I took a break from weekly baking over the Xmas holidays. I did bake a batch for my brother during that time but that was it. Amazing how easy one batch seems when you don’t have to repeat everything 4 times.
This bread was inspired from the over abundance of feta in my fridge and dehydrated cherry tomatoes from my garden that were sitting in my cupboard. Unfortunately, when I went to use the feta, it had started developing lovely shades of blue even the best by date was still a month or two away. ?Hubby to the rescue! He ran (well, drove in a snow storm actually) to the store for me!
For those who don’t live in wintry regions, we have really been nailed with snow. I’ve lost count of how many snow storms we have had so far this winter!
Makes 3 loaves
100 g Kalamata Olives, chopped
25 g Sun Dried Tomatoes (See note in recipe)
100 g crumbled feta
30 g olive oil
700 g unbleached strong baker’s flour
200 g freshly milled Selkirk flour
100 g freshly milled Einkorn flour
50 g freshly ground flax seed
720 g tomato soaking liquid/filtered water plus 25 g water if needed
21 g salt
250 g levain
Two mornings before:
- Take 2 g of refrigerated starter and feed it 4 g of filtered water and 4 g of wholegrain flour. Let sit at cool room temperature for the day.
The two nights before:
- Feed the levain 20 g of water and 20 g of wholegrain flour. Let that rise at cool room temperature for the night.
- Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in lightly salted (pinch of salt) hot water until the skin is easily pierced with a knife (~2 hours). Drain well, reserving the tomato soaking water, and add 30 g of olive oil. Let marinate and then place in the fridge. Refrigerate the soaking water as well. Note: You can use sun-dried tomatoes already in oil but I had my own homemade dehydrated tomatoes from this summer.
The morning before:
- Feed the levain 100 g of filtered water and 75 g of wholegrain flour as well as 25 g of strong baker’s flour. Let rise until doubled (about 6 hours).
- Place into fridge until the next morning.
The night before:
- Mill the Red Fife and Einkorn berries. Place the required amounts in a tub. Add the unbleached flour to the tub.
- Grind the flax seeds in a bullet and add to the flours in the tub. Cover and set aside.
Dough Making day:
- Early in the morning, take out the levain to warm up. I usually give it a good stir at this time.
- Put the reserved tomato water in a stand mixer’s bowl (I warmed it up a bit in the microwave) and add filtered water until you have 720 g. Add the flours from the tub. Mix on the lowest speed until all the flour has been hydrated. This takes a couple of minutes. Autolyse for at least a couple of hours at room temperature.
- Remove the sun-dried tomatoes from the fridge and let warm up on the counter. Chop the olives and crumble the feta if needed. Add to the tomato mixture (no point having a million bowls out).
- Once the autolyse is done, add the salt and the levain to the mixing bowl. Mix on the lowest speed for a minute to integrate everything, then mix on the next speed for 9 minutes. My dough needed an extra 25 g of water so I added it while it was mixing.
- At the end of the 9 minutes, add the sun-dried tomatoes with the oil, the feta and the chopped olives. Mix another minute or two until incorporated.
- Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place in a lightly oiled covered tub. Let rest 30 minutes in a warm spot (oven with light on).
- Do 2 sets of stretches and folds at 30 minute intervals and then 2 sets of sleepy ferret folds (coil folds) at 45 minute intervals, and then let the dough rise to about 30 to 40%. This took about another hour on this particular day. It should have irregular bubbles visible through the sides of the container and bubbles on top as well.
- Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~800 g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest 30 minutes on the counter.
- Do a final shape by flipping the rounds over on a lightly floured counter. Gently stretch the dough out into a circle. Pull and fold the third of the dough closest to you over the middle. Pull the right side and fold over the middle and do the same to the left. Fold the top end to the center patting out any cavities. Finally stretch the two top corners and cross over each other in the middle. Roll the bottom of the dough away from you until the seam is underneath the dough. Cup your hands around the dough and pull towards you, doing this on all sides of the dough to round it off. Finally spin the dough to make a nice tight boule.
- Sprinkle a mix of rice flour and all purpose flour in the bannetons. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons. Let rest for a few minutes on the counter and then put to bed in a cold (38F) fridge overnight.
- The next morning, heat the oven to 475F with the Dutch ovens inside for an hour. Turn out the dough seam side up onto a cornmeal sprinkled counter. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots, and carefully but quickly place the dough seam side up inside.
- Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 25 minutes, remove the lids, and bake for another 22 minutes at 425 F. Internal temperature should be 205 F or more.