Sunday, October 9, 2011

BBA #30: Basic Sourdough Bread with Asiago and Walnuts

Basic Sourdough with Walnuts and AsiagoStill catching up--this one was baked August 14. It's the first bread up in the sourdough section. I skimmed over the "make your own sourdough starter" section, choosing instead to use my years-old sourdough starter, originally from King Arthur Flour but by now probably all local yeasts. That starter, like the one Reinhart develops, is made of equal weights of flour and water, which works out to about double the volume of flour to water. Weighing is easiest!

I made the firm starter the first day, a mix of the refreshed starter and more flour and water--but less water, to end up with a kneadable dough. The firm starter took perhaps 6 hours to double, slower than Reinhart's base estimate of 4 hours. After an overnight refrigeration, the final dough was made from it plus more flour and water, plus salt. I got it a touch too wet, maybe, and had to dust the counter with flour while moving it to my rising container. I also went with Reinhart's suggestion to try some variations, and added walnuts to get the lovely purplish color to the bread, and a dry asiago cheese in about 1/4" dice, spread on the dough and rolled in. I put in about 1.5 oz walnuts and 2.5 oz. cheese to my half-recipe of bread--about 10 oz. of flour so that's the 40% of the final flour weight in addtions that he recommends.

Basic Sourdough with Walnuts and AsiagoThe dough tose slowly, so I eventually put it in the warm garage to speed up (August, Atlanta...the garage was probably 85 degrees) and it had almost doubled in maybe 5 hours. I decided to shape it as a batard. I'm still working on shaping-without-deflating: I didn't deflate my dough, but as my loaf ended up pretty flat but not dense, I think I didn't manage to get enough surface tension during the shaping.

Basic Sourdough with Walnuts and AsiagoI baked it using the hearth baking method on a stone with steam in the first few minutes, yanking the parchment out from under the loaf when I rotated the bread after 10 minutes. Results: very tasty bread. It had a nice sourdough flavor. The asiago cheese was crusty on top and crunched nicely with the good bread crust, and formed little pockets of melted cheese inside the loaf. The walnuts did give a lovely purplish cast to the bread, and added another crunchy element.

It's a keeper. There are lots of other interesting variations listed, but I'll be coming back to this one, I'm sure.

No comments:

Post a Comment