today i'm posting one of my absolute favorite loaves with you. i call her my luxury bread, because she's the most ambrosial loaf in my repertoire and the only one that i anthropomorphize. while i love all my breads dearly, she's got to be the queen of the bunch. and when i occasion to bake her up, i feel like nothing on earth could be better than the moment i sink my teeth into a slice (ok, maybe i shouldn't anthropomorphize). i defy you to disagree.
here's the scoop. you will need two types of nut and four different varieties of dried fruit. not. negotiable. if you try to cut corners, well, then you ain't makin' luxury bread.
you might have noticed that this venture won't be cheap, what with 250g of the fruit, and another 150g of nuts - pecan and wal. yeah. but if you get your goods from trader joes, you will have plenty leftover from the first go round to knead up a few more loaves.. if you can keep yourself from snacking on your stash. i never can.
a few caveats with this loaf: doing the turns is impossible. no, not difficult, impossible. the dough is SOLID, and when you (try to) do them (because yeah, you still have to), you will think you've gone mad, (or i've gone mad for conjuring up this beast, royalty that she is) but by golly, we must forge on with that what is most challenging in order to feel deserved of the fruits of our labors.
after you've given up on your turns (they get harder from the start), trying to shape the bread will drive you bonkers because you have to keep as much of the 400g of fruits and nuts inside the dough as you can so that you don't end up with a surplus of burned goodies on the crust after its gone through a pretty long bake. but you can do it. and after you've had your first bite, you will forget about the pain that you endured and revel in the sheer luxury of it. see, luxury bread.
forget about pannetone for christmas, this is what you should be baking for people this year. it's pure luxury... so you should eat it all the time.
make your levain:
37g 100% rye, 100% hydration starter
50g organic dark rye flour, i used BRM dark rye
mix it all up, ferment for 7.5 hours
MAKE THE DOUGH
310g KA organic A/P
100g KA organic bread flour
90g BRM organic dark rye flour
62.5g each: golden raisins, thompsons raisins, dried cherries, apricots (chopped)
first things first, toast the nuts. put the fruit in a glass measure and fill with boiling hot water. steep 30 minutes, then drain. set all this aside.
mix the levain with the water and the flours until you reach a shaggy mass. autolyse for 1 hour.
after the dough has gone through full autolyse, squish the salt in into the dough with your fingers, then dump the COOLED nuts and fruit in and fold it into the dough. i know, i know, it's going to seem like too much. it's not. ready for bulk fermentation.
for the first two hours of the bulk fermentation, perform a series of turns every half hour. i know, it's nutty (literally), and its going to be impossible. just do the best you can. that's all anyone can ask of you in life.
after the bulk fermentation, dust your workspace with brown rice flour and scrape the dough over it. sort o' gather it into a loose boule and let it rest for 10 minutes.
after its rested for 10 minutes, shape the dough into a firm boule, making sure that you tuck in any fruit or nut pieces that poke through. i mean, some stick-outs you can't avoid. just do the best you can or they will burn during the bake.
pop this dough into a linen-lined bowl that's been dusted with organic brown rice flour and pop it into the fridge for a 15-hour proof.
you should always be covering your dough, yeah, all the way from levain through proof. i usually just use a plate. you don't have to get crazy with the plastic wrap.
preheat the oven to 550 degrees, outfitted with a baking stone and both pieces of your combo cooker for a full hour.
just before you are ready to bake, pull the dough out of the fridge, score it, slide it into the shallow end of the combo cooker, cover with the fatty part, and steam for 30 minutes at 475 degrees.
after the steam, remove the lid of the combo cooker, lower the heat to 450 (DON'T bake at a higher temp. this loaf takes longer to bake than other loaves, and you will end up with a black bottom if you crank the heat. i think my loaf took.... mmm... 1 hour and 10 minutes or so?) bake until the crust is a chestnut brown, and be sure to turn it for the last 20 minutes of the bake so one side doesn't get darker than the rest. and do try to wait a full hour before tearing into it. it'll be hard, i know...
OH, and, uh, you can double your luxury by increasing your ingredients by two, from levain all the way down to the salt.
to the staff of life!
this post was shared on wild yeast blog's yeast spotting.