culinary review

Large Bran Coated Italian Country Sourdough & Yeast Bread

Last Modified: 01/26/12
First Published: 01/25/12
Views: 1002
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Views: 1002

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General Info
Servings: 20
Total Cost: $0.93
Cost Per Serving: $0.05
Total Calories: 2,876
Calories/Serving: 144
Flour, Bread (for sourdough) * 200.00 Grams $0.20 822
Water (for sourdough) * 140.00 Grams $0.00 0
Water (for dough) * 400.00 Grams $0.00 0
Flour, Bread (for dough) * 500.00 Grams $0.49 2,054
Yeast, Instant, Fast Rising 3/4 Teaspoons 6.00 Grams $0.21 0
Salt, Kosher 3 Teaspoons 14.40 Grams $0.03 0
Huge, rustic and simply beautiful. Those are some words you can use to describe this Italian country bread. Using some sourdough as well as a small amount of yeast, this dough isn't overly flavored by sourdough, instead you have a nice mellow flavor and a great, open crumb.

This is a bread inspired by Daniel Leader's "Genzano Country Bread" from his wonderful book "Local Breads." In the description, he mentions how this bread in Italy is renowned for staying fresh for seven days; now that's quite a claim to make! However after several days this bread is still rather fresh and perfect toasted, so maybe there is some truth to that statement!

This dough is very wet, and it's kneaded for a full 20 (!) minutes. Needless to say, you definitely need a mixer here! This bran coated bread is rather dark and makes a large round - perfect for sharing with friends over soup, or to slice and make large sandwiches with! If you want to bake something a little different, something impressive and large and rustic, then this would definitely be it!

1. Ingredients
2 tbsp (29 g) of refreshed sourdough (liquid, stiff or even rye!)
140 g water
200 g bread flour

Mix the sourdough and water in the mixer bowl. Add the flour and stir to incorporate. Take out and knead by hand for a minute, then place back in the mixer bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit overnight, or about 8 - 12 hours.

2. Ingredients
Sourdough from above
400 g water
500 g bread flour
3/4 tsp instant yeast
3 teaspoons salt
wheat bran for sprinkling

The next day, pour the water over the sourdough and break it up with spatula. Add the flour, yeast and salt and blend until you have a rough, wet dough.

Use the dough hook and knead the dough on medium - high speed for about 20 minutes. Every now and then stop the machine and scrape down the hook and sides of the bowl.

Pour the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 2 1/2 - 3 hours. At least once during this process, briefly knead the dough to distribute the bubbles.

Coat a towel lined banneton, bowl or colander with lots of wheat bran, ideally too much than too little! Carefully shape the dough into a round without handling the dough too much and place it into the banneton with the smooth side down. Sprinkle some more bran on top and cover with oiled plastic wrap.

Let rise for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until almost doubled in size.

One hour before you're planning on baking put a baking stone in the oven, a cast iron pan underneath and heat the oven to 450 degrees.

To bake, cover a bakers peel with parchment paper, remove the plastic wrap and carefully turn the dough onto the parchment paper. Slide the dough on the parchment on top of the stone and place 1/4 cup of ice cubes in the cast iron pan.

Bake for 30 minutes, and then turn the oven down to 400 degrees, continue to bake for another 30 minutes.

Let cool on a wire rack - ideally don't cut into it directly but let it cool completely first.