So much for plans. This post started as the mid-month update on the sourdough bread with fruit that I planned to give as a Christmas gift to my mom and a few others. Then, of course, I got busy with all the end of the year responsibilities at work and…here we are. But. So. What. I had a great Christmas holiday and if you celebrate it also, I hope you did too. Heck, even if you don’t, I hope you are doing well. On to the bread.
The obvious question is what fruit right? For me, the answer became apples. More specifically, a small number of Winesaps, a heirloom variety once grown in abundance in southwestern Colorado, that I received as a gift during a work-related trip. I was in Norwood, Colorado, for a meeting with a couple of folks leading the local foods movement in San Miguel county that are working hard on sustainable agriculture including the reintroduction of heritage apples. The Winesaps are a good tasting, firm-flesh apple, relatively small, about the size of a handball. The recipe I used called for a total of 226 grams or about two Granny Smith’s. To make the four loaves I had planned required the eight apples I received supplemented with maybe a quarter of a Braeburn I already had on hand. The apple, with a mix of golden and regular raisins, completed the fruit portion of the bread.
For the sourdough, I decided to use a combination of the two starters I keep on hand – one half my 100 percent high-gluten starter and the other half my rye/all-purpose, 50/50 blend. I keep both at 100 percent hydration. The resulting dough for the bread is relatively wet and frankly, difficult to handle. While I achieved with this bake better results than the first time I tried this bread, I’ll admit I’ve yet yet to realize the balance of workability and finish I am looking for.
The finished bread tastes great and for me is perfect toasted with a bit of butter. I wish I would have had photos of the final completed loaf to show but unfortunately we packed everything up and shipped before I realized this oversight. Thus far, I’ve made a total of six loaves over two weekends. On a satisfaction scale of one to ten, I rate this month’s bake at about a five.
The good news is that my mom was quite pleased with the bread. Mom does, however, want me to include more cookies next time and noted that I had forgotten the scones. Mom’s funny.
Happy New Year to you all.