48-h kamut sourdough

Sprinkle the working surface with a little of rice flour and shape the larger piece of dough into a round by folding the corners all around and pinching to seal them on the top of the round.

48-h kamut sourdough

Flip the dough upside down and gently make it rounder by letting it slide on the clean surface and creating tension also with the palms of your hands.

48-h kamut sourdough

Place the round, seam-side-down, on a proofing basket heavily floured with rice flour.

48-h kamut sourdough

Place the basket in a large plastic bag and close it. Let rest in the fridge until the evening of the following day.

48-h kamut sourdough

DAY 3, Evening

Take the loaf out of the fridge. If it does not look like it has risen about 1/2 times its initial volume, let it rest outside the fridge for a few hours before baking. Meanwhile turn on the oven to its maximum temperature.

48-h kamut sourdough

As soon as your loaf look like it has risen about 1 and 1/2 compared to the night before, transfer it on a peel or on a baking tray covered with parchment paper and put it in the hot oven, reducing the temperature right away to 250 C/482 F degrees and creating some steam by trowing a few ice cubes in a hot baking dish placed in the lower rack.

48-h kamut sourdough

Bake for 20 minutes and then lower the temperature to 220 C/428 F degrees and bake for 20 more minutes. Lower the temperature further to 200 C/392 F degrees and bake for further 20 minutes (1 h overall). Let cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before cutting.

And here’s the baby

48-h kamut sourdough

48-h kamut sourdough

48-h kamut sourdough

48-h kamut sourdough

48-h kamut sourdough

48-Hour Italian Rustic Sourdough Loaf with Kamut

Ingredients

  • 400g young leaven* (1 1/2 c)
  • 250g whole-wheat kamut flour (2 c)
  • 200g all-purpose flour (1 5/8 c)
  • 350g bread flour (2 3/4 c)
  • 500g water (2 c)
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons marine salt

Directions

Day 1 - Morning
1. *Prepare the young leaven using 1 table-spoon mature 100% sourdough, 200 g (4/5 c) water, 150 g (1 c and 3 tablespoon) bread flour, and 50 g (1/3 c and 1 tablespoon) whole-wheat flour.
Day 1 - Evening
2. Combine all the ingredients except for the salt. You can use your hands and scrape the dough off with a dough scraper or tablespoon. Let rest covered for 40 minutes.
3. Add the salt and combine well. again, don't be afraid of using your hands: it's fun!
4. Let rest covered for 3 hours, stretching and folding the dough on itself like a package every 1/2 hour. The dough will be sticky in the beginning and will become smoother for each fold.
5. Seal the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to rest until the evening of the following day.
Day 2 - Evening
6. Take the dough out of the fridge and transfer it on a working surface.
7. Fold the dough stretching the four corners as if you were to close a package.
8. Flip the package upside-down and let rest for 1 hour, covered.
9. Cut the dough in 2 parts, one larger (2/3) and one smaller (1/3). I used the large piece to shape the loaf and the rest to make a small filone or batard. This dough can also make excellent pizza and can be used up to the day after if kept in the fridge.
10. Shape the larger piece of dough into a round by folding the corners all around and pinching to seal them on the top of the round.
11. Flip the dough upside down and gently make it rounder by letting it slide on the clean surface and creating tension also placing with the palms of your hands under the dough.
12. Place the round, seam-side-down, on a proofing basket heavily floured with rice flour, place in a large plastic bag and close it.
13. Let rest in the fridge until the evening of the following day.
Day 3 - Evening
14. Take the loaf out of the fridge. If it does not look like it has risen about 1/2 times its initial volume, let it rest outside the fridge for a few hour before baking. Meanwhile turn on the oven to its maximum temperature.
15. As soon as your loaf look like it has risen about 1 and 1/2 compared to the night before, transfer it on a peel or on a baking tray covered with parchment paper and put it in the hot oven, reducing the temperature right away to 250 C/482 F degrees and creating some steam by trowing a few ice cubes in a hot baking dish placed in the lower rack.
16. Bake for 20 minutes and then lower the temperature to 220 C/428 F degrees and bake for 20 more minutes. Lower the temperature further to 200 C/392 F degrees and bake for further 20 minutes (1 h overall).
17. Let cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before cutting.

Note

This highly hydrated loaf keeps its shape better if it's baked in a cast-iron pan. If you have one, put it in the oven when you turn it on and place the loaf directly into the hot pan. If you have a combo cooker, that's even better: put also the lid on and remove it after 25 minutes, then continue with the baking as specified above.

48-h kamut sourdough

This bread goes to the second edition of Panissimo, a new biweekly bread collection hosted by Sandra from Indovina chi viene a cena? and I.

And I will also send the loaf to Susan for her incredible bread collection YeastSpotting.

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Comments

  1. ohhhhh! it’s been a while since i’ve last visited and your blog layout has changed so much! it looks wonderful!

  2. This loaf looks incredible! I love when bread practically makes itself :)

  3. ci vogliono le ferie…. ma che bellezza!!! come mi piace quella forma rotonda….. per i particolari ora mi metto a tradurre, lo sai, io con l’inglese ho bisogno di tempo!
    baci bella bambina!

  4. This looks incredible, I love the rustic look and the texture of this.. Would love to make this but I don’t have the ingredients :(

  5. What an incredible piece of art this is. You are one of the best bread makers I have seen online! This long fermentation must make a delicious loaf indeed. To be honest I have still never made bread using natural yeast and it is about time I try. My grandmother used to do it weekly and cook the bread in a stone oven she used to have in the courtyard. We shouldn’t lose those skills. Thank you for this wonderful recipe Barbara X

  6. The step by step photos you provided are great. I’m a visual learner, and have been frustrated in the past by relying only on text to bake bread – the next best thing to feeling it is seeing it!

  7. Another amazing bread and a wonderful tutorial, thank you for giving me something wonderful to aspire to :)

  8. Brava Barbara,
    bel pane complimenti ……bellissime ed interessanti le foto delle sequenze…..anch’io vorrei farle ma sono sempre di fretta ……brava
    ciao
    Michele

  9. Your breads are always so beautiful and you give such wonderful tutorials. Terrific job!

  10. Ma che crosta meravigliosa!! Da provare!

  11. Ammetto che l’uso del lievito secco mi ha impigrito un po’ e da tempo non uso la pasta madre. Il tuo bellissimo pane mi fa venire voglia di riprendere. Vedo che non sono l’unica a dover proteggere il mio piano di lavoro dalle zampette curiose.

  12. Janina says:

    Hi Barbara, i just finished cooking and tasting this delicious loaf. it turned out perfectly, lots of beautiful big holes in crumb and the crust is deliciously crusty. I didnt use Kamut flour as I couldnt source any so used just wholemeal instead but this loaf will now become my favourite to make, so easy. Thanks for posting it and all your other recipes. I look forward to each one. I was thinking of buying an italian recipe book by the Semili sisters because I am interested in their pasta madre recipe, can you reccomend any in particular? I am not italian but can speak French and my mother in law is Italian so she can help with any translation.

    • hi Janina, I am always overjoyed when I get to know that one of my bread recipes worked well for someone else, using a different oven and a different sourdough starter. thank you so much for letting me know and feel free to send pictures of the baby :)
      sure, I recommend the simili sisters book, have you read my chocolate panettone post? there are a few pasta madre-based recipes in the book but even the yeast-based recipes are classics which is worth knowing. I intend on starting a posts series dedicated to traditional Italian breads and I may include also some recipe from the Simili book so stay tuned. and if you like pasta madre and don’t mind using a web translator check out also “panissimo” bread collection, there are plenty of recipes based on pasta madre. ciao! Barbara

  13. Great rustic Italian bread Barbara!!! I love the long, slow rising time. You are right a good bread need to rise slowly. Lovely crust as usual.

  14. Love it! Can’t wait to bake it. I like the seam-side up, no scoring technique.

  15. I’ve made this twice. Here are my thoughts:
    1) Great flavor and excellent crust. Long fermentation really helps with the flavor!
    2) Fantastic oven spring, even when cold right out of the fridge. However, I had better crumb when I let it sit out around 1.5 hours before baking.
    3) 1st attempt turned out good…not great. I didn’t cook it long enough because, well, I’ve never cooked an 850g loaf (half of the dough) for an hour. I thought it would be overcooked. I was wrong. It needed those extra few minutes. Also, I live about 5,400 feet and the dough needed a bit more water. The crumb was a bit gummy from being undercooked. Also, I added a steam pan with 1/2 C hot water and slashed the loaves to control oven spring. Like I said, good flavor, but not cooked as much as I’d like.
    4) 2nd attempt rocked! I added an extra 50g of water (which I would do even if I wasn’t at altitude) and I cooked it for exactly 55 minutes. I added the 1/2 C of hot water for the steam. I slashed one loaf, but did not slash the other. Wow. The crust had a deep, dark color and was nice and crunchy. The crumb had nice holes and was NOT gummy this time. I preferred the scored loaf because the other one never really “blew up” and I like those crunchy ears that form from the cuts. It just looked like an over-pumped American football. I also let the dough sit out for about 1.5 hours before baking and I think this helped.

    What I love about this recipe is how little effort I need to put in. Time does all the work for gluten development and flavor. I also love the Kamut…gives a nice nutty richness. Thanks for sharing the recipe. This is my current favorite, followed by the Norwich Sourdough which I got from Susan’s Wild Yeast Blog.

    • Rowan, thank you so much for this detailed account of your experience with the loaf.
      I also generally add more water to the dough, but I wanted a loaf easy to handle even for people not accustomed to highly hydrated dough. You clearly seem a skilled home baker, happy your intuition helped you to make the adjustments needed to obtain the best results with your oven and at your altitude. Scoring gives you more control on the direction the oven spring will take, and I generally do that, but it’s interesting also to see how unscored loaves turn out beautiful sometimes. And steam is of course is generally needed when not using a dutch oven. So I give you a A++ for your job and i hope your experience will help others. Don’t esitate to also send pictures of the baby-ies! ciao, Barbara

      ps
      to me there is nothing like an overcooked loaf :) only thing I fear is undercooked dough, better burned than undercooked ;)

  16. Hi:)
    Thanks so much for the wonderful recipes,
    Unfortunately there is no kamut flour here is spelt flour or another flour can be replaced with kamut flour?
    Thank you

  17. Solange says:

    Barbara, I wonder if I can use only Kamut instead of the other flours to make a bread. Any suggestions?.

  18. Amazing bread !!!
    Just one question. Why is it my bread stays so pale ? Is it the oven (gas) or the lack of grease?

    regards Machiel

  19. Beautiful bread. I baked it today, using a stone ground sifted whole-wheat all purpose flour and home milled kamut. Wonderful, wonderful bread. I haven’t posted my picture of it yet. Waiting for the sun to rise to get a lighting it deserves to be seen in.

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