This recipe is adapted from one in Beth Hensperger’s “Bread Bible,” as published in the NY Times.
The original was in cup measure, didn’t have potatoes, didn’t use a biga and didn’t have an autolyse, but it still turned out a great loaf. Naturally, I think that it’s better with the biga, the potatoes and the autolyse. It’s a fairly long recipe, but since it moves along logical lines, it’s fairly easy to make. This recipe makes a lot of bread, but the bread freezes well. I mixed it using the fountain method, but you can use a mixer if you want to.
There are several schools of though on using potatoes in bread. One method says to boil the potatoes and use the potato and the potato water to make the bread. Another says to bake the potato and scoop out the inside. Another says to use dried potato flakes. I prefer to boil the potatoes and use the potato water to make the bread. You can try all the methods and see which you prefer.
|Dry Yeast||1/2 tsp||2|
|Warm Potato Water||30||850|
|Stone ground rye flour||10||285|
|Non-Fat dry milk||1 2/3 cups||400 ml|
|Cardamom pods||12 pods|
|Sugar||1 cup||250 ml|
|Salt||1 1/4 Tbsp||19 ml|
Melted butter for brushing.
Three large bread pans, at least.
- 1. Make the biga a day ahead and let it develop in the refrigerator overnight.
2. Peel and slice the potatoes. Set them to boil in plenty of water. When they are cooked, save the water and mash the potatoes. Set them to cool.
3. Gently crush the cardamom pods and break the seeds out. Clean away as much of the chaff as you can.
4. Put the cleaned seeds between two pieces of wax paper and crush them up good and fine. Set them aside.
5. Mix together the potato water, the potatoes, unsalted butter, salt, sugar, crushed cardamom seeds and the dry milk.
6. Using the paddle on the mixer, mix them together for a minute or two to melt the butter. Let the mixture cool below 90 F / 32C.
7. Add 10 ounces / 285 grams of flour and mix for a minute or two.
8. Add the yeast. Cut up the biga and add it to the mixture. Mix for 2 minutes.
9. Switch to the dough hook and begin adding the flours a bit at a time, until you have added about half the flour.
10. Knead for about 3 minutes, until the dough is well-mixed. The biga will not have dissolved much.
11. Dump the rest of the flour onto the counter and slowly add the liquid mixture from the mixer bowl into the fountain.
12. Work the dough until all the liquid and flour are mixed together. Knead for a minute by hand.
13. Cut the dough in half and place half back in the mixer. Knead for a minute. Remove the dough and knead the other half of the dough.
14. Place one half the dough on top of the other and cut them in half. Repeat the half-batch knead.
15. Repeat this process twice.
16. Repeat the half-batch kneading twice more, then place all the dough on the counter and knead by hand for 5 minutes.
17. Place the dough in a large pot, put the lid on it and let the dough ferment for 45 minutes.
18. Fold the dough, then let it ferment 40 minutes. Fold it again, then let it ferment 30 minutes.
19. Take the dough out of the container and let it rest on the counter for 10 minutes.
20. This recipe makes almost 8 pounds / 3600 grams of dough. I made 3-2 pound / 910 gram breads and 2-14 ounce / 400 gram breads. For my pans, the 2 pound loaves were a bit small. I think they would have been better at 2 pounds 4 ounces / 1020 grams.
21. Butter or grease the pans, shape the doughs and plop them in. Note that I made two in baguette pans in strange shapes as an experiment. I think that handling the dough so much made one of the baguette shapes really balloon up.
22. Heat the oven to 350 F / 175 C.
23. Let the loaves rise for 45 minutes.
24. You can either brush the tops with butter as you put them in the oven or you can wait and brush them 20 minutes into the bake.
25. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the loaves and continue baking until the loaves are a golden brown. Then take the loaves out of the pans, turn off the oven and leave the loaves in the cooling oven for 5 minutes.
Here we go
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