The summer will be here before you know it, although with the rainy and cold sub 50 degree weather we had the last couple of days it's hard to believe. It is nice though to see some of our flowers start to bloom with many more ready to be planted today and tomorrow into the garden soil weather permitting.
I've been so busy at work the last few weeks it has been difficult to have time to think about baking anything creative. I've had this bottle of Crema de Tequila sitting on my desk just asking to be used in a bread. I received this as a gift from one of my vendors after I noticed a poster he had printed with several different tequila on it with this being one of them. It tastes similar to an Irish Crème but slightly different due to the tequila versus whiskey.
I thought what else goes well with tequila but limes so I added some Persian Lime Olive Oil that I recently picked up from a specialty store which carries a whole assortment of olive oils and vinegar. My wife and I just visited yesterday and bought some maple balsamic, blue berry balsamic, and several infused olive oils. Certainly some of these will be incorporated in future bakes.
I learned from the past that when using a liquor it is best to keep it at 50% or less for the liquid element or it will affect the rising power of the levain and you end up with a brick.
I created a starter using French Style KAF flour, oat flour and Kamut flour and used the same flour combination for the final.
The final bread came out a little dry due to the fact that since I baked this as one big loaf and I forgot to lower the oven from my usual 450 degrees F. it took longer than expected to bake thus drying out a bit too much for my liking. You can definitely taste the tequila in this bread along with a subtle hint of lime from the olive oil.
The crumb turned out a little dense but that is too be expected when using a liquor in bread. Overall though the bread has a nice chewy crust and pleasant taste that goes well with some cheese and olive oil. A nice fresh mozzarella and tomato salad would go well with this bread as well.
Mix all the levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled. I usually do this the night before.
Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.
Main Dough Procedure
Mix the flours, tequila and most of the water (leave a little to adjust after the autolyse) together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute. Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 20-30 minutes. Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), and olive oil and mix on low for a minute. Add the rest of the water unless the dough is way too wet. Mix on low-speed for another 4 minutes. Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds. Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold. Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold. After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.
When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours. Remove the dough and shape as desired. I made 1 loaf using a wicker basket. Place your dough into your proofing basket(s) and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.
The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature. Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.
Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees F. and prepare it for steam. I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf. I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.
Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.
After 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees(if making 1 large miche style loaf, lower to 425 F). Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.
Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.
Some of the flowers are starting to bloom, so per Evon's request here are some photos of my gardens.
- Mr. Toad's House