A few years ago my wife and I went on vacation to Vermont and stayed at an old inn right around the block from King Arthur Flour’s headquarters which includes a store front. We had a great time and stocked up on a lot of baking supplies and including flour and also purchased a few loaves of bread made in the KAF kitchens. One of the loaves was a sour dough made with a beer or laguer. They did not supply the recipe so I have been trying to make my own version ever since. I can’t be sure if my version is as good, but I do know it tastes pretty good.
I used a pretty heavy laguer in this recipe along with the rolled oats and a small amount of whole wheat flour which provides a very deep earthy flavor profile. I also added some roasted onions which were left over from the brisket I made the night before.
I created this recipe using the standard techniques from Peter Reinhart’s “Artisan Bread Every Day. This is one of my favorite books and I love the flexibility his method allows while still building great flavor. The basic theory behind this book is that you can mix the dough in one day, let it sit in the fridge for 3-4 days while it develops its flavor during a nice long and cold fermentation and bake at your leisure. You have the option to use a small amount of yeast to lessen the preparation time, or no yeast relying on your starter.
I prefer to use a 65% hydration starter while I know a lot of recipes call for a 100% hydration starter, so feel free to use either and adjust your water amount as needed.
8.9 ounces 65% Hydration Starter Refreshed
2 ounces Rolled Oats (Dry)
15 ounces European Style Artisan Bread Flour (KAF) or Bread Flour
3 ounces Whole Wheat Flour
4.5 ounces Sliced Roasted Onions, Carmelized (You can cook in olive oil in a frying pan or on a sheet pan in the oven)
14 ounces Dark Beer (I used a Guiness Stout), Luke warm water, 90 – 95 degrees Fahrenheit
2 1/2 Teaspoons Sea Salt
2.25 Teaspoons Instant Yeast (you can omit the yeast if desired and let the dough sit for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours before refrigerating)
Using your stand mixer or by hand, mix the beer with the starter to break up the starter.
Add the flour, salt, yeast (if using),and mix on the lowest speed for 4 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes
Add the onions and mix for 4 minutes more on medium speed, adding more flour if necessary to produce a slightly sticky ball of dough.
Remove dough to your lightly floured work surface and knead for 1 minute and form a ball.
Leave uncovered for 10 minutes.
Do a stretch and fold and form into a ball again and cover with a clean moist cloth or oiled plastic wrap.
After another 10 minutes do another stretch and fold and put into a lightly oiled bowl that has enough room so the dough can double overnight.
Put in your refrigerator immediately for at least 12 hours or up to 3 days.
When ready to bake the bread, shape the dough as desired being careful not to handle the dough too roughly so you don’t de-gas it. Place it in your bowl, banneton or shape into baguettes. (If you did not use yeast, let it sit in your bowl for 2 hours before shaping).
Let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours covered with oiled plastic wrap or a wet cloth.
Pre-heat oven with baking stone (I use one on bottom and one on top shelf of my oven), to 500 degrees F.
Slash loaves as desired and place empty pan in bottom shelf of oven.
Pour 1 cup of very hot water into pan and place loaves into oven.
Lower oven to 450 Degrees and bake for 25 – 35 minutes until bread is golden brown and internal temperature reaches 200 degrees.
Let cool on cooling rack and enjoy!
Please visit the Yeast Spotting Site here: http://www.wildyeastblog.com/category/yeastspotting/ for lots of cool recipes. Also this post has been submitted to http://www.girlichef.com/p/byob-bake-your-own-bread.html, so please visit them for even more baking recipes.