|Tuesdays with Dorie ~ Country Bread|
|This bread has a crunchy crust and a tight crumb…perfect for toast or sandwiches|
The best part of this bread, besides the delicious flavor, was the most wonderful aroma that filled my kitchen while it was baking. Nothing quite like a marvelous loaf of bread baking to warm you on a cold day. So very comforting! Happy Tuesday everyone….good to be back!
|The next day….kneading the dough with my mixer|
|Warm and comforting|
|Enjoying mine for breakfast with some fig butter….wonderfull|
Country Bread by contributing baker Joe Ortiz
Prep Time: 2½ hrs. + overnight rest
Cook Time: 60-70 minutes
makes 1 large round loaf
1½ c. warm water (105°-115° F)
2½ tsp. active dry yeast
1 c. bread flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
½ c. rye flour
½ c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. active dry yeast
1 c. warm water
all of the sponge
3-3½ c. bread flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 Tbs. salt
Make the sponge (the evening before you want to bake the bread):
Put ¼ cup of the warm water into a bowl and sprinkle with the yeast; stir to mix. Allow the yeast to rest for about 5 minutes, until it turns creamy. Add remaining water. Stir the flours together and add them to the yeast mixture a little at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until sponge has the consistency of pancake batter. I would call it a thick batter.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight. Plan on pulling this out of the fridge 1 hour before you're ready to continue with your recipe. I pulled mine out first thing in the morning the day I planned on baking the bread. So it sat for about 2 hours before I mixed the bread dough.
Make the bread (day of baking):
Be sure to pull the sponge from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for an hour before continuing on with the dough.
Dissolve the yeast in ½ cup of the warm water. Scrape the sponge into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment and add the other ½ cup of warm water to that bowl. Cobine 3 cups of the bread flour with the whole wheat flour.
Gradually add 2 cups of the flour mixture into the mixer bowl, while it runs on medium-low speed. Once it has mixed for ~3 minutes, add the yeast mixture until incorporated. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and allow it to mix in. Work the remaining flour mixture in until the dough starts to "clean" the sides of the bowl (if you need to, add a tad more bread flour until this happens). Increase the mixer speed to medium and allow to knead for ~10 minutes or until the dough begins to look smooth and satiny; it should feel slightly tacky (almost enough to be sticky, but not quite).
Form dough into a loose ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic and allow dough to proof at room temperature until doubled in volume, 1½-2 hours.
Prepare a banneton (measuring 8" across base) or a large basket or colander lined with a linen towel rubbed with flour. Set aside until needed.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it into a flat round with your fingers and palms. Fold the four "edges" in and press down with the heel of your hand, then flip the dough over and work it against the counter with your cupped hands to form a tight ball. Repeat this process (flattening, folding, tightening) four more times. Turn the loaf over and lay it into the prepared banneton or colander lined with towel, smooth side down.
Cover with plastic wrap that has been lightly oiled on the surface facing the dough. Let it rise at room temperature until it has risen over the edge of the banneton. This could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1½ hours.
About 30 minutes before you're ready to bake the loaf, position an oven rack in the lower third of your oven and set a baking stone on it. Preheat oven to 425° F. Have a spray bottle filled with water ready.
When the dough has risen fully, sprinkle a baker's peel or rimless baking sheet with cornmeal and carefully invert your risen dough onto it. Spray the oven walls with water and immediately close the door to trap the steam.
Score your bread a few times, making cuts ½"deep. Open the oven and slide the dough onto the baking stone, turn down the heat to 400° F, and quickly spray the oven walls again. Close oven quickly. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until the crust is a deep golden color. The loaf will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom and should register at least 200° F when an instant-read thermometer is inserted into the center.
Remove loaf and allow to cool on a wire rack before cutting. Will keep at room temperature for ~3 days. Wrapped tightly and frozen it will keep for a month (thaw, still wrapped, at room temperature).
Joe Ortiz in Baking with Julia
To see what the other members of Tuesdays with Dorie thought of this Country Bread visit BWJ~Tuesdays with Dorie.