CHRISTMAS SOURDOUGH

I love it when a friend shares a baking idea with me, and in this case I am talking about Alex, my tent-baker partner of three years ago (time flies!). I gilded the lily by coupling some air-brushing with the basic scoring pattern, and I must say I’m pretty smitten by this little loaf of sourdough, perfumed with a touch of za’atar.

ZA’ATAR CHRISTMAS SOURDOUGH
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

385g white bread flour
20g whole-wheat flour
65g sourdough starter at 100% hydration
280g water
8g salt
1 tsp za’atar

Make the levain mixture about 6 hours before you plan to mix the dough. It should be very bubbly and active.

When you are ready to make the final dough, place the water in the bowl of a KitchenAid type mixer and dissolve the starter in it, mixing with a spatula briefly, then add the two types of flour, the baharat and the salt. Turn the mixer on with the hook attachment and knead the dough for 4 minutes at low-speed all the time. If the dough is too sticky, add 1/4 cup flour, you want the dough to start clearing the sides of the bowl, but still be sticky at the bottom.

Remove from the machine, and transfer to a container lightly coated with oil, cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow it to ferment for 4 hours, folding every 45 minutes or so. After four hours bulk fermentation, shape the dough as a ball, and place, seam side up, in a lightly floured banetton. Leave at room temperature one hour, and then place in the fridge overnight, from 8 to 12 hours.

Next morning, heat the oven to 450F. Invert the dough over parchment paper, rub gently white flour on the surface. Score with a pine tree pattern (see picture below) and paint them with air-brush in green, then go over the center lines with gold luster powder.

Bake at 450F for 45 minutes, preferably covered for the first 30 minutes to retain steam. Cool completely over a rack before slicing.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Alex brought to my attention this post from Instagram, so you can check how it is scored by watching the reel. I used the air-brush to add some green to the trees after scoring. It worked great because it goes fast, but of course there is little precision on the edges. I then used gold to hide the green that sprayed in between the tree pattern. Just like the Instagram post, my central star also bursted in the oven, but such is the price you pay for good oven spring. The green faded a little bit during baking so next time I will use a heavier hand with the air-brush. Now that I know the colors of air-brush dyes work well, I will be playing with other patterns and bringing stencils to play too. Stay tuned!

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