I recently tried this recipe. Found myself by baking this bread for days again and again, to finalise the perfect quantity relation and the best texture to enjoy. Today i feel like, well, now i can share with you my experience and hope you gonna enjoy to bake this delicious bread.
• 700 grams bread flour
• 80 grams rye flour
• 700 grams water
• 15 grams sea salt
• 70 grams dried apricots (organic dried apricot not treated with sulfur vapor is darker in color and has a coarser texture)
• 150 grams shelled walnuts
• 5 grams lavender buds
• 200 grams mature levain
• Spread the shelled walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven at 160 ºCelsius.
• Coarsely chop the dried apricots.
• Autolyse: mix flour and water in a bowl until all dry bits are hydrated. Cover bowl and store somewhere warm (around 23 ºCelsius) for 1 hour.
• Add the levain to the dough in the mixing bowl and mix by hand to first incorporate and then to build strength in the dough. To build strength I chose to do slap and fold for about 5 minutes, just until the dough started to show signs of a smooth surface and it was catching some air. If you aren’t comfortable with slap/fold method or don’t like it, you can do stretch and folds in the bowl until your dough tightens up and is slightly hard to stretch out and fold over. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes, covered, in the mixing bowl.
• When finished resting, sprinkle the salt on top of the dough. Pinch through a few times and fold the dough over itself to help incorporate.
• At 23 ºCelsius ambient temperature bulk fermentation should go for about 4 hours.
Perform 4 sets of stretch and folds during the bulk, spaced out by 30 minutes.
After the second set of stretch and folds mix in the dried apricots, lavender and walnuts. Place all the ingredients on top of the dough and using a splash of water on your hands gently mix and fold the dough over and over until everything is incorporated.
• After the fourth set of stretch and folds let the dough rest for the remainder of bulk.
• Dump out the dough from your bulk container onto an un-floured work surface. Pre-shape the dough into two round boules and let rest 20 minutes uncovered. Don’t worry if you lose a walnut or apricot here and there, just push it back into the dough somewhere, preferably on the bottom.
• This dough will work equally well shaped as a boule (round shape) or a batard (oval shape). Gently shape for preferred form.
• Once shaped, transfer each to their floured shaping basket with the seam side facing up.
• Cover your baskets with plastic and then place in the refrigerator for about 10 hours.
• Preheat oven at 250 ºCelsius.
• Take out both of the baskets from the fridge and cut a piece of parchment paper to fit over the top, quickly invert each basket onto each piece of parchment. Score the top of each loaf, just deep enough to cut below the top skin of the dough.
• It can be challenging to score this dough! Because there are so many walnuts and apricots.
• Bake the loaves at 250 ºCelsius for 20 minutes, then remove the steaming pans from inside the oven. Turn the oven down to 190 ºCelsius and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for at least 1-2 hours.
As lavender is very polarizing so if it’s not something you’re fond of, ditch it altogether. In fact, walnut and apricot go so well together I could envision a bread with just these two ingredients and perhaps even other mix-ins. Cranberry and pistachio? Or a lovely classic olive and walnut? Let me know your choice and preferred taste.
Bon appétit !