Golden Saffron and Fennel Loaf
I was looking for something different and I stumbled on this recipe: https://bewitchingkitchen.com/2012/07/22/there-will-be-bread/ I had saffron sitting in a cupboard so this was a good opportunity to use some up. I expected my dough to be bright yellow like in the original recipe but that did not happen. I wonder if it was because I’ve had the saffron for a while.
The one departure from my usual method is that I decided to score these loaves so final proof was done seam side up rather than my usual seam side down.
Makes 3 loaves
700 g strong bakers unbleached flour
200 g freshly milled Kamut flour
100 g freshly milled rye flour
3 large pinches of saffron
700 g water (divided)
2 tsp fennel seeds
22 g salt
30 g whole milk yogurt
250 g levain (procedure in recipe)
Extra unbleached and wholegrain flour to feed levain
The day before:
1. About 8 hours before bedtime, take 2 g of refrigerated starter and feed it 4 g of filtered water and 4 g of wholegrain rye flour. Let sit in a warm spot.
The night before:
- Mill the Kamut and Rye berries if using, on the finest setting of your mill or measure out commercial whole grain rye and whole grain wheat flour if you don’t mill your own.
- Place the required amount of each freshly milled flour in a tub and add the unbleached flour to it. Cover and set aside.
- Feed the levain 20 g of water and 20 g of wholegrain flour. Let it rise at room temperature for the night.
Dough making day:
- Feed the levain 100 g of filtered water and 50 g of wholegrain flour as well as 50g of strong baker’s flour. Place in a warm spot. Let rise until doubled (about 4-5 hours).
- In the meantime, boil some water and soak the saffron threads in it. Let cool.
- About two hours before the levain is ready, strain the saffron water into a stand mixer’s bowl and add enough filtered water to measure 700 grams. Add the flours, and mix on speed 1 until all the flour has been hydrated. Let this autolyse for a couple of hours.
- Once the autolyse is done, add the salt, the yogurt, the fennel seeds, and the levain to the bowl. Mix on speed one for a minute to integrate everything, then mix on speed 2 for 9 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place in a lightly oiled covered tub. Let rest 30 minutes in a warm spot (oven with light on).
- Do 2 sets of coil folds at 30 minute intervals and then 2 other sets at 45 minute intervals, and then let the dough rise to about 40-50%. It should have irregular bubbles visible through the sides of the container and quite a few large bubbles on top as well.
- Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into 3 equal portions. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest 30 minutes on the counter.
- Do a final shape by flouring the top of the rounds and flipping the rounds over on a lightly floured counter. Gently stretch the dough out into a circle. Pull and fold the third of the dough closest to you over the middle. Pull the right side and fold over the middle and do the same to the left. Fold the top end to the center patting out any cavities. Finally stretch the two top corners and fold over each other in the middle. Roll the bottom of the dough away from you until the seam is underneath the dough. Cup your hands around the dough and pull towards you, doing this on all sides of the dough to round it off. Finally spin the dough to make a nice tight boule. Let sit for a few seconds to deal the seam.
- Sprinkle a mix of rice and all purpose flour in the bannetons. Place the dough seam side up in the bannetons. Let rest for a few minutes on the counter and then put to bed in a cold (38F) fridge overnight. I try to keep this between 10 and 11 hours.
1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475F with the Dutch ovens inside for 45 minutes to an hour. Turn out the dough seam side down onto a cornmeal sprinkled counter. Score your loaves. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots, and carefully but quickly place the dough seam side down inside.
2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 25 minutes, remove the lids, and bake for another 22 minutes at 425 F. Internal temperature should be 205 F or more.
Not bad for a newbie scorer.