Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread Book. With the rye starter that I had, I made this bread. I went searching for Parmesan cheese, but they only come in the grated form for pizza, I had to replace it with Swiss Cheese, I thought it was meant to be a light taste so I didn't choose a strong tasting one. As usual, I only use 1/2 of the ingredients, and I didn't quite follow the recipe in entirely. It turned out much better than my Flaxseed Rye Bread.
On the night before, I prepared the stiff levain. Nowadays, I always start with stirring in the water to the starter first, then followed by the bread flour. I left it for about 7 hours, and it seems ready, bubbly and all. Shanghai is getting warm and humid. 25-27 degrees celsius.
In the morning, I mixed the dry ingredients together (except the cheese). Mix the water and olive oil to the Stiff Levain that was ready. Add into the dry ingredients and mix well. I didn't bother to knead it but cover for 10 minutes.
The dough had relax, and I started the stretch and fold in the bowl, 2x in the bowl with intervals of 10 minutes, each time folding about 20 x and turning it around after the folds. At the 3rd stretch and fold, I added the cheese. The dough was breaking and the cheese started falling off. I gently pull the dough together on the table, with stretch and fold and get all the cheese together, and pull it into a tight ball.
The dough was so easy to handle.
After 1 hour, the dough had expanded. I did a gentle 1 stretch and fold in the bowl. Turn the dough around. Leave it for another 1 hour to rise.
I had to fetch my dad to the airport, so, I quickly flour my lining in the banneton, and, tried to shape into a batard. The skins seems loose after 2 folds, I decided to do the gather at the ends with the little fingers and push and pull and roll it tighter. Put into lining, cover it, throw over a wet towel and put into the fridge.
6 hours later, the dough had risen very well. I was very tempted to bake then. I patiently wait for another hour, to heat up the oven at 250 degree celsius. Heat up for about 30 minutes. Squirt water into the oven. Let it steam for another 10 minutes. While the oven was heating up, I took out the dough from the fridge, and gently and quickly move it onto parchment paper resting on my pizza peel.
I put 2 slashes on the dough. With my razor, I was so happy with it. I still have to learn how to get ears on the bread.
Squirt the water onto the dough, and the oven again. I quickly slide the dough into the oven. This time I decided not to open the door to squirt more water, to see if I can get a thinner crust. I was right. the crust was thinner this time.
I baked at 235 degree celsius for 30 minutes. First 5 minutes, I was staring at the dough to see if it will spring up. Not much happen. I was getting worried. on the 8-10th minute, It sprung up nicely, and the slashes were spreading out. After the 1st 10 minutes, I took the parchment paper away, so that the bottom of the bread can brown nicely, as it is resting directly on the skillet, and turn the bread so that I get an even browning. Another 10 minutes, I turn the bread again.
During the bake, the aroma of the melting cheese wafting in the air. Lovely. I couldn't wait to cut the bread.
30 minutes after I removed from the oven, it was still warm, but I went ahead to cut it. Tasted it, whoops, it's just not the right timing to eat yet. I need to let it completely cool. The sour after taste is not too nice. I should have added more cheese. The crust were thin and easy to bite, the crumbs, not as open as I like it to be, but good enough I guess.
One of those bakes that's so satisfying. Patience always pays in bread making, I just can't hurry the dough, the baking.
Stiff Levain Build
82g bread flour
180g wholemeal flour (Hamelman's recipe calls for all bread flour. I added wholemeal because I just bought another pack, I wanted to make sure that I use the old one first. I was running out of bread flour anyway)
180g bread flour
22g olive oil
100g cheese, half grated, half cubed ( I added more as it seems little for this size of a loaf, I should have added more)
This recipe in Hamelman's book calls for a mixed yeast, but I decided to skip the instant yeast. I was confident of my starter.