Triple Apple Custard Sourdough
I used to wonder how apples in a good apple pie don't stick to the pastry. Last November I was in New York for a rare Chinese concert of Liu Fang and in one of my sleepless nights adjusting to the time zone difference, I was watching the American Iron Chef Boby Flay in a quest trying to find the best apple pie in America. In the show, the brown paper bag apple pie won the contest. Ever since then, my apple pies have seen great successes (I've tried it with frangipani built in, I've tried it with a custard centre, I've tried it with both - they are all good) and even my father-in-law loved it. I admit this is a convoluted way to explain why I ended up with excess custard in my fridge and why it found its way into this apple sourdough. To me, custard goes so well with apples.
While I made my custard bread every now and then (I use custard to hydrate the dough) and my kids love it, I was not sure how my sourdough culture would react to custard. One would say you don't need custard as sourdough is flavorful enough. In making this bread, I also resisted using any instant yeast.
I followed MC's instruction on fermenting the fresh apples for 5 days here with double quantity. But I am scared of soaking muesli overnight as she did because it reminds me of the many failed gluten-free breads that I used to make. So, I just used rolled oats in this instance.
Here is my formula:
200g rye starter @ 75% hydration
360 g Lucke's Wallaby unbleached baker's flour (11.9% gluten)
50 g rolled oats (and extra for dusting)
75 g shop-bought dried apple slices (chopped)
30 g water
120 g of the sweet , alcoholic juice from fermenting the apples
100 g cooked Granny Smith apple puree
55 g home-made vanilla custard
75 g of the fermented apples, chopped (the rest of the apples went with bacon under griller as part of yesterday's breakfast!)
9 g salt
I've been wanting to try David's beautiful San "waa-keen" Sourdough but there is a picture of a crown bread from Auvergne, France, in Leader's Local Breads (page 100) that really took my fancy. I am not confidant if I bulk ferment my apple-loaded dough for 21 hours, as in David's method, that I would be able to shape it into the crown shape without deflating the dough too much. So, before all is said and done, I mixed, did 4 stretch & folds in a space of 3 hours, shaped, and then put the dough into my refrigerator just before mid-day yesterday. Here is the shaped dough before it went in:
the shaped dough
I was however uncomfortable with the varying temperatures in my big old fridge, -1C to 7C (30F to 45F). It was quite cold last night - the air through my kitchen window registered 14C (57F); I thought, perfect, that's the temp that I want my dough to be in; so at the last min I took the dough out of the fridge (it'd been there for 12 hours) and placed it right next to the window before I went to bed.
I baked it this morning at 9 (21 hours altogether for proofing!). And here is the Triple Apple Custard Sourdough (what a tongue twister):
Triple Apple Custard Sourdough
I am very happy how this sourdough has turned out. The crumb is as open as I could have hoped for. The mouth-feel is quite heavy as it is very moist with loads of apples. Thank you, MC, I know you are travelling at the moment, but you'd be happy with this apple sourdough, knowing how much you like fruits, dried fruits and all that healthy stuff! And, thank you, David, for your ever detailed instructions in all of your wonderful posts.