I have been following the group Tuesdays with Dorie for some time. But it is only now that I decided to take the plunge and join them in their baking adventures. The reason for my hesitation was that I did not know the ingredients which would be required. I live in a part of the world where many of the ingredients that are easily available in the Western world, are very difficult to get here. If we do find them, we have to pay a premium as they are all imported.
Currently the group is baking from Dorie Greenspan’s ‘Baking with Julia’. The main rule is that we must possess a copy of the book. The other is that we must post on a Tuesday and participate at least once a month….simple enough.
Getting my hands on a copy was easy. But then I hit a stumbling block with the very first recipe that I had to make- the Country bread.
A Country Bread is a large round loaf and is generally made with plain flour, whole wheat flour, rye flour, water and yeast. Rye flour? Now where can I get some? Luckily, I found it at an online store here in Mumbai and immediately placed an order.
I halved the recipe and still got a large enough loaf.
To make the bread we begin with a yeasted sponge starter which consists of plain flour, whole wheat flour and rye flour. This is left to ferment at room temperature for eight hours or overnight in the fridge. I opted for the later, but I let it come to room temperature before adding the rest of the ingredients.
The dough is placed in a banneton for the final proofing. Since I do not possess either a banneton or a cloche, I improvised by lining a bowl with some plastic wrap and proofed the dough in it.
I turned a plate over, dusted it with cornmeal and inverted the loaf on it. That worked as my pizza peel :-). A couple of slashes and some water brushed on top and it was ready to be baked.
The crumb was a bit dense. But we enjoyed the bread.
The recipe for Country Bread can be found on pages 136 and 137 of the book ‘Baking with Julia’. The contributing baker is Joe Ortiz and you can also find the recipe here.
Try out the country bread that the others have baked at Tuesdays with Dorie.