I have just purchased my very first stand mixer. It's big and shiny and powerful and I can't wait to meet it.
And it was this bread dough (and a screaming deal on Amazon today) that finally pushed me over the edge.
I'd like to do more rustic loaves, more ciabattas, more high-hydration doughs. But they wind up being so hard to handle without a mixer, I tend to shy away from them. This Pain Rustique is a prime example. I flopped this blob of dough around on my counter, trusty dough-scraper in hand, for quite a while. But, still, I'm not sure that I properly developed the gluten or ever brought the dough up to quite the right temperature.
Nevertheless, these loaves did turn out kind of pretty, I think. I need to work on my slashing technique. But I'm looking forward to slicing into one of these tonight, with some good cheese, a little salami or something and maybe some olives. Sounds like a fine Friday night to me.
P.S. I've never participated in this before, but I think I might send this one over to Yeastspotting. If you like to gaze at pictures of beautiful breads, check it out!
From"Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes"
Makes 3 medium loaves
1 pound (3 5/8 cups) bread flour
1 pound (2 cups) water
1/8 teaspoon instant dry yeast
1 pound (3 5/8 cups) bread flour
6.1 ounces (3/4 cup) water
All of the poolish
.6 ounces (1 tablespoon) salt
.17 ounces (1 1/2 teaspoons) yeast
For the poolish, disperse the yeast in water, add the flour and mix until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic and let stand at room temperature for 12 to 16 hours. (It should be big and bubbly by then.)
This bread is mixed with an autolyse (simply a litte rest time after mixing to let the water fully hydrate the flour). Add the Final Dough flour, water and the ripe poolish to the mixing bowl. Do not add the salt or yeast. In a spiral mixer, mix on first speed just until the ingredients come together in a shaggy mass. Cover the mixing bowl with a sheet of plastic and let the rough dough rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
At the end of the rest period, sprinkle the dough with the salt and the yeast and turn the mixer to second speed. Mix until the dough is fairly well developed, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. The dough should be supple and moderately loose. (Desired dough temperature: 76 degrees.) (If you're mixing this by hand, as I did, you'll want to use a bench scraper to help you knead. This dough is far too wet to knead without one. Try to avoid adding much flour during the kneading process.)
Let the dough rest, covered, for 25 minutes. Dump it onto a well-floured surface and fold it (fold the left side to the center, gently pressing out the gasses. Fold the right side to the center, doing the same. Ditto for the top and the bottom parts, too. It'll look like a little envelope.) Return the dough, seam side down, back to the rising container and let rest another 25 minutes. Fold again.
Let dough rest another 20 minutes.
Gently divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Shape into loose rectangles. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment and sprinkled with a little flour.
Heat oven to 460 degrees. While oven heats, let dough rest 20 to 25 minutes.
Quickly give each loaf one slash with a sharp knife.
Mist the oven with some water to create steam. Put the loaves in and mist again. Bake for about 45 minutes.
Cool thoroughly on wire racks.