Spelt Cherry Pecan Walnut Sourdough
Walnuts and pecans are my two favorite nuts and what's not to like about cherries? This one has all of my favorites in one bread except for cheese (I'm baking a bacon cheese bread as I type this :)).
I also added some fresh milled Spelt flour and high extraction whole wheat (Rouge de Bordeaux) freshly milled as well along with some KAF Artisan Bread flour. A small amount of purple sweet potatoes roasted and mashed was also added. You could also use mashed regular potatoes as the potatoes just add a little extra softness and help the bread stay fresh longer.
I milled the whole wheat in my MockMill200, sifted with a #30 sieve, re-milled and then sifted with a #40. For the Spelt I find it necessary to only sift once and re-mill at the finest setting.
This bread was chock full of flavor with all the nuts and cherries and made an amazing grilled cheese sandwich. I also enjoyed it toasted with some cheese or butter.
Mix all the levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.
Let it sit at room temperature for around 6-7 hours or until the starter has almost doubled. I used my proofer set at 76 degrees so it took around 5 hours for me. Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.
Main Dough Procedure
Soak the cherries in water for about an hour or more if you are using dried cherries. Strain them well before adding to the main dough. If you are using fresh cherries make sure to hold back even more water in the main dough and adjust as needed.
Mix the flour and liquids (leave about 50 -70 grams to add after the first mix), 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. After 30 minutes or so add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), mashed potatoes and remaining water as needed and mix on low for 5 minutes. Note: If you are using the Ankarsrum mixer like I do, add your water to the bowl first then add in the starter and flours. After your autolyse add in the salt and potatoes, and remaining water and mix on low to medium low for 15-20 minutes.
After the dough is fully mixed you can either add the nuts and cherries to the mixer until it is incorporated or take the dough and spray some cooking spray on your work surface. Spread the dough out into a rectangle and laminate the dough with the add ins.
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 1.5 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 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 or if using a proofer set at 80 degrees for one hour. Remove the dough and shape as desired and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap Sprayed with cooking spray and let rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. (I use my proofer set at 80 F and it takes about 1 hour to 1.5 hours).
Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 500 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.
After 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees. Bake for around 35 minutes or until the breads are nice and brown and have an internal temperature around 200-210 F.
Take the bread(s) out of the oven when done and let them cool on a bakers rack for as long as you can resist.