This is a dense bread that eats like a meal. It would make an awful toast for jam but it’s lovely with fall and winter meals like soups, stews and chilli. This is the recipe that we served our pickled garlic on for the Slowfood Picnic and fundraiser in 2011.
Make sure to slice it thin – the bread has a pretty thick crust and thin slices make for more pleasurable munching.
You can knead this by hand or use a food processor with a plastic blade (which, according to Mark Bittman will produce a more rustic crust)
Before getting into ingredients and detailed instructions, examine the photos below and you’ll be best able to follow along when you read the text.
- 15 ounces white flour
- 5 ounces red fife flour
- 0.25 cup of dried green onions (chopped fine by hand or blitzed in a food processor)
- 1 bulb of roasted garlic (we slice the top off, season with a bit of oil and salt and roast at 400 until soft)
- 12 ounces of room temperature water
- 1 teaspoon active/ instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons umeboshi vinegar
- flavorful oil (you could use olive, I opted for soya since it was local and matched the terroir of most of the dish
- Coarse salt
- Combine the two flours and mix evenly with a whisk in a bowl.
- Toss in vinegar (don’t mix)
- Pour in water (don’t mix)
- Scatter yeast across the surface of the water and allow it to sit until dissolved (this will help distribute it).
- Add the roasted garlic and dried onion into the food processor.
- Pour contents of the bowl into the processor. Mix until the entire thing comes together – about 20 or 30 seconds. If it’s sticky, add 1-2 pinches of flour at a time. If it’s too dry (which isn’t likely), add a scant bit of water at a time. The dough should be mostly or completely together at this point. It may need a small bit of coaxing in next step.
- Toss a bit of flour (i.e. a pinch or two in the bowl) – this is to prevent your dough from sticking. Drop the dough in the bowl and toss the dough around so it’s dusted everywhere with the flour. You may need to help form the dough into a ball at this point but your work should be minimal (if not, you can return it to the processor).
- Drizzle some oil onto the dough and distribute the oil across the surface of the dough. Cover with a damp towel and leave somewhere warm and vent-free. Allow dough to double in size (the warmer the temperature, the faster it will rise). THis wil take 30-60 minutes.
- Punch dough down.
- Place dough in a lightly oiled or greased bread pan. Any size will do – the smaller the pan, the higher the bread.
- Brush a light coat of oil on the surface of the dough and season with coarse salt.
- Cover again and allow to double in size – this will take 60-90 minutes. Be patient, it will raise. Read next step before waiting the 90 minutes.
- Turn the oven to 450 45-60 minutes before placing the bread in the oven. Place an empty cast-iron pan on the bottom rack (optional but effective) during the preheating.
- When the rise completes, carefully add 1 cup of water to the cast iron pan (it will instantly steam and add humidity – use caution).
- Place bread on top rack.
- Lower heat to 375 after 10 minutes.
- When your bread is rich and dark, it is complete – about an additional 25-30 minutes. If in doubt, use a meat thermometer and check for an internal temperature of 212 degrees (expect the crust to be very tough, that’s ok).
- Remove from pan and allow it to cool on a rack.
We cooked 5 loaves at once and found great success!
What would you eat this with?