The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starry Night Bread

JR Bakes's picture
JR Bakes

Starry Night Bread

This is an apricot pistachio sourdough bread made with 100% unbleached bread flour, ~75% hydration, approx. 2% salt. I often use whey to replace half the water, for added tenderness of the bread.

580 g unbleached bread flour

400 g water steeped with butterfly pea flower tea pieces (steeped 20 minutes with 15 g) (ordered on Amazon from Thailand, taking upwards of 30 days to arrive)

280 g starter (fed and bubbly 100% hydration)

14 g sea salt

30 g sugar

3/4 cup pistachios

1 cup dried apricots

Combine all ingredients using a wooden spoon, except nuts and fruit, into a shaggy mess in a plastic tub. Cover and allow to rest 30 minutes. The blue tea can dye your hands! Put oil on your hands to help remove later, or can use bleach water to wash afterwards.

Perform stretch and folds every 30 minutes for two hours. With the final turn, press dough flat upon a lightly oiled surface, 15" x 15", much like cinnamon rolls. Place nuts and apricots evenly over dough. Roll up, like a cinnamon roll, creating a large tube. Fold over and place in plastic tub for 1 1/2 hours for first rise. 

Use a spatula or plastic scraper to remove dough from the tub onto a lightly floured surface. Preform the round loaf, pressing any visible apricots or nuts back into the loaf. Rest 15 minutes, and final shape, trying not to let the apricots or nuts poke through. Transfer to a parchment lined 9" - 10" cake pan, push pan, or springform pan, one that will fit your 5 quart or bigger Dutch Oven, and cover with plastic wrap, allowing to proof 1 hour.

Perform a finger poke test to see if it is almost ready to bake - if it leaves an indent, begin preheating the oven and Dutch Oven 475 deg f 30 minutes. 

Score, and place inside the hot Dutch Oven, bake for 25 minutes with the lid on. Lower oven temp to 450 f,  remove lid, and bake for additional 5-10 minutes until the loaf develops a nice medium (bluish) brown color. Remove to cool on a cooling rack, thumping the bottom to test for readiness. If the bottom isn't dark enough, place in the oven for an additional 5 minutes.

Allow to cool before slicing.

This dough can be worked in a mixer with dough hook, or bread machine using the pizza dough cycle. Allow to rise 1-2 hours after initial period of working the dough then proceed.

(Inspiration from Ratti Wolfson from "Sourdough bakers" Facebook group, Feb 2017) 




isand66's picture

Beautiful...a work of art!

JR Bakes's picture
JR Bakes

This toasts up superbly also.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I can imitate!  I got blue pea flowers in abundance!   Lemon juice will remove the blue staining.

Don't you find it interesting that the crust is brown?  I wonder why?   

I'm boiling eggs at the moment with a handful of blossoms, might colour the shells, if not, maybe a dip without the shells might prove interesting.  More stars on the bread.  a few "Philly" clouds and red caviar....   Shocking!

Wait until hubby sees his kaiser rolls!  

Cashew bread?  


Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Can you taste the tea, or is it just for the colour? That one would be quite a shock to cut into, if you didn't know how it was made. :)

JR Bakes's picture
JR Bakes

The crust bakes a mostly brown color with a hint of blue. I've found if the dough is more sour (more acidic) it takes on a purplish blue hue. 

dabrownman's picture

That is some killer looking bread.  We love pistachios and apticots in bread,  Well doneadn hapy baking

Ramiro's picture

This loaf is truly stunning!!
I wanna give it a try and I was wondering if it was possible to do a cold final proof and if it would be beneficial in any way?