Sunday, February 24, 2008

[New York]: Cherry Pecan Sourdough Loaf

Oh, man, this one was really good.

The starter worked better this time - either because I made the bread in a loaf pan (so it couldn't collapse) or because I fed it a couple times at room temperature before putting it in the recipe (maybe I don't usually wait long enough after it comes out of the fridge, and it's still sleepy).

At any rate, here's the recipe, so I don't forget:

1 cup batter-texture sourdough starter (3:1 white:wheat flour)
1 scant cup toasted pecan halves, slightly crumbled
1 scant cup dried cherries (soak them in water for 20 min before using)
1 and 1/4 cup room temperature water
1/2 tablespoon sea salt
white and wheat flour

Wake up your starter until it can double in size in 8-10 hours. Mix all ingredients except pecans and cherries and knead, adding flour gradually (don't make the dough too stiff).

Shape dough into a ball, oil it, and let ball sit for 2 hours. It won't puff up very much and will look kind of sickly. Do not panic. Mix in pecans and cherries, form into a rectangle with the same width as your loaf pan, and roll rectangle up from one end as loosely as possible (to trap air to make more bubbles). Let it sit for another two hours. It should now be puffed up.

Bake at 400 for about 35 minutes or until an inserted thermometer says about 205-210. If you're a nutball for good crust, mist it with water when you put it in and take it out after 20 minutes and put it directly on your preheated pizza stone to finish baking. If not, it will have a sort of grayish crust (I never figured out what to do about this, so I just buttered it)... SO TASTY!

Instructions on a sourdough starter forthcoming.


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