So, it’s the holiday season and everyone is busy, with work, shopping, making holiday goodies, etc. Not much time for making some normal everyday bread, right? Wrong! This dough is a bit tricky to work with if you’re not used to wet doughs, or if you really want to get your hands into it. But leave it alone, just giving it the minimum handling and it is easy as pie. It is also pretty easy to make some minor changes to the recipe and give a whole different feel to the 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 gm||100|
|Water||5.25 oz||150 gm||67%|
|66% Levain||3 oz||85 gm||38%|
|Starter||16.25 oz||465 gm||91.8%|
|Bread Flour||14.7 oz||415 gm||83%|
|Spelt Flour||3 oz||85 gm||17%|
|Water||14.3 oz||405 gm||80.8%|
|Olive Oil||1 oz||28 gm||5.6%|
|Salt||.4 oz||11 gm||2.3%|
|49.65 oz||1406 gm||280.5%|
|A: Fresh Sage||1 oz||28 gm||5.6%|
|A: Black Garlic||4 oz||113 gm||22.6%|
|B: Sesame Seeds||4 oz||113 gm||22.6%|
|B: Chinese 5 Spice||.6 oz||17 gm||3.3%|
|Whole Grain Flour (in place of spelt)||3 oz||85 gm||17%|
- 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 oil for the recipe.
- Mix together the flours, salt, and any other dry ingredients you are adding, then mix in the starter, water, and oil til the dough just starts to come together. It will be very wet, don’t expect it to form much of a ball. Let the dough sit covered in the bowl for 20 minutes
- Liberally dust your counter or work space and scrape the dough out. With lightly floured hands, give the dough a stretch and fold and place it seam side down in a lightly oiled bowl.
- 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. Repeat this process one more time after 40 minutes to an hour.
- Let the dough rise until nearly doubled, and turn it out again onto your work surface.
- Prepare well floured brotforms, or heavily flour a towel you can use for the final proofing of the bread. Treating the dough gently, separate it into however many pieces you want loaves. Do a letter fold on the dough, along the long side, bringing the bottom and top thirds into the middle and then move the loaf to the prepared towel or brotform. (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 top or top 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 as you move them to the peel or parchment paper, invert them so the seam side is down and stretch them to nearly twice their length. The dough may deflate quite a bit, don’t worry it will rise back up in the oven. If using brotforms, just invert the loaves onto parchment or a peel. 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 10-20 minutes. Be careful of the top of the loaf, the top rack position and high temperature can cause it to burn quickly. However, this bread is intended to be baked very dark on top, as long as the WHOLE top isn’t black and crispy you’re probably okay! Remove finished loaves to a cooling rack and let sit for at least 1 hour before cutting.
Those instructions may have made it seem more complex than it is, but this really just: barely mix, fold, fold, fold, divide, shape, proof, and bake! This dough takes really well to modifications, like other flours, increasing the whole grain flour (up to about double what is included), adding seeds, herbs, or small amounts of any other flavorful ingredient. I baked some of this to take in to work and ended up eating nearly a third of one of the loaves before I could stop myself, the creamy crumb, crispy crust, and flavor are very addicting! And I cannot recommend that black garlic enough, if you can find it… It is definitely worth including in bread! If not roasted garlic can probably somewhat substitute.
And this is, of course, my weekly submission to YeastSpotting!
Now for some pictures: