The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Normandy Apple Bread

JMonkey's picture

Normandy Apple Bread

Here's the recipe for the Normandy Apple Bread that I blogged about. It's from Jeffrey Hammelman's Bread. I made a few minor changes -- here's how I did it. It makes two loaves:

  • White flour: 1 lb 7 oz (5.25 cups)
  • Whole wheat flour: 3.2 oz (3/4 cup)
  • Water: 7.4 oz (1 cup)
  • Apple cider: 10.9 oz (1.25 cups)
  • Salt: .1 oz (18 grams or 1 Tbs)
  • Stiff white starter - 60% hydration: 9.3 oz (1.75 cups)
  • Dried apples: 4.8 oz (1 5/8 cups)

(The original recipe also calls for 1 tsp of instant yeast, but I omitted it. If you add the yeast, your bulk fermentation will be about 1 to 2 hours, and the final fermentation will be 1 to 1.5 hours.)

Here's the baker's percentages:
  • White flour: 90%
  • Whole wheat flour: 10%
  • Water: 34%
  • Cider: 34%
  • Salt: 2%
  • Apples, dried: 15%
  • Instant yeast (I omitted): 0.33%
  • 18% of the white flour is pre-fermented in a starter at 60% hydration

First I dispersed the starter in the water and cider, and then added the salt until it was dissolved. Then I added the flours and the dried apples, mixing them with a spoon until everything was hydrated. I covered the bowl with a large plate, and let it sit for about an hour, after which I gave it a stretch and fold. I then did two more stretch and folds with a half hour in between each. Finally, I shaped it into a rough ball, and let it ferment. All told, I let it rise for about 5.5 hours, though it's pretty cold in my house this time of year -- usually between 62 and 64 degrees F.

I pre-shaped it into a ball, and then, after a 15 minute rest, shaped it into a batard, and wrapped it in baker's linen that I'd dusted with rice flour. After another three hours, it was ready to go into the oven, which I'd preheated at 450 degrees F for an hour with a stone. I slashed the loaves with a single cut down the center, loaded them on the hot stone, and steamed the oven (I'd put a small cast iron frying pan on the top shelf before pre-heating, and added 1/2 cup of boiling water after the oven was loaded). After 15 minutes, I lowered the oven temperature to 420, but still had to cover the loaves with aluminum foil for the last 10 minutes or so to prevent them from getting too dark. Total bake was 40 minutes.