On Sunday evening I had mixed the Levain starter so it could work away on its own private nightshift and be ready to start the bread early the following morning. The first light of dawn looked full of promise as the two terriers were persuaded outside for their early morning pee and I stood watching the sky and colours develop as I drank my coffee.
Those poplars in the background are losing their leaves too.
Please forgive the slightly blurred photograph but I think I was shaking with anticipation. I can report that the pancakes were quite excellent. All of them. As was the coffee. The simple things, you just can't beat them.
After three hours in the proving box at 23C, 25g of kosher salt is gently mixed into the dough with three desert spoons of tepid water then it's back into the proving box yet again for another three or four hours at the same steady 23C. I grind Malden Sea Salt, but if table salt is used reduce the quantity by about half.
Once the salt and water is mixed in the dough will slowly rise over another three hours or so gently bubbling and the point at which it is taken out and split between the two pre-heated casseroles is a healthy mix of guesswork, experience and luck.
The dough is now ready to be roughly divided between the two casseroles that have been preheated to about 240C. The sides of the casseroles are oiled, I use groundnut oil, polenta is shaken into bottom of the casserole and the top of the dough dusted with rice flour then it's into the oven with the lid on for twenty minutes, followed by twenty more minutes with the lid off.
Simple but totally and utterly delicious. Well worth the effort believe me.