DAN LEPARD’S SAFFRON BLOOMER

Dan Lepard is by far my favorite bread baker instructor, for many reasons, but perhaps the most important is that he doesn’t try to portray bread baking as a complicated and convoluted issue.  It is flour, water, salt, and yeast, folks.  Some bakers make you believe that you must go out of your way to get flour made from wheat harvested under a full moon when the temperature was 68.5 F. Or else… your bread will suffer horrible consequences.    Others will have you frantically measuring the temperature of the air, the water, the bowl, your hands, the nose of your dog, then manipulate all those variables to find out for how long you must knead your dough to hit the jackpot of 78 F. Or else… your bread will suffer horrible consequences.   Dan has a totally different approach, and you know what? None of his recipes has ever failed me.  Because he turns bread baking into a light, fun experience, you’ll relax, bake more often, and get the real important achievement in the process: familiarity with the dough, a “feel” for when it’s been kneaded enough, proofed enough, baked enough. This is a wonderful example of Dan’s talent, a bread made with saffron and ricotta that smells amazing, and tastes even better!

SaffronLoaf

SAFFRON BLOOMER OVERVIEW\
(recipe from Short and Sweet, available at The Guardian)

This is a very simple recipe, that doesn’t require a sourdough starter, a pre-ferment, or hours of commitment.  All you’ll need is good quality saffron, some ricotta cheese, and flour, mostly all-purpose with a touch of spelt (or whole wheat).

The saffron steeps in a bit of warm water, and that yellow, fragrant liquid is mixed with rapid rise yeast plus all other ingredients.

Minimal kneading involved: three sessions of kneading lasting less than a minute each will produce a super smooth dough with tiny flecks of saffron poking through here and there.

Using rapid rise yeast makes this bread show up at your table in less than 3 hours from the  moment you start gathering your ingredients.

I used an empty Le Creuset to bake this loaf: simply placed the slashed dough still over parchment paper inside the pre-heated Le Creuset (oven at 425F), closed the lid, and baked for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes I removed the lid and allowed the loaf to bake for 10 to 15 more minutes, until dark golden.

 

If you want to see the complete recipe and print it, please click here

 

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Comments:  I’ve made this loaf twice in a month, which tells you how much we enjoyed it. One of the reasons I repeated this loaf so quickly was that we had a special visitor in our home, that dear friend who gave me a huge amount of saffron a couple of years ago.  He came over to give a seminar in our department, and I decided that baking a loaf of saffron bread would be a nice way to thank him for the gift. Side benefit: right after visiting us, he jumped on a plane to Saudi Arabia, and a little bird told me that more saffron will be arriving by mail, just when my reserves are reaching a dangerously low-level. Yes, you do have the right to feel jealous.  ;-)

CrumbSaffron

The bread has a beautiful yellow crumb, and if you freeze it and enjoy it later, slightly toasted, the taste of saffron gets much more pronounced. It also makes superb croutons for a Caesar salad.  Baking in the Le Creuset produced a crust that was not too different from that of a rustic sourdough.  I am definitely going to use this method often for non-sourdough breads, it traps the steam in a very efficient way, and the resulting crust is considerably better (for our taste, at least).

 

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ONE YEAR AGO: Fesenjan & The New Persian Kitchen

TWO YEARS AGO: Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets

THREE YEARS AGO: Pasta Puttanesca

FOUR YEARS AGO: Miche Point-a-Calliere

CHESTNUT FLOUR SOURDOUGH BREAD

On the last In My Kitchen post, I promised to come back to talk about a bread made with chestnut flour brought all the way from France. The Bread Baking Queen Farine was the one who got me into this bread adventure, and advised me to search for this exotic flour in Paris. When I sent her a photo of the bag I bought she was super excited because it turns out chestnut flour from Corsica is considered the best in the world!  Amazing that it was exactly the type available near our hotel. Pure luck. With the stars so beautifully aligned, I was sure this would turn out as a wonderful baking project!  Was I right?  Well, let’s say that troubles were brewing faster than the wild yeast in my sourdough starter.

chestnutbread12

CHESTNUT SOURDOUGH BREAD
(from Farine’s blog)

(makes 4 small loaves)

For the pre-fermented dough
175 g mature white starter
494 g unbleached all-purpose flour
258 g water
26 g raw wheat germ (I used toasted)
12 g salt

For the final dough
750 g unbleached all-purpose flour
400 g chestnut flour
700 g water
450 g fermented white dough
5 g instant dry yeast
25 g salt
200 g whole, peeled cooked chestnuts, crumbled into chunks

For the fermented dough
Mix flour, water and white starter until the flour is well hydrated, cover with a cloth and let rest 20 minutes. Add salt and mix until you get a gluten window (when you stretch some of the dough really thin, you see strands of gluten and almost-see through spots). Put in an oiled bowl and cover tightly.

Let rise at room temperature for about two hours, then put in the fridge for up to 48 hours

Remove from the fridge at least two hours before using

For the final dough
Combine the flours in the bowl of the mixer, add the water and mix well. Cover with a cloth and let rest for 30 minutes

Add the fermented dough and yeast and mix until the dough is smooth and elastic. Sprinkle the salt over it and mix some more.

Very lightly flour your work surface. Place your dough on it, rough-side up, and flatten it out with your fingers. Spread the chestnut pieces over the top and press them well into the dough. Fold a few times so that all the chestnuts are incorporated into the dough. Form the dough into a ball, put it into an oiled bowl, cover with a cloth and let it rest for 40 minutes.

Lightly flour your work surface again, and turn the dough out on it. Fold the dough (on all four sides), then put back into your bowl, cover with baking cloth and let it rest for another 20 minutes. Lightly flour your work surface again, turn out the dough and divide it into 4 equal pieces.  Shape as desired.

Place on a semolina dusted parchment paper over a sheet pan. Let rise, covered with baking cloths, for 1 ½ hour or until just doubled in volume.

Meanwhile turn on the oven to 500ºF/250ºC with a baking stone in it and an empty cast iron (or metal) pan on the bottom shelf. When ready to bake, score the breads the way you like, pour 1 cup of water in the cast iron (or metal) pan and slide the breads (still on their parchment paper) onto the baking stone, spray some water into the oven and close the door quickly.

After 5 minutes, turn the oven down to 440ºF/220ºC and bake for another 20 minutes. Check to see if the loaves need to be turned around or if they need to switch places, then bake for another 10 minutes as needed

Let cool on a rack.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

ChestnutsDough1

Comments: When you buy 500g of chestnut flour several thousand miles away from home, you become very protective of it  A recipe that calls for 400g (in other words, 80% of my treasure) prompted me to launch a quick email to Farine, asking her thoughts on halving the recipe.  She is far more experienced in sourdough baking than me, so when she speaks, I listen. Once she gave me the ok to go for it, I felt empowered, on top of the world. Yes, I will be able to bake this bread and have a lot of chestnut flour leftover to play with. How cool is that?  So, being the super smart person I like to think I am, I made a nice table in which all amounts were cut in half, and went to work.

The catastrophic event was completely neglecting to look back at the table when mixing starter with the other components of the dough. I would have noticed that only HALF of the fermented dough should be added. So, that beautiful photo you see above, with a stretched out dough and the chestnuts waiting to be incorporated, was taken right before the piercing cry, the calling myself names, and the scared dogs running after Phil as he dashed out of the kitchen.  It is shocking and appalling to realize how little sympathy I get from those who live with me.

It is not easy to think rationally under duress, but I figured that the only way out of my self-inflicted misery was to discard half of that dough (ouch, it hurt!)  and add more of all other components to the other half, except (obviously) the starter.  Two problems with this strategy: I would not have time to let the flours go through autolyse before mixing, and I would have to use more of my precious chestnut flour.  With a heavy heart, that’s what I did.

compositechestnut

I was absolutely sure the abused bread would turn out to be a complete failure, but the Gods of Bread are a lot kinder than the Gods of Golf, so all had a miraculous happy ending.  Maybe the crumb turned out a little too tight, but I can tell you this bread tastes amazing!  If you can find chestnut flour where you live, or if you can order it online, try this bread. And, I echo Farine with one piece of advice she gave me: it is ok to scale down the recipe, but do not substitute walnuts or other nuts. Chestnuts are essential…

MC, thanks for the constant inspiration, and sorry I messed up the recipe. There’s always next time, as long as I find a good source for chestnut flour here in the US. Amazon.com to the rescue?  ;-)

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ONE YEAR AGO: Kinpira Gobo and Japanese Home Cooking

TWO YEARS AGO: Walnut Sourdough

THREE YEARS AGO: Thai Chicken Curry

FOUR YEARS AGO: Zen and the art of risotto

 

 

VALENTINE’S DINNER FOR TWO: OPENING ACT

I am absolutely thrilled about this post!  I usually don’t publish blogs linked to special celebrations such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, or 4th of July.  However, this Valentine’s Day will receive special attention from the Bewitching Kitchen. I was invited by Jamie (who hosts the great blog “Cooking in Red Socks“)  to write a collaborative series of posts to celebrate it.  So here is the deal: we will both be blogging three days in a row to cover the appetizer course, dinner, and dessert. My posts will center on a romantic meal for two.  Jamie will blog on the same courses, but her posts will be about Valentine’s Dinner for Friends. Her posts are made super special as one of her best friends, Allie, celebrates her Birthday on V-day.   How cool is that?  ;-) Make sure to stop by her blog and marvel at her choice for the appetizer course: Sun-Dried Tomato Palmiers… WOW!

To start the day on a great note, I offer a perfect Valentine’s Day breakfast bread: Chocolate Currant Sourdough.  A slice, slightly toasted, and a cup of hot cappuccino: heavenly!

Chocolate Currant Sourdough

ChocolateSourdoughCHOCOLATE CURRANT SOURDOUGH BREAD
(from Farine’s blog, original recipe from How to Make Bread)

Recipe overview:  This bread takes a regular sourdough starter, at 100% hydration.  The starter is incorporated into a final dough containing white flour, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and currants. After a series of foldings, the dough is shaped, either as two small loaves (as shown in Farine’s blog), or as a large round boule (as I did).  My shaped loaf fermented for 4 hours in our bread proofing box, temperature set to 78 F.   I baked it inside a covered clay pot for 30 minutes at 435 F, then removed the lid, and baked for 15 more minutes.

For the detailed recipe, visit Farine’s site or get  your copy of Emmanuel Hadjiandreou’s book.  Both links are included underneath the recipe’s title. 

Comments: Even though this bread contains a good amount of chocolate and currants, it is not overly sweet. The cocoa powder and the sourdough starter  act together to counteract excessive sweetness.  We loved it, in fact I did not expect to like it as much as I did.  If you have a starter going on in your kitchen, add this bread to your “to bake soon” list.  And don’t keep it there for too long…

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Now, let’s move on to the appetizer course of our romantic meal for two… I wanted something light, and red. Hummus is a favorite in our home, so I went with a twist on this classic, turning it into a shockingly red dip. Food coloring? No way!  This is a Roasted Beet Hummus, and it was absolutely wonderful…

Roasted Beet Hummus

ROASTED BEET HUMMUS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

1 medium beet
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 can (15 ounces) of chickpeas, drained, rinsed, peeled
1 lemon, zest and juice
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup tahini
2 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
cold water to desired consistency
sesame seeds and lemon zest for decoration

Peel the beet, cut it in quarters, coat with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  Place in a roasting dish covered with foil, and roast at 400 F for 30 minutes or until fully cooked through.

Place the roasted pieces in the bowl of a food processor, and process it for a few seconds.  Add all other ingredients, up to olive oil.  Process until completely smooth.  Season with salt and pepper, and adjust consistency with water if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.   Depending on the acidity of your lemon and your personal taste, a little more lemon juice right before serving might be a good idea.  Sprinkle sesame seeds and lemon zest on top, and…

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

RoastedBeets

Comments:  Phil is not too fond of beets, so I took a risk by choosing it for a Valentine’s Day menu.  But the flavor of this spread is very complex, and the beets stay mildly sitting in the background, their presence big in color but mellow in flavor.  Perfect for those who don’t jump up and down with joy when such bright red beings are found in the middle of the groceries. Serve this spread with crackers, or for a lighter appetizer course, celery or carrot sticks.

Make sure to visit Jamie’s site for her appetizer course on a Valentine’s Day Party for Friends! Stay tuned for the dinner course tomorrow…

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

ONE YEAR AGO: Sesame and Flax Seed Sourdough

TWO YEARS AGO: Spanakopita Meatballs

THREE YEARS AGO: Saturday Morning Scones

FOUR YEARS AGO: Pain de Mie au Levain

CARROT AND CUMIN HAMBURGER BUNS

Hamburger Bun1
I’ve been baking bread for many years, and of course I’ve had my share of failures.  However, I have yet to meet one recipe from Dan Lepard that didn’t work.  Dan knows his way around all things yeast and sourdough, so whenever I’m in the mood to try something out of the ordinary he is my number one source of inspiration.  This recipe is from his book Short and Sweet, which I reviewed in the past.  I am always fond of anything with carrots, and thought that incorporating them in a soft bread perfumed with cumin would lead to something awesome.

Look at these babies! Plump, golden, and so very fragrant…

Carrot and Cumin Hamburger Buns

If you want the recipe but do not own his book, you can find it at The Guardian website with a quick jump here. Or you can do even better and order your own copy;-)

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I loved making these buns!  They flow in the opposite direction of a sourdough, as Dan uses fast-rising yeast for the dough.  The only tough part was grating the carrots, I think my box grater is getting a little old and dull. I don’t like to buy pre-grated carrots, I think they are too bulky and overly dry. Not the best option for this type of recipe.

I made 5 buns, one of them larger than all others, as I wasn’t sure how much oven spring they would have.  Next time I will cut the dough into 6 equal pieces, the resulting size is perfect for a hamburger.

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ONE YEAR AGO: Potato Galettes a l’Alsacienne & Book Review

TWO YEARS AGO: Caramelized Carrot Soup

THREE YEARS AGO: Miso-Grilled Shrimp

FOUR YEARS AGO: Pain Poilane

LIGHT RYE SOURDOUGH WITH CUMIN AND ORANGE

Where are the virtual fireworks when I need them? After months of neglect, my sourdough starter was brought back to the kitchen! I actually tried baking bread once a few weeks ago, but when I attempted to revive the sourdough “chips” I had prepared, the resulting starter refused to cooperate: it was sluggish, slow, not at all vibrant. This time I went back to my frozen little balls of starter and they jumped right back into action. For my first bread made in the Supernova, I chose a recipe from TxFarmer, who runs two blogs, one in Chinese and another at The Fresh Loaf Forum. She is very creative and always pushes the boundaries of sourdough baking. Without further ado, this is the first bread born in the confines of our new oven…

Orange Cumin Sourdough

LIGHT RYE SOURDOUGH WITH CUMIN AND ORANGE
(slightly adapted from TxFarmer’s recipe)

*Makes 1 X 700g loaf

Levain
68 g  dark rye flour
54 g water
4 g rye starter at 100% hydration

Mix and rise at room temp for 12 to 16 hours.

Final Dough
386 g bread flour
9 g salt
grated orange peel from 1 large orange
fresh orange juice from 1 orange plus water to 245 g
1/2 Tbsp cumin powder
122 g levain mixture

Mix everything except for salt, autolyse for 40 min.  Add salt and knead in a KitchenAid type mixer at medium speed for 4 minutes.

Bulk rise at room temp (~78F) for about 2.5hrs, with stretch and fold  at 30, 60, and 90 minutes.

Pre-shape into a ball, let the dough rest for 10  minutes, then shape and place in a floured banneton for the final rise.

Proof until the dough springs back slowly when pressed. It took me 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Bake at 450F for 40 to 45 minutes, the first 25 minutes with steam. Let it cool completely on a rack before slicing.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This is a bread that screams for a bowl of chili, and that is exactly what I made on a Sunday afternoon.  I used our favorite recipe that simmers on the stove top for hours, but we did not touch it until next day.  That chili is good on the day it is made, but it turns into spectacular the day after.  Plus, what can be better than arriving home from work on a chilly Monday, and have dinner basically ready and waiting for you?

withChili

TxFarmer description of this baby was spot on, by the way.  The orange gives it a slight hint of sweetness, but the sourdough character of this bread is there.  The cumin is the touch of genius that makes this loaf superb with a bowl of chili or any type of spicy stew.  I could not have chosen a better loaf to inaugurate our Supernova!

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ONE YEAR AGO: Homemade Calziones

TWO YEARS AGO: Plum-Glazed Duck Breasts

THREE YEARS AGO: Holiday Double-Decker

FOUR YEARS AGO: New York Deli Rye

SEMOLINA SOURDOUGH BOULE

Having recently exorcised a few of my sourdough demons, I am happy as a clam baking bread every weekend.  This version is an adaptation of a formula that called for 100% durum semolina flour.  I took a small step back by including some regular flour in the mix, just a tad.  The dough is mixed the day before baking and rises for 12 or more hours in the fridge.   The semolina flour – which must absolutely be the correct type – gives the crumb a yellow hint, and takes the taste of the sourdough into a new direction.   A simple bread, with delicate flavor, but a hearty crust just like expected from a rustic sourdough.

loaf1

SEMOLINA SOURDOUGH BOULE
(adapted from Michele, at  The Fresh Loaf Forum)


to make the levain:
35 g sourdough starter at 100% hydration
140 g water
140 g  Semola  di Grano Duro Rimacinata
(you will use all the starter, make sure to save some of your leftover)

for final dough:
350 + 50 g water
4 g of diastatic malt powder
400 g semolina flour (Semola di grano Duro Rimacinata)
160 g bread flour
13 g salt

 Make the levain 10 hours before preparing the dough.  Mix all ingredients and leave at room temperature for 10 hours.

When the starter is ready, mix 350 g water with the malt and the starter (all of it).   When well combined, add the semolina, and the bread flour, mix until a shaggy dough forms.  Let it rest for 20 to 40 minutes.

Add the salt and the remaining 50 g water.  Mix well (you can use a Kitchen Aid type mixer for 2 to 3 minutes in low-speed if you prefer).

Let the dough ferment at room temperature for 2 hours, folding the dough every 30 minutes.  After the last folding, leave the dough undisturbed for 20 minutes.

Shape the dough as a ball and place in a floured round container.  Leave at room temperature for 20 minutes, then refrigerate for 16 to 20 hours.

Remove the dough from the fridge 1 to 2 hours before baking in a 450F with steam for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 430F and bake for 25 minutes longer, until dark brown.

Cool completely on a rack before slicing.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

crumb2

Comments:  If you are new to sourdough baking, this bread could be a bit challenging.   The semolina flour makes the dough pretty soft and very moist, it could scare a beginner into adding too much flour during handling.  The original recipe called for only three cycles of folding, but I added one more. The dough asked for it, it had not developed enough “muscle” at the third folding cycle.    I’ve been having trouble with my bread sticking to the banneton in long rises, so this time I took a different path and placed it inside a ceramic bowl heavily coated with rice flour.

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It worked really well, the bread expanded a bit during the overnight stay in the fridge, and had a nice shape after baking.  I left it at room temperature for a little over 2 hours before baking.

I wish I knew how to score the bread to get the amazing “flower effect” that Michele obtained, but until I see some type of tutorial for it online, I’ll have to accept a more old-fashioned, rustic type scoring.   Take a look at Michele’s full post about it and marvel at his technique…  I suspect the blade needs to be almost parallel to the surface of the dough instead of slashing deeply into it.

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ONE YEAR AGO: Forgive me, for I have sinned

TWO YEARS AGO: Cracked Wheat Sandwich Bread

THREE YEARS AGOAu Revoir, my Bewitching Kitchen

FOUR YEARS AGO:  French Bread

SOURDOUGH BLUES

For the past few months the Bewitching Kitchen witnessed my silent struggles with bread baking.  Re-phrasing that, for the past few months the Bewitching Kitchen witnessed a full-fledged bread baking debacle!   Yes,  a few floured banettons flew across the Bewitching Kitchen.   Yes, the lives of several loaves quickly came to a violent end as crouton-material on the chopping board.  Yes, Phil received text messages stating that I would never ever EVER bake sourdough again, and I needed him back home so I could cry on his shoulder.  I was miserable, confused and frustrated, feelings  I normally associate with golf, not bread baking.  Life can be cruel.

The deterioration in my baking happened slowly.  A slightly less plump loaf here, a tighter-than-expected crumb there.   Then, suddenly, no matter what I did my boules became pancakes.   Flat, … they were flat!.  No oven spring to speak of, and scoring the surface was like make-up at the undertaker’s,  … it made no difference in the loaf.  The crumb below was actually one of my better “pancake-loaves.”  Most had a much tighter crumb, leaving me too upset and disgusted to even bother taking a picture.

here

At a  loss,  I posted a message to Dan Lepard’s Appreciation Facebook page, and David W. came to the rescue.  Much like a therapist holding the hand of a patient, he listened to my saga and concluded that the problem related to storing my starter in the fridge.  Slowly, the complex microbial population in the starter had changed, leaving me with a less than ideal mixture to start bread with.  Several people advised me to discard the sourdough and start all over again, but I didn’t want to consider that route.  I’m too attached to Dan, the starter I captured and kept for four  and a half beautiful years.  That explains why I threw a massive fit at Phil when he insisted that a starter “is just flour and water“.  Can you imagine hearing THAT?  I know, it goes beyond insensitive.   But David provided the light at the end of the tunnel, with a  “revival protocol” for my starter.  Guess what happened on my first loaf?

boule1White Levain Sourdough Bread, a classic recipe from Dan Lepard’s Handmade Loaf


SOURDOUGH STARTER RECOVERY

(from David, at Dan Lepard’s Appreciation Facebook page)

For 7-10 days, discard all but a small spoonful of the starter, and feed the starter by adding 70g organic rye flour + 100 g water.  Keep it out in the kitchen, not in the fridge.

After the 7-10 days, reverse the refreshment proportions to form a dough:  175g organic rye flour + 125 g water.   After 12 hours, bake with as much as you need, by either adjusting your bread recipe to compensate for the thicker starter, or refreshing it again at the hydration level called for in the recipe.  Freeze small portions of the thick starter for future use.

You can keep your dough-consistency starter at room temperature, refreshing it weekly, or thaw one of those small portions a couple of days before baking, refreshing it daily (always at room temperature).

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I was so excited about getting back my “sourdough mojo”, that the following day I baked another loaf, a recipe adapted from Tartine.

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blacksesamecrumbCan you look at this crumb and not shed a tear or two of pure joy?


BLACK SESAME SOURDOUGH

(adapted from Chad Robertson Tartine)

For the starter:
50g  spelt flour
50g white flour
100g/ml water at 78-80F
1 Tbs active sourdough starter

For the dough:
375g/ml water at approximately 80F (divided in 350g + 25g)
100 g starter (you won’t use the full amount made)
440g white flour (good quality all-purpose is fine)
60g spelt flour
10g salt
1/3 cup black sesame seeds

In a large bowl, mix 350g of warm water with the starter (100g of it), and mix to dissolve. Add both types of flour, mix until all flour is mixed with water, without large dry bits present.  Let the dough rest for 25 to 40 minutes.

Add the salt and the rest of the water (25g), and incorporate by pressing the dough with your fingers. Fold the dough a few times, until if forms a homogeneous mass, but don’t try to knead it.  Leave it in the bowl, folding it again a few times – no need to remove it from the bowl – every 30 minutes, for the first two hours (you will be making 4 series of folds during this period).  Add the sesame seeds to the dough on your first folding, after all the water and salt has been incorporated.  After the last folding cycle, let the dough rest undisturbed for another full hour, for a total of 3 hours of “bulk fermentation.”

Remove the dough from the bowl and shape it gently as a ball, trying to create some surface tension (for a tutorial, click here).  Let it rest for 20 minutes, then do a final shaping, by folding the dough on itself and rotating it.  If you have a banneton, rub it with rice flour, line it with a soft cloth sprinkled with rice flour, and place the dough inside it with the seam-side up. If you don’t have a banneton, any round container – like a colander – will do. Let it rise for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature.  Twenty minutes before baking time, heat the oven to 450F.

Cut a piece of parchment paper that will completely cover a pie baking dish and place it on top of the banneton containing the bread dough.   Carefully invert the banneton  over the parchment paper, using the pie plate to support the dough.  The cloth will probably be sticking to the dough, so carefully peel it off.  Score the bread, and place the pie pan over baking tiles in the pre-heated oven.

Bake for about 45 minutes, covered during the first 20 minutes, remove the cover for the final 25 minutes.

Let the loaf cool completely on a rack before slicing.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I’ve been working with bacteria for 30 years, and one of the things we know too well is not to store it in the fridge.  Some strains of E.coli develop a capsule, a heavy coating of polysaccharides once exposed to cold temperatures, and they become pretty tricky to work with, particularly if you study what we do: their outer membrane proteins.  We tell the students all the time to avoid keeping their plates in the fridge, if a strain is worth preserving it should be immediately frozen at – 70 C.  So, it was ironic that I never thought twice about keeping my sourdough starter in the fridge for years and years, without making a “backup” stock in the freezer.  Never again.

I hope that if you bake with sourdough, this post will help you out in case of problems.  Make a few balls of very thick sourdough starter and store it in the freezer. Label that bag, by the way… you don’t want to look at it months from now and decide it’s some unknown creature that got into your freezer when no one was paying attention.  And then proceed to toss it in the garbage!   ;-)

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ONE  YEAR AGO: Headed to Hawaii

TWO YEARS AGO: A yummy Brazilian cake: Bolo de Fuba’

THREE YEARS AGO:  Hidden Treasure

FOUR YEARS AGO: Avocado Three Ways