OCTOBER 16: WORLD BREAD DAY!

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!

The perfect Sunday ends with a couple of loaves resting on the counter….

and the perfect Monday starts with a small gift to the Department!   😉

I am submitting this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting…    and I invite you to visit the roudup of breads at Zorra’s site!

ONE YEAR AGO: The US Listeria Outbreak 2011

TWO YEARS AGO: 36 Hour Sourdough Baguettes

THREE YEARS AGO: October 16 is World Bread Day

PISTACHIO-WALNUT SOURDOUGH BREAD

The goal: to make a sourdough bread loaded – and I mean loaded – with nuts, a crumb not as open as my usual loaves, to enjoy with an assortment of cheeses, from  French Brie to Italian Gorgonzola, passing by Spain with its awesome Manchego.  My starting point was a recipe from Maggie Glezer’s Artisan Baking, adapted to include whole pistachios, and small pieces of walnuts.  I wanted the pistachios to be the main textural component in the bread, and the walnuts to impart mainly their flavor throughout the crumb.  According to my dear husband, I hit the jackpot with this bread, he absolutely loved it. It reminded us of a bread we used to buy in a street market in Paris on Saturdays, except for the fact that the French version included a lot of sunflower seeds. Now, that’s an interesting idea for a future baking adventure… 😉

PISTACHIO-WALNUT SOURDOUGH BREAD
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

Levain (you will use only half of it):
1 Tbs firm sourdough starter
45 g  warm water
75 g  bread flour

Dough:
300 g  bread flour
25 g  rye flour
25 g whole wheat flour
228 g  warm water
8 g salt
80 g walnuts, lightly toasted, in small dice
50 g whole pistachios, roasted

Make the levain by mixing all the ingredients and kneading lightly to form a smooth dough.  Keep at room temperature for about 12 hours (it should at least triple in size).

Make the dough by combining the three types of flour with the water.  Cover and let the mixture rest for 30 minutes. Add the salt and the levain (half of it only!) and knead a few times until it forms a shaggy mass.  Add the nuts and knead briefly to incorporate them.  Let it rest for 30 minutes, knead for about 10-20 seconds, and let the dough rest for another 30 minutes.  Knead (or fold) a few times, and let the dough rest for 1 hour.  Knead (or fold)  a few times, and let it rise undisturbed for 2 hours.

Pre-shape the dough as a round ball, let it rest for 15 minutes, then shape it in its final form, placing it in a banetton or another appropriate, well floured container, with the seam side up.   Cover and let it rise for 3 hours. Invert the dough on parchment paper, slash the surface, place on a baking stone on a 425 F oven, covered for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for 15 minutes more, until dark brown and the internal temperature is at least 205 F.

Let the loaf cool over a rack  before cutting.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  Making this bread was a labor of love, because I shelled the pistachios myself. My finger tips had quite a workout, so next time I will buy shelled pistachios to make life a little easier, and I advise you to do the same. At any rate, this bread is a nut-lover’s paradise.  The pistachios shine like little jewels, and the walnuts become almost sweet during baking.  I could not be happier with it, as it turned out exactly as I hoped.  Plus, it was another  successful performance by our Breville toaster oven!

Who could resist having a second slice?  😉

I am submitting this post to Yeastspotting

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