Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hadrian's Bread (with a Twist) for #BreadBakers


BreadBakersWelcome to a bonus post for the #BreadBakers. This is a special month. Not only is November a month for thanks and giving, but November 17th is National Homemade Bread Day. Since we're #BreadBakers, Lauren of From Gate to Plate suggested we all post something new. I'm game!

Our usual events are themed, but for this one we just let our creative shine; so there's a little bit of everything from bagels to rolls and from muffins and quick breads. We've got a pretty diverse line-up for you! So I hope you enjoy and are inspired to bake some homemade bread today on this national food holiday!


See the bottom of this post for more information about this great bread baking group.

I was inspired by the Hadrian's Bread recipe I found in Country Bread of the World by Linda Collister & Anthony Blake. And I fully intended to follow the recipe. This is based on a reference that Pliny made to a bread made with spelt flour and raisin juice. I did use spelt flour, but decided to use chestnut puree instead of the raisins. So...not traditional...but delicious!

Ingredients makes 3 mini loaves

Biga (a pre-ferment)
  • 3 1/2 C bread flour
  • 2 C water, room temperature
  • 1/2 t instant dry yeast
Whisk all the ingredients together and allow it to stand for at room temperature for between 6 and 36 hours; mine fermented for just over 6 hours. The biga will begin to ferment, getting gassy and bubbly. You'll use 1-1/2 C biga for this bread recipe. The remaining biga can be stored in the fridge, covered. You can keep the biga alive by discarding some of the biga every couple of days, and adding an equal amount of water and bread flour and giving it a firm stir.

The Bread
  • 1 1/2 C biga
  • 1 C chestnut puree (you can puree your own, I found a jar at Whole Foods)
  • 3/4 C water, room temperature
  • 1 T fresh yeast
  • 1 T honey
  • 4 1/2 C organic spelt flour
  • salt for sprinkling
  • 1/2 C raw pecans

Procedure
In a large mixing bowl, mix together all of the ingredients except for the salt and pecans. Stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. It took me about 8 minutes.

Place the dough in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, cover the bowl with a towel.


Let the dough to rest for an hour. This is what it will look like...


After an hour, divide the dough into half. Mix in the pecans, then roll the dough into a ball, tucking the ends of the dough neatly underneath. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and transfer the balls of dough to the sheet.


Sprinkle the top with salt. Space the loaves so they have room to rise. Let bread rise for 2 to 3 hours.


After two to three hours, the dough should be nicely puffed but not quite doubled in size.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cut an H into the top of your bread. Drizzle with olive oil.

Place a pan of water on the bottom rack. Bake the bread for about 50 minutes. The crust should be browned and crisp. When you pick up the loaf, give it a thump on the bottom. It should sound hollow. Allow the bread to cool before slicing and tasting.


For a late night snack, Jake and I sliced it up and served it with some coppa, brie, and a bottle of moscato d'asti. Cin cin!


Here's what's in the bread basket for today...

How to join...
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

7 comments:

  1. Lovely bread and the chestnut puree makes this a special one for the upcoming holiday season.

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  2. Delicious sounding! I love baking breads from around the world.

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  3. I've used chestnut flour but never puree. Sounds so festive!

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  4. Wow! Such a wonderful seasonal addition with the chestnut. I bet it was super good! Perfect for the holidays.

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  5. Looks beautiful! So interesting that you subbed chestnut puree for raisin juice. (How do you juice a raisin, she asks?)

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  6. I'm all about that bass... bout that bass... oh wait I just totally busted out in a song there lol... I mean wine... and this bread... yes I'll take them both please :)

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