I decided to experiment a bit with this blueberry bread, and I increased the amount of hydration coming from the fruit. That turned out to be a delicious decision. That could just be because I’m so partial to blueberries, but I choose to believe it means a bit more than that. I actually meant to make one other modification, I meant to make at least some of the bread with a bit of lavender in it as well, but it totally skipped my mind when it came time to actually make the bread. I’ll have to remember that for a future variation on the bread. Which will certainly happen, because I will definitely be making this bread again, and again, and again… Mmmm, blueberries.
Blueberry Hazelnut Bread
Makes: 2 medium, or 3 small loaves
Time: Day 1: Elaborate starter. Day 2: Mix final dough, fold dough shape, proof, and bake.
|Bread Flour||8 oz||230 g||100%|
|Water||5.25 oz||150 g||67%|
|66% Levain||3 oz||85 g||38%|
|Starter||16.25 oz||460.7 g||87.8%|
|Bread Flour||14.5 oz||411 g||78.4%|
|Semolina||2 oz||56.7 g||10.8%|
|White Whole Wheat||2 oz||56.7 g||10.8%|
|Blueberry Puree||10 oz||283.5 g||54.1%|
|Water||3.35 oz||95 g||18.1%|
|Blueberries||8 oz||226.8 g||43.2%|
|Hazelnuts||6 oz||170.1 g||32.4%|
|Salt||.25 oz||7.1 g||1.4%|
|Oil||1 oz||28.4 g||5.4%|
|63.35 oz||1796 g||342.4%|
- Elaborate your starter however you choose, but ending up with the same flour and water weights. (or make a commercial yeast preferment) Allow it to rise overnight.
- The next day cream the starter with the water and blueberry puree for the recipe, then add in the oil.
- Mix together the flours and salt, then mix in the starter, puree, water, and oil mixture til the dough just starts to come together as a ball. Let the dough sit covered in the bowl for 20 minutes
- Lightly dust your counter or work space with flour and scrape the dough out. With lightly floured hands, give the dough a stretch and fold and then flatten it out into a rectangle. Spread as much of the blueberries and hazelnuts as possible over the top of the dough, then give it a fold or two to incorporate them. Once those are incorporated, work the dough a bit more if needed and add the rest of the blueberries and hazelnuts.
- Leave the bowl covered for 40 minutes to an hour, turn the dough out (seam side up) and give it another stretch and fold, then return it to the bowl. You can also give the dough one final stretch and fold after about 40 minutes.
- Let the dough rise until nearly doubled, and turn it out again onto your work surface.
- Prepare well floured brotforms, or flour a towel you can use for the final proofing of the bread. Treating the dough gently, seperate it into however many pieces you want loaves. Either shape the loaves into boules, batards, or do a letter fold and stretch them tight for brotforms. Place the shaped loaves in brotforms or on the towels (seam side up)
- Leave the loaves, covered, to proof, for me this was about an hour and a half.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees with your baking stone (on the middle rack) and steam pan inside and heat 2 cups of water to just shy of boiling.
- Very gently grab loaves rising on a towel, and move them to a peel with flour, cornmeal, or parchment paper. If using brotforms, just invert the loaves onto parchment or a peel. Just before you load the loaves into the oven give them a few shallow slashes. Load the loaves into the oven and carefully pour the hot water into the steam pan. Be careful of the window and light bulbs in your oven.
- Bake for 10 minutes, turn loaves 180 degrees and remove parchment paper if using. Continue baking for another 10-25 minutes, the loaves should sound hollow on the bottom when complete. Remove finished loaves to a cooling rack and let sit for at least 1 hour before cutting.
The smell of this bread as it was rising was so powerfully blueberry that it was amazing. The extra blueberry puree added some nice color to the dough as well, especially all the little flecks of skin. I think I might even be able to push the puree content a bit more, as pureed blueberries seemed to be just barely thicker than water. I’ve never really enjoyed blueberry pie, and now I know why! I was waiting for blueberry bread! The blueberries are really easy to mix into the dough as long as you don’t handle it especially vigorously, they stay whole and and no moisture. During the baking, any that are near the surface will probably boil and burst (when I took the loaf out of the oven it appeared to be crying ‘blueberry tears’). Don’t worry though, these are tears of joy.
Well, like I said, I had more fruit and nut breads up my sleeves, so, submitting this one to YeastSpotting this week. This one was so good, that it was rather sad I only got to have a little bit of it before I got sick a few weeks ago, all the more reason to make it again!