Monday, September 27, 2010

Whole Wheat Dried Cherry Bread

This past week we began observing the holiday of Sukkot. The defining characteristics of Sukkot are building a hut like structure, in Hebrew a sukkah, where we eat and sleep and the four species, but that's for another time. In any case, the first day of the holiday I spent by my sister in Neve Daniel. Of course, I looked at that as an opportunity to bake and so I did. I offered to make a bread and a dessert. The tart is for later, but the bread I settled on was a whole wheat loaf from Hamelman's Bread. The original recipe calls for hazelnuts and currants, but I just used dried sour cherries. I think nuts would be a nice complement also, and so next time I would add some with the cherries as well. The bread, which I made by hand, is made with a preferment, and is easy to put together. The cherries were a tad bit stubborn when it came time to knead them in, but I knew that the rising would take care of that and it did. The bread itself had an even crumb and had a delicious crust and nice chew. It was not sweet at all and that is where the brilliance of the cherries come in. The cherries added the perfect sweetness. It was quite lovely. I made only half a recipe, and even that was too much. Once again, my slashing needs work. It wasnt terrible, but just not deep enough. Anyway, this bread is off to Yeastspotting, once again!

Whole Wheat Dried Cherry Bread
adapted from Bread

Pate Fermentee:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
5/8 cup water
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp instant yeast

3 5/8 cups whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 cups water
2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp honey
Pate Fermentee
handful dried cherries

The night before baking, make the preferment.
Place all of the preferment ingredients in a bowl.
Mix to form a shaggy dough,
and then knead to make a smooth dough. Cover and allow to ferment overnight at room temperature.
This is what my pate fermentee looked like the next morning.
Place all of the dough ingredients, except the starter and cherries, in a bowl.
Mix to make a shaggy dough.
Tear the pate fermentee into pieces and add to the dough.
Knead to make a smooth, firm dough.
Add the cherries,
and patiently knead them in. They will resist, but be persistent!
Allow to ferment one hour. Fold and allow to ferment an additional hour.
Shape the dough into a boule and place on a sheet of parchment. Allow to proof for an hour or an hour and a half. Place a baking stone in the oven and preheat it to 450 for an hour.
When the dough has proofed, slash it and put it in the oven.
Bake for about 40 minutes, lowering to 400 after about twenty minutes. The bread should register between 190 and 200. Cool on a wire rack. 

No comments: