Ploughman's Lunch Bread Experiment
I love the idea of a rustic "ploughman's lunch", so I thought I'd try to replicate the experience (or, at least, channel it) via a savoury bread.
I started with a beer-bread base inspired by Dan Lepard's stout loaf recipe, only using an ale rather than the stronger stout:
Adding some locally-produced garlic coil, some diced dill pickles and cubed strong locally-produced Gouda cheese, I came up with this formula for an 825 gram/29 ounce loaf:
I mixed the dough and savoury elements, let it autolyze for about 20 minutes, kneaded by hand until resonably smooth, then let it ferment at room temperature until doubled (about 2 hours).
I then shaped the dough into a boule, and let it proof in a banneton for 45 minutes while the oven was preheating to 510 degrees F/265 C. The dough was flipped onto parchment, slashed, and put into the oven on the baking stone I keep there. I sprayed water into the oven from time to time for the first 8 minutes, then lowered the oven temp to 400 F/205 C for 45 minutes.
I was pleased with the resulting crumb, considering it wasn't a levain dough.
The taste? A nice beer bread, with spikes of meat, cheese and pickles (which baked up tasting and feeling a bit like olives).
A success? Not as much as I'd hoped in this format. To better re-create the ploughman's lunch experience, my next experiment will be to make rolls, based on a beer bread formula filled with meat, cheese and pickles (maybe even a bit of chutney - I worried about the flavour spreading all over the bread if I mixed it into the dough itself).
Ideas/feedback (good, bad or ugly) always welcome.