Saturday, December 11, 2010

Rustic Bread Recipe-better late than never!

Time flies around the kitchen table here. I have been meaning to post the recipe for the rustic bread dough, but keep getting distracted on other projects.  As's my recipe...

530 gms flour ( I use 1/2 Gold Medal Better for Bread and 1/2 Fancy Duram)
325 gms. Ice cold water. (Mix water and ice together so it's really at freezing temp., then measure out the 325 gms.)

Mix this thoroughly, but quickly and refrigerate it immediately. You can leave this in the fridge for up to 3 days, but make sure it is at least chilled overnite. I don't know what this does to the dough, but I think the water starts to activate the enzymes in the flour and some of the starches get converted to sugar. The cool
temp keeps it from fermenting with any kind of wild yeasts which would sour the dough. The resultant dough has a wonderful and somewhat sweet flavor. (Trust me, you will love it)

Remove the dough from the fridge and while still cold, add 5 gms of instant dry yeast (Red Star Rapid Rise is good) and 20-25gms cold water.  Mix very thoroughly, then add 8.75 gms of salt and a bit more water, again 20 gms or so to get the salt mixed in well.  Do not add the salt at the same time as the yeast or you will kill off your yeast. Once this is mixed well and has developed good gluten, place in a oiled bowl to double in size. (This might take up to 6 hours as the dough is very cold at this point, in my nice warm kitchen it has been taking about 4 hours)  Divide dough into two equal pieces trying not to degass the dough any more than necessary to get it out of the bowl and divided. Stretch each piece of dough as shown in the video to build the gluten farther and get in into an approximate loaf shape. You can stretch and fold this several times (I usually go about 3 times) to build the gluten structure and get a nicely shaped loaf. Place the loaves in something to hold their shape. (I use cheap baskets from the dollar store lined with kitchen towels, dusted with rice flour)
Let this raise while you warm up your oven and baking stone.  When the oven is hot..500F...load the loaves onto a piece of parchment on a bakers peel and place them directly on the baking stone. Cover them with an aluminum roasting pan (that way you don't need to mist them) for the 1st 15 minutes. Once the bread is in the oven, turn the temp down to 460F.  remove the aluminum pan cover after 15 minutes and continue baking until they reach an internal temp of 200-205F (for me about another 15 minutes)
Voila! The best rustic bread you've ever eaten.

Give it a try and let me know how you do with this wacky wet dough.

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