Monthly Archive for April, 2009

Sourdough Wheat Batard

Sourdough Wheat Batard (recipe adapted from Peter Reinhart’s “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice)

Ingredients:

3/4 cups sourdough wheat starter  (active)

1 1/2 cups water (luke warm)

1 cup wheat flour

3 cups bread flour

2 teaspoons salt

Procedure:

1) Place starter in a large bowl

2) In a separate bowl, mix the wheat flour, bread flour and salt

3) Add the contents from step 2 to the starter, then add the water and mix w/ your hand until everything comes together

4) Pour mixture onto a floured surface and knead for 12 to 15 minutes until the dough is firm but tacky, like firm French bread dough (it should pass the windowpane test)

5) Transfer dough to a large bowl that has been lightly oiled (I used Pam organic canola oil) and roll it around to coat w/ oil, then cover bowl w/ plastic wrap

6) Ferment at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours, or until the dough has nearly doubled in size

7) Gently remove the dough from the bowl and divide into 2 equal pieces (be careful to degas the dough as little as possible)

8) Gently shape the dough into batards

9) Place batards on a pizza peel that has been dusted w/ corn meal, dust the batards w/ flour, cover w/ plastic and proof for 2 to 3 hours (I proofed the batards on a pizza peel so I could easily slide them into the oven, but if you don’t have a peel you can proof them on your kitchen counter)

10) Preheat oven w/ pizza stone on the center rack to 500 degrees F. Place an empty baking dish on the rack below the pizza stone

11) Slash the batards w/ a large serrated knife

12) Slide the batards onto the pizza stone then quickly pour 1 cup of hot water into the empty baking dish and close the oven door; after 30 seconds, spray the oven walls w/ water and close the door. Repeat twice more at 30 second intervals. After the final spray, lower the oven temperature to 450 degrees F and bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the loaves 180 degrees for even baking and continue to bake for another 10 to 20 minutes until done (they should be a rich golden brown color all over and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom)

13) Transfer the finished loaves to a rack and cool for at least 45 minutes before slicing

14) Enjoy your delicious homemade bread w/ friends as I did!!

Baker’s notes:

Crisp and chewy crust

Tight, flavorful crumb (I’ll have to read up on how to get a more airy interior for my next batch)

Seal the edges better next time when shaping the loaves so they don’t start to pop open during the oven rise

Happy Baking…

Bruno