This summer we had the occasion to pass by the King Arthur bakery and store in Norwich, VT several times. The cafe is quite good, and we tried to time our visits for lunch or dinner. Of course, we always pick up some bread to scope out too. One of these was a walnut ciabatta that had a remarkably nutty flavor. Couldn't figure out what was in there until I saw a 'walnut raisin ciabatta' in V2 of Hamelman: ah, toasted wheat germ.
I've made this a few times since, increasing the hydration a bit to open the crumb more. It's good, and my homegrown food critics say its pretty close to what we brought home.
Here's where I ended up.
|26.7%||ripe white levain, 125% hydration|
|6%||wheat germ, toasted|
- Prepare the levain ahead of time.
- Mix all ingredients except the walnuts in a mixer until there is moderate gluten development. In my Kitchenaid this took maybe 10 minutes at moderately high speed. You need to crank it up at this hydration
- Fold in the walnuts.
- Bulk ferment 2 hours, folding once.
- Turn out, divide in half (don't shape, just divide) and proof on parchment for maybe 1.5 hours at 75F. This is pretty wet stuff; don't handle it much.
- Bake with steam (I use the dabrownman MegaSteam method) at 460 35-40 minutes.