Imsil bread – improved edition

The Imsil bread has been my, and my flatmates, daily bread for a while now. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good bread but I think it can be improved a little. I usually bake bread once a week. Some of the breads I keep for eating fresh in the next days bust most of it goes into the freezer for the remainder of the week. I noticed that thawed Imsil breads become somewhat stale after 2 days. Therefore, I increased the hydration to 73% and also increased the percentage of whole grain with 5%, the keeping-quality has increased quite a bit!


Hydration: 73%
Pre-fermented flour: 17,5%
Total time: 24 – 28hrs

Overall formula (for 8 breads of ~ 500gr)

Wheat flour1718 gr75%
Whole grain wheat flour573 gr25%
Total4000 gr174,6%


  • Make the following pre-ferment with 100 hydration and let it ferment for 8 hours at ~ 24°C/76F or overnight at a slightly lower room temperature (~ 20°C/68F). Make sure to cover it so it doesn’t lose any water by evaporation.
Ingredient Weight Percentage
Wheat flour 380 gr100%
Water380 gr100%
Mature sourdough culture76gr10%
Total 836 gr210%

Making the final dough

  • If you are happy with your pre-ferment you can make the final dough. Aim for a temperature of the final dough of ~ 24°C. Mix the following ingredients and mix by hand until all the flour has incorporated the water. This step is called autolysis, a few minutes should suffice.
Ingredient Weight
Wheat flour 1318 gr
While grain wheat flour573gr
Total 4291gr
  • After 30 minutes, add the salt (37 gr) and sourdough (800gr) and knead for about 10 mins by hand,
  • The next step is the bulk fermentation. For this bread it takes about 2½ hours, stretch and fold the dough every 30 mins.
  • After the bulk fermentation, divide in the dough in 8 pieces of 500gr and pre-shape them for a round loaf.
  • After a 10 min bench rest, shape them as a round loaf and give them a tiny bit of a rectangular shape. The latter you can accomplish by instead of pulling and rotating 90°, rotating 180°. But only in the very last seconds of the shaping.
  • Place the shaped dough in bakers linen and transfer to fridge for final fermentation. My fridge is about 5,5°C and 12hrs is fine. If yours is warmer, a shorter fermentation might be better, and vice versa, if yours is cooler you can leave it longer.
  • Preheat the oven to 250°C/486F.
  • Transfer to baking sheets and score them with a single stroke.
  • Lower the temperature of the oven to 220°C/432F and bake for about 35 mins with steam. Let the steam escape after 25 mins.

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