Artisan Bread

http://www.aturkishcookinamerica.com/recipes/Breads/crusty_bread.jpg


Saturn was sited before the creation of the heavens; bread was sited before grain Rumi

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2.5 cups bread flour
  • 2.5 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup stone ground whole wheat flour
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 1.5 cup home made starter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


DIRECTIONS:

  1. Take your homemade bread starter out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before starting to make the simits. If there is any water accumulated on top stir it back into the starter with a spoon.
  2. Measure 1.5 cup of the starter into a small bowl and set it aside.
  3. To replenish the starter, add 1 cup flour and 1 cup water to the container, mix and let stand at room temperature for one hour before putting it back in the refrigerator. This way, you can continue using the same starter for a long long time. It is important to remember that the starter will get stronger with time. After several months, you may completely skip the dry yeast, which is quite helpful for people with yeast intolerance.
  4. Mix the sugar, dry yeast and 1/2 cup water in a small bowl and leave to froth for 10 to 15 minutes. The water must be lukewarm - do not use cold, tap water. If it is too hot, it will ruin the yeast. In about twenty minutes, the yeast should start to foam, if it does not, the water was either too cold or too hot.
  5. Put the flour, starter, foaming yeast, olive oil and the remaining 1.5 cup water in the mixing bowl of your stand-up mixer. Using the dough hook, mix the ingredients for a few minutes. If your mixer is intended for the home kitchen (e.g. entry level KitchenAids), this much dough may be too hard for it. We recommend dividing the dough into two halves.  If you have a stronger mixer, you do not need to worry about this.
  6. Knead half of the dough for 6 minutes at the lowest speed. Since we have not added the salt yet, the dough will continue to be sticky as it becomes smooth and elastic.
  7. Stop the mixer and let the dough rest for 6 minutes.
  8. Add the salt and continue mixing at the lowest speed for another 6 minutes.
  9. On a floured surface, knead the dough into a large ball using your hands. 
  10. Place the dough in a large mixing bowl sprayed with olive oil, loosely cover with a piece of plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until it doubles in size (about 1.5 hours).
  11. http://www.aturkishcookinamerica.com/recipes/Breads/La%20Cloche%20Brick%20Oven.jpgSprinkle the La cloche brick oven (shown below - can be purchased from online gourmet kitchen supply stores, e.g. www.cooking.com) with corn meal. Punch the dough, make a tight ball and place it in the cloche pan, cover the pan, place it in the warm oven and let it rise for 30 minutes.
  12. Take the La cloche oven out of the oven and preheat the oven to 430F for 15 minutes.
  13. Place the covered La cloche oven in the oven and bake for 30 minutes at 430F. Remove the cover of the cloche pan and continue to bake at 430F for another 15 minutes for a thick and lasting crust.
  14. Take the bread out of the oven, lift the bread from the pan and place it on a cooling rack for 10 - 15 minutes before cutting your first slice.
  15. If you have a mature starter, you do not have to add any dry yeast to this bread. Active bacteria in the starter should be sufficient to rise the bread.
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