Altamura Peasant Loaf
I adapted the recipe from Dan Leader's book 'Local Breads'. I did not have a pure durum sourdough. Rather I had the stiff dough levain from his Pain au levain, refreshed this yesterday and then decided on the spur of the moment to try something different. Since I had some Red Mill #1 Durum wheat on hand and have never baked with it, I decided to give the Altamura a try. I added the 57g spring water and the 70g durum to this starter. It doubled in 4 hours so I put it in the warmer regrigerator. This morning I warmed this together with the spring water for the bread on the proofing setting of the oven and then proceded with the recipe as written up to the point of putting the preshaped loaf into a kitchen towel to rise. I actually had it in there and it wanted to spread sideways. Instead I put the dough (I did not deflate it after the bulk proofing)directly into my small enameled iron DO and let it proof some more in the car, lol. In the meantime I preheated the oven to 400°F and put the DO in cold. I baked it for 35 min. removed the lid, baked another 10 min. took the bread out of the DO and set it in the hot oven for another 10 minutes.
He said in the book to use only the finest milled durum or it would not work. He had also said the pain au levain would not rise much. He only gives it 1 hour bulk ferment. I gave it the whole 4 hours and it rose better than many another bread I baked. Shows you you can't always go by the book. Experience counts.