Six years ago, Zorra started an event called “World Bread Day“. Bakers from all over the world would bake a loaf of bread and blog about it. This year I am thrilled to participate and chose my favorite type of bread to join the party. The recipe comes from a very nice book, Artisan Baking, written by Maggie Glezer. A country French-style loaf called Essential’s Columbia. The formula comes from George DePasquale, from Seattle’s Essential Baking Company.
The perfect Sunday starts with a batch of sourdough starter all puffed up from getting fed 12 hours earlier. Before I even have my morning capuccino, the kitchen still dark, I look at my ingredients waiting, and get all excited anticipating the thrill of getting a nice loaf of bread from our oven. It does help a lot to weigh it all the night before, all you have to do is heat the water in the microwave for 30 seconds or so, and you are ready to go…
In Glezer’s book, this bread is listed as “advanced”, but it’s actually quite simple to prepare. It calls for all purpose flour, bread flour, whole wheat, and a little rye. Also in the formula a small amount of toasted wheat germ, and barley malt syrup. It uses a very firm starter, probably the firmest I’ve ever seen in a recipe, it is actually more like a dough that ferments for 12 hours and then is incorporated in the mixture of flours, salt, and water. A very slow and long fermentation, with the help of my bread proofing box. Amazing how the two banettons fit just right inside!
After shaping, the oblong loaf proofed for 3 hours, and the round one for almost 4 hours, as I could not bake them at the same time. Not much difference in the crumb, which was a bit surprising to me. I expected the round loaf to have a slightly more airy inner structure. But bread is bread, its temperamental nature one of the things I love the most about it.
I could not find a way to contact Maggie Glezer to get her official ok to publish the full recipe, but it is available online in a couple of blogs, so you can find it. But the book is a must-have for anyone with a passion for wild yeast, so consider providing that little boost on the economy.
My batard shaping was a little better than usual, but still needs improvement… gotta keep going at it!
ONE YEAR AGO: The US Listeria Outbreak 2011
TWO YEARS AGO: 36 Hour Sourdough Baguettes
THREE YEARS AGO: October 16 is World Bread Day