Sunday, April 29, 2007

French Country Sourdough

This hearty sourdough loaf would be a perfect accompaniment to a hot bowl of soup or stew. The large, thick slices have a nice chew and farely dense texture. I've enjoyed it with chunks of swiss cheese and tomato. A very sturdy, large loaf. Would be nice to make smaller boules and turn them into bread bowls.

I love how each time I work with my starter or make bread under slightly different conditions, the outcome varies. It's fun to enjoy the various "personalities" my starter can exhibit. With this loaf, the sourdough flavor was very pronounced and actually increased with time. Each day, the bread became more and more tangy/sour. It had a slight chew and I would have preferred it to be a bit less dense. But over all, a nice loaf. Continue for recipe.

French Country Sourdough

2 T King Arthur starter (refreshed the night before and left at room temp.)
60 mls lukewarm water
1/2 cup + 1-1/3 T all-purpose (KA)

Dissolve starter in water; add flour and beat until smooth; loosely cover.
Incubate at room temp: 9hrs.

In bowl of mixer, combine:
1/2 cup + 1-1/3 T whole wheat flour(KA)
2 T rye flour
4 cups bread flour (Gold Medal)

Add 330 mls warm water to levain; mix and add it to flour mixture.
Mix until just combined; cover; let rest 30 min.
Mix dough with hook on low for 5 min.
Slowly add 1-1/2 t salt; knead on low for 4 min. Place in lightly oiled bowl about 3x size of dough.
Ferment 30 min. at room temp; gently fold.
Ferment 30 min; fold.
Place in fridge overnight.
Remove dough and let rest at room temp. for 1 hour + 45 min.
Gently turn dough out onto floured counter (sticky); let sit 10 min.
Generously flour a bowl; form dough into a round boule and place in prepared bowl.
Proof 4 hrs. + 15 min.
Preheat oven and baking stone to 500 degrees.
Dump loaf onto semolina-coated parchment.
Place in oven, misting immediately with water. Turn oven down to 400 degrees.
Mist 4x in first 5 min.
Bake a total of 50 min.

**Adaptations more previous loaves: I changed the flour proportions and included some bread flour this time--cut back on this next time. Could have increased the whole wheat proportion a bit more. I also started my levain with about 2x as much starter and retarded the fermentation overnight in the fridge.

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