Thursday, February 24, 2011

French Style Country Bread

This is a simple french style rustic bread which I had made from King Arthur. I  rarely work with breads that require a starter. I do not have that much patience to make the starter the previous day,then work on it the next day and so. I halved the recipe and then made the bread,but still I have already made twice and used up.


Ingredients:

Sponge Starter: (2-16 hours ahead)

Instant Yeast: 1/4 tsp
Whole Wheat Flour: 2 tbsp
All Purpose Flour: 10 tbsp
Water (room temp): 1/2 cup

Dough:

All of the starter
Instant Yeast: 1/4 tsp
Sugar: 1.5 tsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp
APF: 1.5 cup + 6-8 tbsp (almost 2 cups)
Water: room temp: 1/2 cup

Preparation:
Mix together all the ingredients of the starter to get a messy pudding like structure. Cover with a wrap and let it sit in a warm place atleast for 2 hours or overnight. I went for 14 hours.


Dough:
To the starter add the yeast,sugar,salt,all the flour except around 8 tbsp and water.Stir well to get a messy mass. Allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Add in 1/4 cup and knead for about 8 -10 minutes. Rest.Dust the counter with about 1 tbsp of flour and transfer the dough onto it. Knead. Add more flour as needed to get a soft dough about 10 minutes. I added another 2 tbsp of flour and kneaded till I got an almost non-sticky dough. Continue the rest,knead process as much as possible so that the dough absorbs lesser flour and you can see it in as holes in the resulting bread.

Transfer to a greased bowl and rotate once to absorb the grease and cover with a pplastic wrap and let it sit until doubled about 1 hour.

Deflate slightly the risen dough and make sure all the air is not knocked off as this also helps in creation of holes. Shape into a round ball and transfer it a baking shet lightly greased and sprinkled with cornmeal/semolina.Loosely cover with a wrap and let it double again for another hour or so.

Using a sharp knife,slash or pattern through the dough and dust with a little flour.

Preheat the oven to 475F/246C. Spritz the oven with water from a spray can/whatever method you like. Place the baking sheet with the dough inside. Reduce the temp to 425 F/218C and start baking for about 15-18 minutes. After the first 5 minutes,spray water every 2-3 minutes,till the 12th minute is over. Mine took about 15 minutes. The original recipe goes for 25-30 minutes,but since I halved the baking time can be different.


Cool completely and then serve warm along with soups,chili or use in puddings,etc.

You can see the holes - mine were not that great as I deflated a bit too much I feel - in the cross section


I served it crostini style by grilling it and topped with roasted tomato and basil.The rustic bread is on way to BBD#37- Breads made with a starter/sponge at the versatile kitchen of the Bangalore Baker,an event by Zorra





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