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Autumn Pecan Sourdough #FoodieExtravaganza

Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays or cook and bake together with the same ingredient or theme each month.

Posting day for #FoodieExtravaganza is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you're a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board!

Since October is National Pecan Month, Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm has asked the bloggers to share their favorite recipes. Here's the Foodie Extravanganza's pecan-filled line-up...


Other Pecan Goodness

Before I get to my offering for the event, here are some other of our family's favorite pecan creations: Pecan-Crusted Maple-Mustard Roasted Chicken (photo above), Espresso-Browned Butter Pecan Pie, and Apple-Stuffed Delicata Squash.

Autumn Pecan Sourdough

I started playing with sourdough early in the pandemic. Recently all of my boules have been plain. Just delicious, doughy goodness. But when I saw Wendy's theme, I decided to add some pecans and cubes of aged Gouda to the loaf.

For years - I mean years! - I have avoided making sourdough bread. Something about the whole harvesting native bacteria from the air to create the starter just made me start twitching with anxiety. Then a friend gifted me some starter. So, if this shelter-in-place has taught me anything, it's that I can bake sourdough bread. Don't get me wrong: the first six loaves were bricks. Like doorstop kinda bricks. You can read more about this sourdough journey: my so-called Adventures of Dough-Ba Fett.

Over the pandemic - all eighteen months of it - I have been baking and I have achieved delicious and beautiful consistency. Once I felt confident with my initial recipe, I started to play. I've substituted rye flour for the whole wheat, reduced my hydration even more, started preheating the oven for longer. This certainly isn't a wholly rye bread, but I think that there are some rye characteristics that come through. My standard loaf is ten percent rye. For this event, I added in pecan pieces and Gouda cubes for a savory, delicious loaf. I also made a loaf with Italian herbs and semi-dried tomatoes. I shared this with friends at an outdoor dinner party at a local bike race. 

Ingredients makes 2 loaves
  • 200 grams sourdough starter (recently fed)
  • 600 grams warm water + 50 grams warm water
  • 750 grams all-purpose flour + more as needed
  • 250 grams rye flour
  • 20 grams salt
  • 8 Tablespoons raw pecans, roughly chopped
  • 8 Tablespoons cubed aged gouda
  • rice flour for sprinkling in Dutch oven
  • Also needed: banneton proofing baskets or bowls lined with floured tea towels, Dutch ovens

Procedure

Place 200 grams starter in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Pour in 600 grams warm water. Add in the flours. Use your hands to blend everything together so that all of the flour is moistened. Let stand for 40 minutes.

At the end of 40 minutes, pour in another 50 grams of warm water. Add in the 20 grams of salt and gently knead the dough until the water is completely absorbed.

Now I start the folds: rotating 90 degrees four times every thirty minutes for 4 hours. On the hour - so four times during folding - I added 2 Tablespoons each of pecans and cheese.

I run my hand under warm water, grab one side of the dough and pull from underneath, folding it over the top of the ball. Rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat. Rotate. Repeat. And a fourth time so that the bowl has completed a full circle.


By the end of the 4 hours, the dough should be billowy and increased in volume...and chock full of the nutty-cheesy goodness!

Lightly flour a workspace and use a dough scraper to divide the dough ball in half. Transfer the dough balls to the work surface. Lightly flour the banneton or towel-lined bowl. I used a combination of all-purpose and rye for this loaf. Note that these folding photos are to show you the technique; they are actually from a different batch of bread!


Now I repeat the folds, but with dry hands to shape the boules while creating tension in the top. Or, my lovely kitchen assistant does it so I can take photos of the process.


Keep the floured side of the ball down and fold from top to bottom four times while rotating the dough. This keeps the sticky side inside. 


Flip the ball over and work the dough into a tight round. Let stand for 15 minutes. Repeat three times.


After the third shaping, place the dough ball, rounded side down, in the floured banneton.


Now you proof. I typically put the dough in the fridge and leave it there till I'm ready to bake. For these boules, I left them in the fridge for 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the empty Dutch ovens (bottoms only) into the oven. When the oven reaches temperature - an in-oven thermometer is very, very helpful - let the oven stay at 500 degrees for 30  to 40 minutes.

After the preheating, remove the Dutch ovens and reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly flour the inside of the ovens with a sprinkling of rice flour. Gently pull the dough away from the sides of the banneton and invert into the Dutch oven.


Place the lid on the Dutch oven and return the pots carefully to the hot oven. Bake for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, carefully remove the lid and return the pots to the oven again. Bake for an additional 10  minutes. The loaves should be firm and crunchy on the top, golden brown, and feel hollow when the bottom is tapped.  Move the loaves to a wire rack and let cool for at least an hour before slicing! Enjoy.

That's a wrap for our November #FoodieExtravaganza. We'll be back next month with more recipes to inspire you. Stay tuned.

Comments

  1. Looks amazing Cam. Love those chunks of Gouda. Thanks for joining.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I always love cheese in bread. Works for me with the pecans too. Toast up a slice and I don't even need butter.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oooh, rye and Gouda sounds amazing! Glad you are enjoying your "pet" so much!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is a delicious bread with pecans and cheese!

    ReplyDelete

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