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    The Fountain Method

    The Fountain methodis a throwback to a time past, an era where things went a little slower, where people took a little more time, perhaps to achieve a deeper understanding of what they were doing. But let’s not get all misty-eyed; they went slower because they didn’t have things like large stand mixers and convection ovens.  The method is simplicity in all its glory: Pour the ingredients on the counter and mix them up. There are a couple of tricks to it, however, as you will see below.

    Fountain method ready to start.
    Here is the flour ready for the yeast and water. I usually add the salt later.
    Fountain method getting underway.
    Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the water and yeast misture. Be careful not to breach the rim of the flour or you will have water running all over the place.
    Fountain method draw flour in and mix.
    Draw some flour into the center and start mixing it with the water.
    Fountain method continue mixing.
    Continue mixing the flour in and pulling flour from the edges into the mixture.
    Fountain method all mixed.
    After a few minutes of mixing and rolling the dough around, you will have all the flour mixed into the water. The dough will be shaggy and have spots of dry alternating with spots of wet. The kneading will even out all these problems.
    Fountain method continue to mix.
    I use a pastry knife or drywall knives to work the dough. Just keep folding and kneading. It will be a good dough within a few minutes.
    Fountain method after 2 minutes.
    Here’s the dough after about 2 minutes of kneading. This looks almost like dough.
    Fountain method ready for autolyse.
    And here’s the dough ready for the autolyse period.

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