Monday, 18 December 2017

Almond-crusted sourdough


I am usually so enamoured of sourdough that the thought of adding exciting additives just doesn't occur to me.

But after the bread we enjoyed after a long cycle ride yesterday, I am a convert. The crunch of almonds in every bite and the body and subtle taste of almond flour in the flour is not something that's easy to forget!

The texture of the bread was a funny combination of airy bites and dense chewy bits - I wonder if more kneading and a slightly longer baking period would have changed things. There's only one way to find out - go back to another experiment!


The recipe was simple.

Ingredients


90 g wholewheat starter (1:1 hydration)
890 g wholewheat flour
50 g almond flour (I milled whole almonds in the masala/coffee grinder bowl of the blender
860 ml water
20 g salt
A handful of almonds, roughly bashed with a grind stone

Method

I made a preferment with the starter and 270 g of flour to which I had added 400 ml water.
When the slurry was bubbly and smelling sweet (after two hours), I added the remaining ingredients (except the almonds) and left autolyse do its work.

After some forearm strengthening kneading by hand 😅, the dough was allowed to proof for around 3 hours in a warm steamy place. I boiled some water in the microwave and put the dough in after switching off the microwave.

Three hours later, I did some quick shaping, and left the dough alone in the microwave (again with the steam treatment) for an hour.

When the oven had heated up, I slashed the dough, gently wet the top and sprinkled almond bits on it. I was a bit timid with the quantity of nuts as I thought they would burn during the long and hot baking time. They didn't!

Baking: 12 minutes at 250 degrees Celsius with steam, and 40 minutes at 190 degrees, until the loaf felt crusty.