Sunday Gravy Italian Style Sourdough
My Father-in-law is staying with us for a couple of weeks so my Wife made him some Sunday Gravy with meatballs, sausage, and pork and beef braciole. So of course I needed to make a good dipping sauce bread to go with it.
I decided to make a version of a bread I modified from Peter Reinhart's Italian Bread from "The Bread Bakers Apprentice". He uses a Biga in his formula but I used a AP levain at 66% in mine. The starter is a pretty high percentage of the overall formal at 44% but in the end it all worked out great.
This is not a high hydration dough either, but the final result is a nice soft crumb with a slight sweet taste from the maple syrup with a chewy crust. The crumb is moderate which is great for mopping up the home made tomato sauce.
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. 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 the 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 20-30 minutes. Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), oil, maple syrup and mix on low for 6 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 500 degrees and after another 3 minutes lower it to 450 degrees. Bake for 25-35 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 210 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.
Really nice, Ian. May I feature this one on the homepage for a bit?
of course. Thanks.
perfect Sunday sopper upper Ian. The crumb looks perfect for gravy. Maple syrup and walnut oil sound odd together but if it works - no worries. That is some pretty fancy scoring too. Well done
We are under a heat watch today - supposed to be 115 F and during monsoon too...yuck! Lucy sends her best to Lexi and Max and those chasable furry 5.
Thanks DA. Sometimes strange combos work sometimes hey don't....this one worked well and made for the perfect mopping bread. Stay cool. I imagine your pool must be like a hot tub!
Happy Baking and woof woof from Max and Lexi to Lucy!
I also find the scoring interesting. I am having no success with scoring a single slash and achieving an ear with my oval loaves and will next try it your way. Hey maple syrup makes everything better. I have made my own granola for years using honey as the sweetener and used maple syrup last batch. It is the best ever! Congratulations on the cover and I'm sure it tasted awesome!
Happy baking! Ski
Glad you like this and look forward to hearing how your scoring attempt goes. I like the way this one came out.
I just came back last week from Vermont and visited a place that taps their own maple syrup. They give you free taste tests and it's amazing how different the different grades they offer taste.
Look forward to your next bake.
That's a fine looking loaf Ian! As always, a very thorough and detailed write up. Nice baking!
All the best,
Appreciate your kind words Syd.
Even the sun is blessing and dancing on it while you photograph. :)
Appreciate your kind words Mini and glad you enjoyed the dance of the "Flying Pig" :).
Ian: That is a fantastic looking bread. The scoring is very, very nice. I am sure your father-in-law liked it. Thanks for sharing. Best, Phyllis
Appreciate your kind words. Always glad to hear from you Phyllis.
in the proofing basket that make those beautiful lines on the loaf?
Smoked sesame seeds. They are one of my favorites that I found by chance at a Home Goods store.
I would love to try to duplicate your gorgeous loaf, but need some more details. What is the "AP Seed at 66%" Do you just mean your starter at a 66% hydration? Also, what is "first clear"? I have also read that walnut oil can't handle high temp, did you notice anything off due to that? Your potato flour...where do you like to get that? I can only assume Bob's Red Mill has one
Gorgeous loaf, thanks for setting the bar high for us to stretch and fold our skills to :)
Thanks for your comments and questions. The seed is a piece of mother starter which I keep at 66% hydration. You can adjust the water in the lev build to compensate as needed if your mother starter is different. I buy First Clear and potato flour from King Arthur Flour but you can buy potatoe at Bob's but not sure about the First Clear. First clear is a patent flour that is used mainly in deli style and other rye breads. You can sub AP but it will be slightly different final result but good none the less. Please feel free to ask any other questions and I'm happy to help. Let me know how it turns out.
This was a beautiful loaf of bread. The recipe will go into a file to make when my bread techniques improve.
Thanks! Glad you liked it. It was a tasty loaf.