This was one of those, what was I thinking breads. I had read about a porridge bread someone else posted about where they soaked the cracked rye overnight in water, and for some reason that translated to me as let’s soak whole durum berries in water overnight and make a porridge from them. I should have known that I didn’t do something right when the porridge was taking forever to solidify and didn’t absorb all of the water as usual. Next time I need to either crack the durum berries first or soak them overnight in hot boiling water. The berries were soft when added to the dough but still had too much of a bite once baked.
I have modified my directions below to reflect the correct way to do this, so nobody else makes the same error. Either way, the final bread still came out moist and tasty with a nice crust and crumb. The combination of flours and the addition of the shaved Parmesan cheese really made this one worth making and eating…just make sure to have your dental insurance up to date.
Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.
Levain Directions Build 1
Mix all the Build 1 levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled. I used my proofer set at 83 degrees and it took about 4 hours. Next add the flour and water for Build 2 and mix thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and let it set again until it is bubbly and just about doubled in size. You can use it immediately in the final dough or let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.
Add 110 grams of boiling water to the whole durum berries and let them sit at room temperature overnight for close to 24 hours. Alternatively, crack the berries in a coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle and let it soak in cold water for 24 hours.
The next day add about 3/4’s of the water called for in the porridge to the dry ingredients in a small pot set to low and stir constantly until all the water is absorbed. Add the remainder of the water and keep stirring until you have a nice creamy and soft porridge. Remove from the heat and let it come to room temperature before adding to the dough. I put mine in the refrigerator and let it cool quicker.
Main Dough Procedure
Mix the flours and the water for about 1 minute. Let the rough dough sit for about 20 minutes to an hour. Next add the levain, cooled porridge, and olive oil and salt and mix on low for 5 minutes. Add the cheese and mix on low for 1 additional minute until it is incorporated thoroughly. You should end up with a cohesive dough that is slightly tacky but manageable. Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds. Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold. Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold. After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours. (Since I used my proofer I only let the dough sit out for 1.5 hours before refrigerating).
When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours. Remove the dough and shape as desired.
The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it’s size at most. Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.
Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees F. and prepare it for steam. I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf. I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.
Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.
After 5 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees. Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.
Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.