Mixing

Mixing. Simple, right? I’ve come to realize that there’s more to mixing than I originally thought. I’m really talking about hand mixing here because I personally don’t add the leaven at this point. I measure my water into a large bowl and my flours into another bowl. With my hands, I mix all my different flours together first. The trick is the water. Huh? Well the temperature of the water affects the whole fermentation process, and it starts here. I personally like my dough to ferment between 73F and 75F because these temps give me “enough time” to develop the dough (I won’t go into that here). I can’t tell you what temperature to start your water at because it takes experimentation in your house. The “best” temperature of your water depends on the temperature of your flours and your room, so you just need to experiment and keep track of the results. If my water is too warm, I throw in a few ice cubes. If it’s too cold, I add a little warm water from my sink. After this, I then re-weigh my water to make sure it’s the amount I want. I then add my flour to the bowl with the water. This order makes it easier to mix well. Although some people use spatulas or dough whisks to mix, I like to get my hands in there. I stir and squish and squeeze until I don’t see or feel any dry flour. At all. With a plastic dough scraper, I then scrape all the dough off my fingers and the sides of the bowl, and cover my dough with a plastic shower cap. You can think of this step as “hydrating” your dough.