The Fresh Loaf

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Thom Leonard's Country French Bread with Apricots and Hazelnuts

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CaptainBatard's picture
CaptainBatard

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!



 



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Comments

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Very interesting write up, CaptainBatard, on this bread and your experience with Glezer's book. I bought a copy of this book atleast 6 months ago and have looked through it, stared longingly at the beautiful pictures, pondered making various breads, etc., many times, but as of yet haven't baked anything from it.


What a creative idea to use apricots and hazelnuts* in the bread! I've made David Synder's San Joaquin SD many times with a number of variations. I much prefer using rye over WWW. For me, the addition of some rye is the sine qua non. Perhaps not sifting out the bran also made a difference. If I were you I would try it again, sift the bran out and use rye.


In any event, your loaves and crumb look very attractive and well done. You've motivated me to get that book back on my desk.


*I'm not fond of hazelnuts but your crumb shot makes them look very appealing.


--Pamela

CaptainBatard's picture
CaptainBatard

I will try it again...i still have lots of dried apricots left...thank you for your comments...I do not consider myself a writer by any means....so i am glad you found it interesting!


I think the addition of the apricots and nut changed the structure a lot. I was going to use JH recipe for prune and hazelnuts but was not sure if it would lend itself to being retarded overnight. Do you think Davids SD would lend itself to the additions? You should definitely try some breads from her book...

xaipete's picture
xaipete

It's definitely worth a try. I can't see how those additions would bother David's SJ SD. Maybe you'll have to increase the hydration a tad.


--Pamela

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

This looks amazing, Captain B.