Hard Cider Cherry Rye Bread
Last weekend I was lucky enough to journey back to one of my favorite states Vermont and visit King Arthur Flour as well as some other local attractions. We enjoyed some great meals at the Norwich Inn and Simon Pearce Glass which blows their own glassware.
The new expanded store and bakery at KAF was amazing and we felt like kids in a candy store loading up our shopping cart to the top with baking goodies. We also managed to find some great Vermont maple syrup, honey and raspberry apple sauce along with some Vermont Hard Cider. The last 2 ingredients were the inspiration for this latest bake.
I think hard cider goes great with rye so I used a fair amount of dark rye flour in this bake and I added some spelt which add a nice nutty flavor. I don't think you can really taste the raspberry apple sauce but it added a nice moist texture and compliments the cider and cherries very well.
The end result was a nice moist bread with a great crust, fairly open crumb for this mix of flours and a tasty bread all around.
Mix all the levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled. I usually do this the night before.
Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.
Main Dough Procedure
Mix the flours, and hard cider together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute. Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 20-30 minutes. Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), and the rest of the ingredients (except the cherries) and mix on low for 5 minutes. Now add the cherries and mix until distributed for about 1 minute. Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds. Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold. Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold. After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.
When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours. Remove the dough and shape as desired. I decided to add some oat bran to the bottom of the baskets to add some nice texture to the finished loaves. Next place your dough into your proofing basket(s) and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.
The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature. Let the dough dictate when it is ready to bake not the clock.
Around 45 minutes before you are ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees F. and prepare it for steam. I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on a shelf above the pan and one on the top shelf.
Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.
After 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees. Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.
Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.