After returning from my annual pilgrimage to North Carolina and finding my kitchen devoid of fresh bread I got busy milling some fresh flour.
I wanted to use a beer in this bake and decided that fresh spelt and Kamut would go great with the Pale Ale I had in stock. Of course some caramelized onions would also go well with this combination and some Greek Yogurt and honey rounded out the flavor profile.
I added some smoked sesame seeds and garlic sesame seeds to the top and baked it boldly.
The flavor is nutty and bursting with sweetness from the onions and honey. The crumb is moderate and not as open as I expected but ideal for sandwiches.
I am definitely going to bake this one again.
Download the BreadStorm File Here.
Mix all the 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 usually do this the night before. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Main Dough Procedure
Mix the flours, cracked wheat, Greek Yogurt and 400 grams of the Ale together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute. Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 60 minutes or longer. I actually left it for around 2.5 hours. Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), honey, and balance of the Ale, and mix on low for 5 minutes. Add the caramelized onions and mix until incorporated. 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. (If you have a proofer you can set it to 80 degrees and follow above steps but you should be finished in 1 hour to 1.5 hours).
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. Place your dough into your proofing basket(s) and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray. The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature. 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 1 minute lower the temperature to 445 degrees. Bake for 25-35 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 210 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.