Peasant Boule #BakeTogether

As Barbara of Creative Culinary just noticed, there seems to be a treatment facility for #CharcutePalooza addicts and it’s called #BakeTogether. Abby Dodge has been heading the project for a few months now. I just heard about it through other paloozers. The idea is to take Abby’s recipe, modify it and post your results. Come and go as you like, not a lot of rules. I need motivation to post more often, so I thought I’d take a stab at her boule, the January project.

It all starts with her recipe. I made some modifications, mainly switching out some for white flour for whole wheat, and active dry yeast instead of instant. I was dubious about the baking powder, originally leaving it out and then deciding to put it in. I’ve never made a yeast bread with it before and I’ve been baking bread for 40 years. (Eek, maybe I shouldn’t admit that number.) I’m not exactly clear on what it’s role is here. If I was a real food blogger, I’d make it again today without and do a blind taste test. But, that ain’t gonna happen.

I rise dough in a plastic bucket like thing from the restaurant supply place. Over time theses are replacing my plastic storage containers. They’re inexpensive, like $3.49 plus $1.49 for the lid, and perform better. I have several sizes. You can buy them from King Arthur online at an exorbitant markup.

This is the picture after the first rise. Contrary to the original recipe I also went for a second rise.
My final change to the recipe was to do the final rise in my brotform proofing basket. I sprayed it lightly with olive oil spray, dusted it with flour and that’s what makes the pretty spiral on the top.

I served it at a dinner party last night and it was a big hit. Just the right amount of whole wheat to give it some flavor, but not to weigh it down. However, I think it was best this morning as toast. Super yummy, the expensive European butter probably helped too.

Whole Wheat Peasant Boule (adapted from Abby Dodge) Makes 1 round loaf

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 scant tablespoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/3 cups warm water (about 110°F)
water bottle for misting the oven(optional)

1. Dissolve sugar in the warm water, add yeast to proof.
2. In a large bowl of electric stand mixer, whisk the flour, salt and baking powder. Clip the bowl into the mixer stand and fit the mixer with the dough hook.
3. With mixer on medium-low speed, slowly pour the water into the flour and mix until the flour is completely incorporated.  Increase the speed to medium and beat until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the bottom and sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes. It shouldn’t be too sticky at this point. Slight sticky is fine.
4. Scoop up the dough and shape it into a ball. Lightly oil a rising bucket (or mixing bowl) and pop the dough, rounded side down, turn over. Cover the top securely. Let the covered dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to an hour.
5. Punch down the dough, smooth it out and let it rise in the bucket again until doubled, another 45 minutes or so.
6. If you have a proofing basket get it ready. Otherwise grease up an 8-inch round cake pan with some room temperature butter.
7. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and press to deflate it. Shape the dough into a 7-inch-wide round and place it, smooth side up, in the center of the prepared basket or pan.
8. Let the dough rise covered in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
9. Preheat the oven to 375°F while the dough is rising. If using the rising basket you’ll need to have a pizza stone in the oven to invert the boule onto. Or you could put a cookie sheet in the oven to invert it on. When ready, mist the oven with your water bottle, invert the boule onto the stone and close the oven. Bake 5 minutes and mist the oven again. This will give you a crisp crust. Omit the misting if you want a softer crust. Bake and additional 30 – 40 minutes. The boule should sound hollow when you knock on it’s bottom and be nicely browned all around.

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