Auvergne rye, also known as “baguette aux lardons” is, simply put, bread with bacon bits all through the crumb. Bread… and…. bacon. I know, I know… unless you are a very committed vegetarian you are salivating already.
The recipe comes from Daniel Leader’s Local Breads, and requires the preparation of a very stiff sourdough starter made with both whole wheat and regular flour, and a final dough with a small amount of rye, which, in my opinion, always gives a sourdough bread a touch of depth hard to achieve with any other flour.
Mix everything together, forming a stiff dough. Allow it to ferment at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours, until doubled in volume.
280 g thick cut bacon
350 g water
450 g bread flour
50 g white rye flour
125 g starter (you will not use the full amount made)
10 g salt
Cut the bacon in 1/2 inch pieces and cook over medium heat. Do not let it brown, just cook until most of the fat is released. Drain over paper towels and dice finely.
Mix the water, bread flour, and rye flour in a large bowl, let it stand for 20 minutes. Add the sourdough mix (remember: only 125 g of it!), bacon, and salt. Knead with a Kitchen Aid type mixer on speed 4 for about 8 minutes. Ferment the dough for 1 hour, fold it a couple of times, place it to rise for another 2 to 3 hours.
Cut the dough in 4 equal pieces, shape as baguettes, and retard them in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours.
Remove the baguettes from the fridge 3 hours before baking. Heat the oven to 450F, slash the baguettes and bake them with initial steam, for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool over a rack for a couple of hours before slicing them.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: The recipe makes 4 baguettes, but I chose to make two baguettes and a larger, batard-type loaf. I haven’t yet perfected the shaping of my baguettes, in part because I end up baking round loaves a lot more often, and rarely practice this elusive shape. But, what really matters – the taste – was superb! You would think that so much bacon in the dough could be overpowering, but quite the contrary, they had a very mellow taste. I was pleasantly surprised by how copper-colored the crust turned out, probably due to the bacon fat playing its magic. The smell was intoxicating, even our dogs were restless… ;-)
Note to self: This bread would be a very good match for a bowl of chili…
I am submitting this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting….