Based on one of the most popular formulas over at The Fresh Loaf.com this one includes dried cherries and a maple smoked cheddar cheese I picked up on my last trip to Vermont while visiting King Arthur Flour to stock up.
I used about half freshly milled whole wheat along with KAF French style flour and a little bit of fresh milled rye.
The end result was a tasty bread but I was disappointed in the crumb as it was a little too tight. I think I would up the water content even more to compensate for the large portion of freshly ground whole wheat next time.
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 8-12 hours or until the starter is nice and bubbly.
Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.
Main Dough Procedure
Add the dried cherries to the water that will be used for the final dough and let it reconstitute for about 10 minutes.
Dissolve the levain in the water, add the flours and mix to a shaggy mass. Cover and autolyse for 30 minutes.
Add the salt and and mix to incorporate for 4 minutes on low if using a mixer. Next add the cheese cut into 1/2″ cubes and mix until incorporated for about a minute. Transfer to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly.
Bulk ferment for 3 hours with stretch and folds in the bowl every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours. The dough should have expanded by about 50% and be full of small bubbles.
Refrigerate the dough for 18-24 hours.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and transfer it to a lightly floured board.
Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and pre-shape as a round. Cover the dough and allow to rest for 60 minutes.
Shape as batards and proof for 45 minutes, covered.
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 500 degrees and after another 3 minutes lower it to 450 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 1 hour before eating.