Hazelnut & Honey Sourdough
Dare devil baking 101
This is what happens when it’s too warm to play outside. I turn the oven on in the house and sit back to enjoy the ceiling fan, air conditioning and the clink of ice cubes in a glass.
Things get a little out of control on some days. Take for instance, yesterday. I was bored and a bit weathered by events that had unfolded themselves the day before. And then, I awoke to yet another day of 100 + degree temps. I can be fried, beyond belief, and then I can be downright, sizzled! Such is the stuff that my dreams are made of, and today this was my refuge.
The pantry is laden with bunches of unique flours these days. I’m feeling the need to get myself busy on using them before they become stale or fodder for the compost pile.
Experimental ideas are tapping coarsely through my veins; possibilities abound, whirling about my head as if I knew a bit of something. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’m clueless, but I’m also fortunate enough to have these devices within my cubby-hole. I should use them before I lose them. And such is how I arrive to this bake. CAUTION: I cannot promise success, and what this recipe delivers must come with a disclaimer. I”m one of those sorts of baker’s that heeds caution only when the grease fire pushes me beyond the premises. What I give, and what you get, will no doubt be a bit of mischief. Let’s just pretend we’re having fun until the kitchen blows up on us!
Hazelnut & Honey Sourdough Bread
- 3/4 cup ripe sourdough poolish (rather wet)
- about one cup of hazelnut flour, finely ground
- 8 to 9 big scoops of King Arthur Bread Flour, followed by a bit more…Cups? Oh, let’s just say we are working on 4 1/2 to 6, but even that is a guess ;)
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup honey
- about 1/4 cup peanut oil, more for coating
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons instant yeast (no need to prep, just fling it in at the start of the mix)
- 2 1/4 cups room temp, purified water
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Kosher salt
Mix all items in the K.A., or by hand and batter bowl with the EXCEPTION of the salt. HOLD THE SALT for now, we’ll come back to it a bit later.
Using your dough hook, run your mixer on medium speed, incorporating the mass for about two minutes. Add additional bread flour until dough forms a round mass that clearly leaves the sides of the bowl, but adheres itself ever so lightly at its base. (Working with this dough will be a bit different from a regular bread mass. Strength character is not consistent, but no problem! Just note that your expectations will be a bit skewed for now. All will be okay.)
Turn mixer off, STILL DO NOT ADD THAT SALT! and cover your mixing bowl with an airtight piece of plastic. Take a 25 minute break, using your time to sip and clink your beverage, or if you must, get that kitchen back towards, straightened.
tic, tock, tic, tock, tic, tock. Times up!
Grab your 1 1/2 Tablespoons of salt and head back to the mixer. Remove plastic and dump the grains in while turning the speed to medium once again, now mix dough for another two minutes. Check dough at this point, if it is slack, add another bit of flour, securing a mass that moves freely away from the sides of the mixer, but proves damp enough to resist at the bottom. It should look like it wants to ‘let go,’ but sticks barely to its base.
Don’t get lost in the details. Don’t panic. AND don’t think you can’t do this. Every challenge is a learning tool. We aren’t going for prizes with this sweet thing, we are simply enjoying our rendezvous from the ordinary.
Stop the mixer and take a five-minute break. No need to cover the dough.
After your five-minute refresher, turn the mixer back on and continue mixing for two more minutes.
Pour peanut oil into your hands as if it were hand lotion. Gather dough mass and roll it into a ball. Set back into the bowl and cover with plastic. Set timer for 50 minutes.
tic, tock, tic, tock, tic, tock. Time’s up!
Returning to the dough, once again, place another bit of peanut oil on your hands. This time, instead of lifting and shaping the ball of dough, you will need to gently stretch it, pulling lengthwise and folding, edge to center, center to edge. One or two good stretches.
Return the dough to the bowl, cover and set the time for an additional 50 minutes.
tic, tock, tic, tock, tic, tock. Once again, go through the motions of stretching your dough.
Cover and allow to double in size. (This didn’t take long in my kitchen, I live just north of Hades, at the mark of the triple-digit bypass. I think, it ran me about an hour and a half, two hours max.)
Punch down the dough and set about finding bakeware. I used a large loaf pan and three small loafers for my bread. Oil your bakeware, well. Next, using a dough scraper, kitchen knife or whatever you use to cut dough, divide according to your baking dishes. Allow the loaves to rise to double. (Mine took about 45 minutes.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle bread flour over the tops and score right before setting into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, turn loaves and continue baking for another 15 minutes for small loaves, and an additional 25 minutes for the larger loaf, or loaves.
NOTE: I baked this bread at a much lower temp than a regular sourdough because of the addition of nut flour.