Durum Whole Wheat Ricotta Bread
These were made as gifts for some of my office colleagues. I ended up keeping one for tasting purposes :0.
I used hand milled durum and whole wheat both sifted and a little KAF bread flour. The ricotta was added for some extra softness and that combined with the olive oil made for a nice smooth dough. I added some smoked and black sesame seeds as a topping and on 2 of the breads topped it with some melted cheese.
The bread turned out great with a nice nutty flavor from the durum and a soft crumb.
Download the BreadStorm File Here
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.
Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.
Main Dough Procedure
Mix the flours, ricotta cheese and water 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 1 hour. Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), and olive oil and mix on low for 5 minutes. 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. (If you have a proofer you can set it to 80 degrees and follow above steps but you should be finished in 1 hour to 1.5 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. 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 read to bake not the clock.
Around 45 minutes before 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 above the pan and one on the top shelf. I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.
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 25-35 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.