Saturday, May 17, 2008

Genzano Country Bread, White

There is something awfully intriguing about the Genzano Country Bread. I just made it again and it was an entirely different animal. First off, I made it with just white high gluten flour (King Arthur bread flour has gone up from $3.49 to $4.99 at Fairway, by the way). I used a tablespoon each of stiff sourdough and liquid levain, along with the yeast. Although I had originally planned to, I didn't decrease this time either because I was worried about the strength of the sourdoughs, which were both a few days out from being refreshed. Due to time constraints, I did some more fast and loose timing maneuvers using the refrigerator. I refrigerated the biga for about 12 hours after a quick six-hour ferment, and then did the two risings in the fridge as well, each for about 10 hours. After that I just shaped it, wrapped it in bran, and proofed for an extra hour before putting it in the oven. I baked it in the preheated dutch oven, which worked really well (no control this time, but I can tell it made a difference). Because it was a big loaf, I took it out into the regular oven for the last five minutes to make sure all the crust got browned.
This might be one of the most handsome loaves I've ever made, and it has the flavor of a sourdough and the squishy ('normal' Libby says') texture of a yeast bread. I think this recipe holds more for me in the near future. Meanwhile we have this enormous loaf to deal with.

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