Home/Bread Mix: Recipe for a long fermented French Bread

Bread Mix: Recipe for a long fermented French Bread

We wish you lots of pleasure baking this French bread with a pinch of sourdough and stone ground whole wheat flour. For further instructions, see the video and recipe below.

You might find this a “very” wet dough, but if you follow the instructions below you will be able to make very tasteful bread. Good bread often requires a bit more water!

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In our bakery lab, people come together to learn more about bread making, to experiment and to develop educational programs about; nutrition, food waste and health. In our circular bakery, we show, among other things, how you can reuse leftover bread as a bread improver, a preparation method recently mentioned as a circular best practice example, read more about us.

Interview with Baking Lab: NU.nl about breadmix

You can make this bread mix yourself in our shop


Bread Mix recipe video, the kneading option

About this bread

  • Long fermented and easily digestible bread
  • 38% whole wheat flour
  • Mild sourdough development
  • Slightly open crumb
  • Vegan

Content of the Bread mixture [batch001]:

  • 250 grams of French T65 wheat flour;
  • 150 grams of stone-ground whole wheat flour;
  • Approx. 8 to 9 grams of coarse sea salt;
  • Approx. 1 gram of (instant) yeast;
  • Approx. 1 gram of dried sourdough starter
  • Add 290 gram warm water (72% hydration)

What you need yourself:

  • A bowl where you can mix the dough and let it rise (note that during the rise, the dough can take on 2 to 3 times the original volume)
  • A lid, foil or plastic bag to seal the bowl and prevent the dough from drying out
  • An oven;
  • A refrigerator;
  • A – cast iron / metal – pan that can go into the oven (no plastic parts);
  • Possibly a thermometer to measure the temperature of the dough;
  • Possibly extra flour or flour to pollinate;
  • Possibly a dough scraper.

Watch the video and follow the steps below to make this bread:

Day1, Phase 1 [Mixing, Kneading, Folding and Proving]
Duration: approx. 7 to 12 hours

General notes and options

  • If the dough is mixed at 30 ° C, the warm fermentation time is approx. 5 to 7 hours.
  • If the dough is mixed at 20 ° C, the warm fermentation time is approx. 12 hours.
  • Correct for one hour for every 2 ° C degree difference. (For example, at 22 ° C, the warm fermentation time is approx. 11 hours). These are guidelines and you can deviate from them a bit. Your bread won’t fail immediately, as long as you give it enough time to develop and notice some springiness prior to cooling.
  • If your dough temperature starts at 30 °C it will slowly cool off to room temperature (20-25 °C), providing a more balanced fermentation temperature. Make sure your dough does not get warmer than 30 ° C.
  • Kneading option: After kneading, let the dough ferment for about 4 to 5 hours hours at room temperature [20-25 ° C], then stretch and fold at two times twice before transforming to the refrigerator with one pause of about 1 hour. Leave the dough to rest once more for about 30 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator.
  • No kneading option: You can skip the kneading step shown in the video and lean on at least 6 stretches and folds , with breaks of about 40 minutes to an 1 hour. After the last fold, let the dough once more rest for about 30 min before transferring to the refrigerator.


  • Mix the contents of our bag with 290 grams with lukewarm water (approx. 37 °C) hydration 72%. How can you get water at 37 °C without a thermometer? You could e.g. warm the water under your jacket 🙂
  • Then let the dough rest at room temperature [20 – 25 °C]  for at least 30 – 60 min. Now the fermentation is initiated by the water and the dough will start developing in a natural way (gluten formation). At this initial point the dough feels more like clay, it will shred easily. Prevent the dough from drying out by sealing the bowl, e.g. with a lid, foil, etc.
  • Knead the dough, watch our recipe video. Examine, see and feel the difference as it develops. It becomes stretchy and strong and starts to shine (gluten development).  A well-developed dough retains the carbon dioxide that the yeasts and bacteria produce during fermentation in the dough, allowing you to bake a nice risen bread later on. You can skip the kneading and use the stretch and fold method for more at least 6 times before transferring the dough to the refrigerator, see genera notes above.
  • During this warm fermentation period, stretch and fold the dough at least 2 times, or at least 6 times if you do not knead the dough, with intervals of approximately 1 hour. With a little extra flour you can prevent the dough from sticking too much to the walls of your bowl, watch video.
  • Important: Stretch and fold the dough about 30 minutes before transferring the dough into the refrigerator. At this stage, the dough should have a tangible resilient springy property. If not, wait until you notice it. Only after observing initial springiness do you transfer the dough to the refrigerator, but try to prevent the dough to be too weak and too springy. This could cause the dough to overproof in the fridge, watch the video for more context.

Day 1, Phase 2 [Cold fermentation]
Duration: One night in the refrigerator, about 12 to 15 hours.

The fermentation is slowed down in the refrigerator, among other things, this gives the bread a more complex and better taste.

Day 2, Phase 3 [Baking]
Duration: approx. 1 hour.

  • Preheat the oven to approx. 230 °C.
  • Place the (cast iron / metal) pan with the lid in the oven and let it warm up for 15 minutes.
  • Carefully remove the dough from the bowl to prevent losing the carbon dioxide gas inside your dough. Use preferably a scraper.
  • Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven and sprinkle the inside of the pan with some flour. The flour should not burn immediately, which would indicate that your pan is too hot.
  • Place the dough in the pan and score it if you wish, close the pan with a lid and place it back in the hot oven.
  • Bake the bread for about 15 to 30 minutes with the lid closed and without the lid for the remaining baking time. The total baking time is 35 to 45 min, or until the crust is golden brown.
  • Remove your bread from the oven and leave it for an hour to cool before slicing.

Congratulations! Your bread is ready to taste! Enjoy!

Additional information about this recipe


Please perceive this recipe as a guideline. You can vary from this method in case you start to repeat it and fit it better into your time schedule. Since we use little yeast and – dried – sourdough starter, sufficient proofing time and dough development (stretch and fold) remain important requirements.

More or less, faster and slower

It may be that your thermometer is not working properly. You may not have a thermometer at all. Perhaps we have made a small mistake with the required ingredients. Variations imply eventually there will be a deviation from the recipe. It’s important that you learn to examine and understand the dough and use our procedures as guidelines, instead of fixed numbers.

The development of the dough is an important part of making bread. In the beginning, this type of wheat dough is weak and clayey. As the dough develops, through time, kneading, stretching and folding, the dough becomes stronger, more elastic and prevents the carbon dioxide released during the fermentation to escape. If you press the dough gently after a few hours of warm fermentation, you will see and feel that this dough starts to bounce back, becoming springy. This is a better indication that you are on the right track than numbers in – any – recipe.

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