Monday, July 20, 2009

At Long Last ... Bread!

Those of you who know me know that I have been somewhat obsessed with bread for the last couple of months. Week after week, I have been baking my bread for the week. Overall, the results have been good. I've enjoyed the process and even the worst loaf was much better than my previous attempts, let alone what you buy in a plastic wrapper at the store.

But still, not as good as what you buy from Acme or that is served in (some or, in San Francisco, most) restaurants. I couldn't seem to achieve the depth of flavor or the shattering crust that I aspired to. And I won't even talk about the scores that didn't burst open in the way that they should have in my mind. Until this weekend, when the stars finally aligned and I finally achieved the bread that I aspired to during this crazy crusade.

This weekend I set out to make a Prosciutto-Morbier Sourdough to add a little pizazz to breakfast. OK, I am easily amused, and then I had more dough left over and thought it would be fun to try an Epi de Ble (sorry, I have no idea how to add the accented characters). CRUNCH!!! It looked pathetic going in to the oven, but came out reasonably decent for a novice attempt. More importantly, the crispy, shattering crust. It's the same dough as the following recipe, just without the added toppings.
I am not going to go into the techniques of baking. Susan at does a fantastic job and there isn't anything I can say that I didn't learn from her. Go there. Read every post. You'll be glad you did. Even the base dough and sourdough recipes are hers. Only the toppings are my contribution, so I am sharing them back.

Sourdough with Prosciutto and Morbier

makes 2 500 gram loaves


388 g bread flour
90 g rye flour
280 g water
240 g mature, 100% hydration sourdough starter
12 g salt
160 g Morbier, cut in small cubes or chunks (you can substitute Taleggio or other cheese of your liking)
100 g prosciutto - about 8 very thin slices
    1. In a stand mixer, combine the flours, water and starter. Mix for about a minute until just combined.
    2. Let the dough rest 30 min.
    3. Add the salt, then mix 4-5 min. until the dough reaches a medium level of development. (if you don't know what this means, read the Wild Yeast Blog)
    4. Transfer to an oiled container and let ferment for 2.5 hours, with a fold at 75 min.
    5. Split the dough in 2 halves, each should weigh about 500 grams.
    6. Roll each half into a rectangle about 12x8 inches

    7. Cover each half with prosciutto slices, then cheese, keeping only a small margin for sealing. and then sprinkle evenly with cheese.

    8. From the long (12") end, roll like a jelly-roll. Seal the bottom seam and tuck the ends together.

    9. Proof, covered, for about 2 hours.

    10. Pre-heat the oven with a baking stone to 475F. Prepare also for steaming the loaves.

    11. Just before baking, slash the loaves. I cut just down to the first layer of filling - not cutting the prosciutto, just so I could feel it at the end of my razor.

    12. Once the loaves are in the oven, reduce the heat to 450F. Bake with steam for 8 min. and then another 22 min without steam.

    13. Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy warm or lightly toasted.

    Submitted for YeastSpotting on Wild Yeast of course!


    1. Welcome to the blogosphere. I'm so happy you're here, and with such lovely bread! Welcome to YeastSpotting too. And I'm so blushing by your kind words about my blog. I can't wait to see your next bread.

    2. Oh my goodness. Prosciutto and cheese in sourdough!! I have to make this!! It sounds sooooooooo good!