The Fresh Loaf

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Cherry Pecan Pain au Levain

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mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Cherry Pecan Pain au Levain

I've always liked the walnut raisin pain au levain Dan Leader sells at Bread Alone Bakery near me, and I've been wanting to try something like this for awhile and finally got around to it this week, but with cherries and pecans.


Both Susan's yeasted version on her Wild Yeast blog and SteveB's version on his Bread Cetera blog gave me a craving for cherry pecan bread when I saw their photos....thanks for the ideas you two, your baked goods are so mouthwatering and professional looking...(I am unworthy of breadblogging in the same sphere as you two!)


I made this as a sourdough-only version and mixed about 30% whole wheat and 2.5% rye with AP flour. This mix gave a nice dark-colored but light-textured open crumb that tasted good with the fruit and nuts. You could obviously substitue rasins and walnuts, or anything else you can think of. I find it especially tastes great sliced, toasted, and served with cream cheese, and lasts a long time.




I soaked the cherries for a bit too long as they were a little too mushy and a some color washed out, but the bread tasted great, I'll be making this again a lot I think. It was very easy.


Here are the loaves just before slashing and loading into the oven, after their overnight cold retarding:



Here's the formula:


Pecan Cherry Pain au Levain


Makes 2 large 2.5 lb batards or oblong loaves.


Levain Build


% flour of levaingrams
starter (100% hydration with WW flour) 32.1% 45
warm water 85.7% 120
All-Purpose flour 100.0% 140

Final Dough

% flour final doughgrams
All-Purpose flour 66.4% 750
100% whole wheat flour 31.0% 350
100% whole rye flour 2.7% 30
flour subtotal 100% 1130
 
warm water 69.5% 785
sea salt 2.0% 23
ripe levain 27.0% 305
dried pitted sour cherries, soaked   240
toasted pecans   240

1)  12 hours before making final dough, create the levain using some ripe starter that has been fed and doubled. Mix well and cover in bowl until levain has risen to over double but has not yet begun to collapse, aprox. 10-12 hours at 65-70F. Toast the pecans at 350F for 10-20 minutes and let cool, then coarsly chop and set aside. Soak dried sour cherries in water overnight and strain next morning before making final dough.

2)  When levain is ripe, create final dough by mixing warm water with levain to dissolve. Mix all flours and salt in large bowl until evenly distributed, then add watered levain to flour mix with dough whisk, spoon, or hands until well combined. Cover and let rest for 1 hour at @ 70F. Tip dough onto counter, knead in the cherries and pecans lightly, and french fold for approx. 10 minutes with short 1-2 minute rests as needed to scrape together dough or relax it, and tuck in the fruit/nuts. The cherries and pecans may fall out and it will be quite messy at first, but eventually the dough will come together into a neat lump after 5-6 minutes or so. At end of kneading, round out the dough so that fruit/nuts are tucked inside and good skin of dough is on outside. Place dough in lightly oiled container and cover to rest for 30 min. After 30 min., turn out dough onto lightly oiled counter to give it one good gentle stretch and letter fold, then place dough back into oiled covered container. Repeat one more stretch and fold after another 30 minutes, then let dough continue to rise until doubled at @ 70F (approx. 2 more hours).

3)  Shape dough into 2 batards, place batards in floured couche, cover well so loaves don't dry out, and let loaves cold proof overnight at 40-50F for approx. 8-10 hours. Next morning, place loaves in warmer area (65-70F) while oven preheats for 45 minutes to 450F. Bake loaves on oven stone with steam (I pour 1 cup hot water from tea kettle into pre-heated cast iron pan on oven floor) at 450F for 15 minutes, then turn heat down to 400F for another 30-35 minutes until center registers 200-205F with instant read thermometer and crust is well-browned.

On a slightly different note: my last few batches of bread have been coming out smelling and tasting better than ever, I think it may just be this new flour I was able to pick up in a 50lb bag from Bread Alone Bakery down the road from me. It is an All-purpose flour from Canada with 11.5% protein, not sure about ash content. Anyone ever used or heard of this Oak AP flour before?I like it a lot. It handles nicely in dough.

Comments

paddyboomsticks's picture
paddyboomsticks

That looks good. I wonder if it would be possible to reduce the water and use fresh cherries? They're having their incredibly brief season here in australia and it would be great to use them!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, MD.


I certainly do not want to take a thing from Susan or from Steve. I greatly admire both of them. They make wonderful-looking breads, and I love both of their blogs.


However, you are worthy!


Those breads look delicious! I love pecans, and I love dried sour cherries. Did I say I like sourdough bread pretty well, too? I must try this combination.


Keep us posted on other breads you make with that flour. You might have to look into getting a distributorship.


David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

This is a keeper.  Lovely breads!!  I have a weakness for anything with cherries in it!!  The taste with the new formula must be wonderful...Perfect!


Sylvia

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Now you're cooking MD. What a wonderful lookinng bread. We love sour cherries and I bought a bag a couple weeks ago and haven't gotten to it yet. This looks to be a good candidate.


I do recall hearing from someone about Dover flour. I wonder if it is widely distributed in the US. I've been on a rant to try to improve the smell of my breads.


I totally agree with David btw. You are a great baker MD, it is I who am not worthy.


Eric

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Sheesh!


An epidemic of competitive false modesty!


Well, then, I am less worthy than either of you! So there!


Why does this remind me of the old (Groucho Marx?) line, " I wouldn't belong to any club that would accept me as a member."


David

SteveB's picture
SteveB

MD, those loaves look mighty tasty to me!


Worthiness is endemic to all those with a passion for great bread.


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com


 

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

I wasn't fishing for re-assurance as to my worthiness, honest! :-) It was a statement more along the lines of Wayne and Garth bowing to the rockstar saying "we're not worrthy!" Susan, Steve, and Jane have such great food blogs with a wide variety of bread, pastries, and dishes, I just wanted to point those out as to the source of the inspiration...I'm very happy with my sourdough breadmaking, but I definitely don't have the depth of culinary skills you 3 have, when it comes to gardening, however, I could go nuts with a blog like that of my own...maybe someday.


But thank you PaddyB, David, Eric, Steve, Betty, and all for your kind words!

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Here's some more.. you are worthy! Ha ha ha!!! This site has some absolutely incredible bakers who have inspired me a LOT. I see it as a group effort, no single gurus.


Great looking bread, there. I have been dying to try this bread but pecans cost a fortune here and I can't buy the cherries. I don't want to substitute with anything else. It's on my to do list and may have to sit there for awhile, unfortunately.


Jane

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

With the "group effort" and this bread is soooo tempting.  It certainly looks good and I think I can smell wiffs of warm cherries.  And like you, Pecans cost a fortune here too.  But I think I'll use hazel nuts or canned marrons and let you know how they come out.  One last chance at a bake before I fly.


Mini

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Thanks Mini and Jane! Sorry to hear pecans are in short supply in Europe, how about walnuts and raisins or dried currants instead? Hazlenuts also sound great.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

A lot of what the sour cherries add is the sourness. Another very tart dried fruit would probably give a similar experience. Hmmmm ... Apricots sound good. I may try that myself.


David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Have you tried the Blenheim apricots!!  They are the best...Trader Joe's keeps the dried ones!  The first time I had a taste was out of a very old  fruit tree orchard my daughter had in a home they temporarily purchased while building next door!  The orchard was put in by a lady who knew her plants/trees!  Oh my gosh is all I can say...everyone was amazed at the flavor!  I have heard the  Blenheim orchards are getting rare because of home building in California.  I have been able to find the Blenheims in a local farmers market...they are making a comback!  I don't know why but the ones in the FM didn't have near the flavor of the ones out of the home orchard!!  They ripen from the inside out and are golden with a beautiful pinkish red color.  If I seem a bit obsessed with apricots...I'am..since many years ago picking and cooking what I thought was the best apricots I had ever tasted!  They were on this two story high apricot tree in my mother-in-laws yard...she taught me how to make apricot fried pies!  Now a bank is on that lot!  I could never find apricots to compare to her trees cots!  They are so blah in the stores!!  Then I tasted the Blenheims...they are the very best!


Sylvia

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Sylvia.


Stone fruit in general and apricots especially are picked somewhat green for shipping. You will rarely find tree ripened peaches or apricots in a grocery store. Apricots seem to develop their full flavor just before they are over-ripe. So your only way of getting superb fresh fruit is at a farmers' market or off your own trees.


Some old varieties of peaches, for example elbertas, have almost disappeared, because they don't keep as well as newer varieties. That's a shame, because the old varieties often had superior flavor.


When I was a child, my father used to have patients bring fruit from their orchards into his office. It was always superior to what we got in the local stores. The farmers were giving it away because it was too ripe or too large to meet the specifications of the produce wholesalers to whom they sold their produce.


David

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

that all posters (postee's) to this thread are all excellent bread bakers and should enjoy the brief laurels you gather here! If only, and someday I will, join your ranks!


Betty


MD..all I can say is YUM!

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Betty, you've been high in the ranks all along! Thnaks for checking out the pecan loaves and I'm happy you find them tasty looking.

cake diva's picture
cake diva

MD,  Love those tart cherries, especially those from Michigan.  I've been thinking of making the same using the no-knead method. 


Apologize for my question, but I'm a novice bread baker- is there a flavor difference between the above method vs. the less labor-intensive NK method?  I ask because I've just discovered NK, made my first SD, and it was a success! I am intimidated at this point with the kneading because I've had mixed results with my machines or my attempts to imitate Bertinet (is that the same as the french fold?).  I would love to be more confident with kneading, but I'd rather prefer to get there with demos rather than trial and error.


 

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Hi cake diva, So you mean NK but using a sourdough starter as opposed to commercial yeast, correct? Why, any of those would work fine, it's so easy to just dump a few ingredients like nuts and fruit into a nice wet No Knead dough that it would be an easy thing to try and I'm sure would taste just great. The only reason I French-fold (yes, like Bertinet's video) is I am purposely trying to achieve a more open and chewy crumb, which for that formula listed above, seems to work well for, and also my dough is not extremely wet. If I were doing this as a No-knead, I would probably add about, oh, 25-35 more grams of water? (others can chime in here with suggestions), that way you'de still get some big holes, but you need to let it ferment much longer as you know. Also, you'd need to bake it a lot longer I think, so use that instant-read thermometer.


I think we need to remember not ot be afraid to try things, it's only flour, water, and a few other ingredients, so if it makes a mess or flops, who cares? It's a great learning experience. Give it a try and you might be amazed at what you did...

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, MD.


I have four loaves of your Cherry Pecan Pain au Levain retarding to bake tomorrow. I just want to check on one thing in your recipe.


As I understand it, you put the loaves in cold retardation immediately after forming. Then, you take them out and let them warm up only while the oven is heating up.


In other words, you do not use the loaves' amount of expansion or any other test for when they are sufficiently proofed to bake.


Please verify this or correct my misunderstanding. It's kind of important, because at least one of these loaves is going to a very important person - my 2-1/2 y/o granddaughter. And another is going to another VIP, my MIL, her great grand mother.


Thanks!


David

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Hi David - took me awhile to see your question...I did gauge how much the loaves looked like they had risen before putting them into the oven, it just so happened that overnight they had risen pretty well (they were in my mudroom which at 45-50F was not as cold as the frig.) so only needed about an hour more at warmer room temp. If they look like they need more rise, let them go longer, but they will have great oven spring from the cold retarding so they don't necessarily have to double.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Because I'm in CA, your timing was perfect.


The loaves didn't rise much in the fridge, but they are out now and proofing. 


David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Cherries in pastries and breads are one of my weakness foods!  MD and you are both making the cravings for this bread get worse!  It's Chicken soup here today!...but a little dumplings and cranberry bundt cake for some comfort!!


Sylvia

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Same here, when I was just past the deepest throes of pneumonia, I made cinnamon rolls after seeing David's, I felt justified in treating my husband and I to them since we were both home sick at the time.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

MD I want one of these in chocolate!! : ) for Valentines Day!!


Sylvia

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Sylvia, I have just the prescription for your flu: JMonkey's chocolate cherry sourdough here!

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

That'll work!!  : )  I feel better already!

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

The local stores carry Mariani brand dried cherries, no mention of sour. Are these the same as sour cherries?


Betty

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Not sure, I get mine at Sam's Club:Peterson Farms dried Triple Cherry Blend, pkg says it contains Montmorency Tart Cherries, Sweet cherries, and Balaton cherries. Most of them taste on the tart side to me. We use them also in homemade trail mix for hikes, they do taste great with dark chocolate. You can also get organic dried cherries at most health food stores.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I got mine at Trader Joe's - dried Montmorency Sour Cherries. They are a bit moist and delicious right out of the bag. They worked very well, briefly soaked, in the Cherry Pecan bread. Conveniently, one bag-full is just the right amount for one of md's recipes (about 5 lbs of dough).


David

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

How I wish there was one in the Mid-Hudson Valley...you would think with Woodstock nearby they would have targeted this area, but no...I have to stock up when I visit my sister in Boston...love that market!

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

A few years ago I used to mail order mine from an online store in Michigan!  There is a place called Bates Nut Farm here that carries such a variety of fruits and nuts and  a few local stores also sell their products...thier tart dried cherries have the best flavor...Trader Joe's have the next freshest best tasteing and I often shop and buy mine at Trader Joe's.  The Oregon brand canned tart cherries make the best cherry pies...in my opinion..rather pricey but worth it for the most delicious cherry pie.


Sylvia

Jennifer D's picture
Jennifer D

I make this bread with Pecans and Dried Cranberries when I run out of dried cherries.  A delicious variation.

bblearner's picture
bblearner

Hi MD,


I'm a new bread baker who've only been baking bread for about 5 months and dared to try out developing her own sourdough starter.  Last Friday I made a pecan-cranberry pain-au-levain according to your recipe.  The bread turned out to be flavourful nice looking but so firm that it did not seem to have risen.  I made the levain on Friday night and baked the bread on Monday morning.  The bread did have some oven-spring.  I wanted to include a photo of my bread but the file was too large to be inserted.  I suppose the reason for a firm bread is the starter was not active enough.  Could you post some photos showing the levain just mixed and ready for mixing with the bread dough next time when you make a levain?


Thanks,bblearner

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Hi bblearner, I'll be happy to take a photo of a ripe leavin build for you, hopefully by end of this week when I get ready to do my weekend bake. When you build your levain for a recipe, try to mark on the bowl the level after you mix it, and note when it doubles or even better triples in size, and just as it looks about to collapse back down, then it is ready to use in the final dough. The levain should dissolve easily in water at that point as the gluten should be broken down, even if the levain build is a stiff one like in the Columbia sourdough recipe.


Of course, your starter should also be very ripe before using it to build the levain, like these 100% hydration starters:


How long ago did you create your starter from scratch? Sometimes it takes them a while to really develop strength. My starter is now well over 2 years old, it probably started doing a really good job giving me a nice open crumb by the time it was about 1 month old, having been fed at room temp. 2 times per day (every 12 hours) at weight ratio 1:2:2 starter:water:flour. Once the starter was aged enough, then I felt I could begin storing it in the frig. during the early part of the week and taking it out for at least two 12-hr feeding cycles at room temp. before doing a levain build for a bake and putting the rest back into the frig. (I only keep less than 25 g of starter in storage so I don't need to discard much).


It may also help you to keep your starter, levain builds, and fermenting dough at around 75-80F if possible (not easy in winter, I know, but if creative you can find a warm spot without jacking up the thermostat). A new starter seems to do better at those temps. Once you get to know how your starter behaves at different temps, then you can have good success fermenting dough at cooler temps for much longer times, but even then, I try to keep my levain build at around 70F if possible before making the final dough.


Don't worry, you'll get there. My first few sourdough loaves were inedible curling stones, the deer, squirrels, and birds wouldn't even touch them in dead of winter. Hope that helps, stay tuned here for a levain photo later this week.  --MD

bblearner's picture
bblearner

Hi MD,


My starter was only started on 2nd Feb and was made by soaking a dried fruit called "long ngan".  According to the recipe it should take 3-7 days for the solution to become bubbly at a room temperature of 27C.  My home is around 20/21C and it was bubbly on the 3rd day which could be drained, measured and fed with bread flour at 1:1 (thus the 1st feeding day).  On the 2nd day, to all of that mixture add an equal amount of AP flour and a 0.6 time water (1:1:0.6).  The 3rd day to be fed the same ratio of flour and water as the last feeding.  Within a few hours of feeding, the starter should rise double or triple and by then it could be used for making bread (mine matched exactly with recipe) .  That recipe called for 40% of that starter and that bread was soft and normal although a little on the sour side.  After the 1st baking, I continued to feed my starter twice a week at 1:1:0.6 and made another bread, also with 40% of starter.  This time the bread rose well and was moist but very sour.  So, I knew I must have done something wrong and began studying this site again and found the 100% hydration starter information.  I followed this formula of feeding only once and went on to make "your" bread.  OK, I should do my homework of feeding this week and wait to see your photos before I bake another pain-au-levain.


Thank you, bblearner

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

bblearner,


As requested, here are some pics of two different ripe levain builds I did on Friday. These pics were taken just before I incorporated each into 2 different final doughs. The smaller bowl on the left is a wetter levain of about 87% hydration, it was used to make the cherry pecan pain au levain recipe posted above. The larger bowl on the right is a stiff levain of about 50% hydration, used to make the Columbia sourdough. Both levains were made with the same starter, and both have about 25-35% whole wheat flour mixed in with AP flour (the stiff one has a little more WW).




 



 


 



Note the black line in the first pic above marking the original level after mixing the levain in each bowl, although the stiff levain was shaped more like a dough ball that did not touch the sides of the bowl initially.

bblearner's picture
bblearner

Hi MD


Thank you so much for providing me with those pictures.  I now understand where my failure was - my last levain was far from ready.  I have been feeding my starter since last communicating with you and it was until the 3rd feeding that it really doubled between two feedings which had to be at a 24-hour interval since at 12-hour it did not double.  I shall now feed it a few more times before actually baking bread with it.


I've R. Bertinet's book "Crust" and am considering starting the sourdough in it.


Thank you very much once again, bblearner

teteaulevain's picture
teteaulevain

Hi Mountaindog;


Oak AP is certainly an amazing bag of flour.  I've just begun experimenting with it at work.  It's from a small mill on Oak St in Montreal... formerly owned by Cereal Foods Canada, now owned by Dover.  Thankfully, they haven't changed anything.  The secret is that they temper their wheat grain for 24hrs before milling.... tempering times more commonly practiced in Europe.  To put this in perspective, most mills in North America temper for only 6 or 8hrs.  This part of the milling process ensures complete separation of endosperm, germ and bran.  The result? Virtually no bran contamination in the finished flour and very low starch damage.  I'm guessing, the ash content of this flour is somewhere between .45 to .50


I know a Dutch-born baker who owns bakeries in British Columbia and California... he had a friend send him a bag of this flour to try out.  Apparently, when he made some baguettes with it, he was floored... and impressed enough to declare it as the best baguette flour in North America.


Simon


 


 


 


 

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Hi Teteaulevain (great screen name),


Thanks for the info on Oak AP flour, I'm so glad you know so much about it!...and glad it was not my imagination that it seemed like a realy good-tasting flour. I believe Bread Alone Bakery, where I pruchased the flour, said they use this for their baguettes, and your info confirms why that would be.


Interestingly, I just purchased two more bags of Canadian flour from Bread Alone the other day after they got their monthly shipment in, but this time I was able to get the organic flour from Meunerie Milanaise, also from Quebec. Here are the bags, I obtained one bag of org. whole wheat flour and one bag of org. white AP flour:


 



I did not buy the Oak AP this time as I wanted to get organic flour, and I've never tried the Milanaise whole wheat (tried the white a few years ago and it was very nice and creamy colored with a lot of flavor, but more sandy textured than other AP flour I've used).


I was also surprised that the Milanaise organic flours each cost me (through Bread Alone) $44 US per 20 kg bag (44 lbs, so $1 US per lb), while the Oak AP was more at $52 US per 20 kg bag, so I guess the Oak is considered a premium flour as you say (I'm sure the price would be less if I were able to buy directly from a distributor). I realize I could keep purchasing King Arthur flour in 10lb bags at my local supermarket for much less $ per lb, but I think this is a good price for organic flour around here. I also like the idea of using organic wheat grown in the Eastern Township area of Quebec, which is not too far from upstate NY where I live. I look forward to trying the Milanaise whole wheat to see how it differs from KA whole wheat or Bob's Red Mill WW, esp. in flavor.

teteaulevain's picture
teteaulevain

I've baked extensively with Milanaise flour... it definitely has a very characteristic flavour.  I have a baker friend who says when he walks into a bakery, he can tell if they are using Milanaise flour just by the "aroma".  And now for the gripes/complaints... be prepared for a white flour that has a coarser granulation... I'm not talking sandy.. just coarser than say KA.  Their whole wheat flour is ground quite fine with small bran particles... fairly desirable.  They mill to higher ash contents (.60 and sometime as high as .70) than many other mills... and perhaps milling coarser helps them to achieve this goal.. or maybe they are using very short tempering times..I'm not exactly sure.  Complaints aside, I admire that they are using 80% Quebec grown wheat and supporting local organic farmers in the process... but this obviously creates quality problems in years when the Quebec wheat harvest on the whole is less than ideal.  Sometimes, their flour is great, sometimes... not.  Very inconsistent.  It's not going to perform, mill run to mill run as well as KA or Heartland Mill... but I think it's got a lot going for it flavour-wise.  I'll be interested to hear the results of your comparison to KA and other flours.


Just as an example, I'm using Milanaise's AP flour currently... the lot that I'm finishing up right at the moment is 12% protein and .65 ash.  The new flour that just came yesterday is 10.5% protein and .60 ash.   That's what I mean by inconsistent.   Anyway, if you are interested, they post their farinograph results on their website so you can look up a particular mill run that corresponds to your bag of flour... http://www.lamilanaise.com/anglais/farino_en.html.  And be careful, the particular bag of Winter Blend that you have looks like it may be still a bit "green".  The mill date is embedded in the lot number so that means your Winter Blend flour was milled on February 16 at 7:15.  White flour requires at least two weeks in the summer and three weeks to a month in winter to "age".


My current motto for organic flour... find a flour you like... and then another flour you like... and then another... and then... blend, blend and blend some more.  And if an organic flour isn't necessary, then there is always Oak :)  as close as you can get to a perfect flour in my opinion... I'm not at all surprised that Dan Leader is using it for his baguettes.  You are so lucky to live just down the road from Bread Alone... must be very nice :) and inspiring.  happy baking!


 

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Simon - Wow, great info once again, I really appreciate it. Thanks especially for the warning about the milling date and the dreaded "green" flour! I suppose many bakeries buy such large quanitities that they know it will be stored for the sufficient amount of time, esp. Bread Alone as they have a high production rate. I'll hold off using the white for another 3 weeks, I have it stored in my basement pantry.


This will be only my second time using Milanaise, the first was 2 years ago (just the white), and the white is noticeably coarser, but you're right, it's not sandy like semolina, though. It did have very nice flavor back in 07, but it also made my bread's crumb noticeably more dry and crumbly than KA AP did (my standard weekly bread recipe is usually either the Columbia sourdough or the Thom Leonard Country French from Glezer's Artisan Baking, where I add in about 15% WW and 3% rye to AP).  To overcome the dryness, I wonder if I should plan to really increase the hydration, or to let the white flour soak longer before mixing the final dough?


I have a whole wheat dough made with the Milanaise whole wheat bulk fermenting right now (it has 10% KA AP flour from the levain, the rest WW). I notice as I do the stretch & folds that the dough is surprisingly extensible and silky smooth, not sticky (78% hydration overall formula). It will be interesting to see how it turns out, I'm hoping for a good oven spring and open crumb (aren't we always?), as well as a nice flavor without any WW bitterness - optimistic, I know.


Yes, it has been great these many years having Bread Alone's main bakery only 7 miles down the road, we pass it every day on our way to work in fact, I like their croissant as I don't make those.  It has been inspiring as with this cherry pecan levain recipe. It's also funny when we have friends visit from NYC who stop there on their way to our place, buy bread, and bring it to our house not realizing I make bread... Great also to know the Oak flour is so highly regarded, I think I can basically purchase it there anytime, as long as I time my purchase for as soon as they get their shipment in. I'll try making baguettes next time I get it.

Julieta's picture
Julieta

Your loaves look amazing and probably tasted even better. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with all of us!


I'm kind of a new baker. I found TFL at the beginning of this year when my curiosity started for baking artisan sourdough bread.  I succesfully created my own starter following Gaarp sourdough tutorial and since then I've been trying to bake as often as I can. I have an almonst 2-year old daughter and she keeps me really busy. But I found baking been kind of therapeutic and relaxing. Well, I did tried your recipe with a few changes. I used walnuts and cramberries because that's waht I had on hand So far it has been the best bread I've baked. I still have lots to learn and a long way to go, but I'm really enjoying the process. Of course my loaves didn't turn out as beautiful as yours did, but I'm happy with the results. I will definetely try to make it again. My family and I love good bread and we're so fortunate to have an amazing bakery close by (Avalon in Detroit, MI) wich sells something really similar to your recipe. Thanks again!!!


 


Julieta