Thom Leonard's Country French Bread with Apricots and Hazelnuts
I was given Maggie Glezer's book Artisan Baking many years ago from a friend who received it from the publisher to review. She is chief with too many books on her shelf already....she knew i was interested in bread, so she passed it along to me. I was a closet baker for many years...but never touched the white stuff. I liked the idea of bread but that is a far as it went. I read the book from front to back and then started over again and then it sat on my shelf for a many months more. I don't know what the turning point was ...but i took the book off the shelf and made my first starter and haven’t looked back since! Every week I go through the same dilemma....what shall I bake this time? This process starts early in the week and then a decision must be made to wake up the starter. The bread of week was going to go to one of my all time favorite loaf...Thom Leonard's Country French Bread with a twist... from Glazer's book. So i took out my liquid levain and mixed up a 1:3:5 stiff starter. I haven't worked with a stiff levain in many months...and i forgot how much like it. There is no question if it is active....none what so ever. It gives me a lot of confidence to see a lemon sized piece of dough transform and fill a bowl. Now the twist was I had purchased a bunch of cheap over ripened apricots at the produce market that I had dried in the oven and were ready to be put to use along with some roasted hazelnuts. With the exception of using 175 grams of white whole wheat flour and not sifting out the bran from the 100% extraction whole wheat flour the rest of the recipe stayed the same. After letting it cool, which was very hard to do, I was left wanting something more from the loaf. I am not sure what exactly that is.... I guess I will have to tinker some more!
This is being submitted to Yeast Spotting