Sometimes the best tools in the world are nothing if the person using them doesn’t use them right. Case in point. I now have a banneton and a lame’ thanks to my good friend R. I have a baking stone and a peel. I have good ingredients to work with… but…I can’t seem to make a pretty bread to save my life sometimes.
Things started out ok. Maybe I didn’t pinch the seam on the bread very well when I formed my boule but doesn’t that bread dough look wonderful!
I thought I slashed the dough deep enough but the bread came out looking like the Elephant Man with a quasi-religious tattoo on his head.
But…once I cut the bread open, I saw that the crisp crusted bread with the soft pillowy interior I was promised by the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking book was spot on. So my bread may be ugly but wow was it wonderful!
The original recipe wasn’t whole grainy enough for me so I swapped some of the white flour out for more whole wheat. Enjoy!
Maple Oat Sourdough Bread
Adapted from King Arthur Whole Grain Baking
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
¾ cup water
1 tbsp ripe sourdough starter
1 cup stone ground whole wheat flour
½ cup water
All of the soaker
All of the Levain
1 ½ cups stone ground whole-wheat flour
1 ½ cups unbleached white flour
¾ cup water
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 ½ tsp salt
The night before you plan to bake, combine oats and water for soaker. In a separate bowl, combine sourdough starter, whole-wheat flour and water, mix well. Cover both bowls with plastic wrap and leave out at room temperature 12 hours or overnight.
The next day, the levain should be puffy like a little bread dough (at least doubled in size). Combine the levain, the soaker and the rest of the dough ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer. Attach a bread hook to the mixer. Mix on low until combined and then raise the speed one notch to knead the dough for 6 minutes. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover it with a dishtowel and allow it to rise until doubled, at least one hour. (I went grocery shopping and came back 3 hours later. The dough was fine since it was cold out).
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Pat it into a rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds like a letter. Pat it out into a rectangle and fold it in thirds again. Put the dough back in the oiled pan. Allow it to rise another hour.
Heavily flour a banneton. Carefully remove the dough from the bowl and shape it into a boule (round) pulling the edges down and under until the dough is round with a lot of surface tension. Transfer the dough to the banneton and allow the dough to rise covered for 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours.
A half hour before you want to bake, put a baking stone and a cake pan into the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cover a peel with a generous dusting of cornmeal and then carefully transfer the dough to the peel. Use a pastry brush to brush off any excess flour. Slash the dough with a lame. Use the peel to transfer the dough to the baking stone. Add a cup of water to the hot cake pan for steam. Bake 15 minutes and then lower the heat to 400 degrees. Bake an additional 30 – 35 minutes. Remove the bread to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.