Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Country Bread - TWD: Baking with Julia

 Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia - 48th installment. The recipe is Country Bread.

This bread is great!  It took all day (6 hours for the sponge, and then two rising periods) but we really liked it.  I baked it on the pizza stone, and the crust had a great texture.  The inclusion of some rye in the sponge and whole wheat in both the sponge and the dough give it a good flavor.  The directions were clear and easy to follow.  I did wonder if it needed to rise in a flour-covered towel inside a colander, but it did make the loaf a nice round shape.

The salt-free dough
This recipe had so much potential, I made it twice, in an effort to get it right. The first time around, I forgot to include the tablespoon of salt that goes into the dough when you mix flour into the sponge.  I never knew how essential salt is to the taste of bread - it was tasteless.   I really wondered why the dough exploded out of the bowl when it rose, but I have read that salt counterbalances the yeast, keeping the yeast growth under control, so maybe that's the explanation.  The loaf rose and baked just fine, but alas, needed a thick layer of salted butter in order to make it taste like anything.  Even without the salt, the texture and crust of the loaf was quite good - it looked amazing, but just didn't have any taste. 
  I refused to be defeated, and tried again, and was glad I did, because it's definitely a recipe I will prepare again.
The salt-free loaf