Posted by: mariawl | 2011/04/14

Somerset Cider Bread

I don’t drink alcohol, but I thought this bread would be a nice treat for a friend who was visiting. Four loaves is a lot though! I got rid of 2 of them at Climate Cake, and then had to give another 1.5 loaves to a couple of homeless guys. They seemed to appreciate them though! I thought the texture of the bread was very good, and the balance of bread taste to cider ratio was just right.

Makes 4 loaves

Ingredients:

For the ferment:

  • 200g Strong White Flour
  • 50g Dark Rye Flour
  • 5g Yeast (fresh if possible)
  • 5g Salt
  • 175g Tepid Water (this is 175ml, but weighing is more accurate!)

For the dough:

  • 10g Yeast (fresh if possible)
  • 750g Strong White Flour
  • 250g Dark Rye Flour
  • 20g Salt
  • 450g Dry Cider (I used The Orchard Pig, dry, which I bought from Chando’s Deli in Exeter)
  • 150g Tepid Water

Method:

For the ferment:

  1. Mix the two flours together and rub in the yeast using your fingertips (for fresh yeast especially, rub it in like you’re making a crumble). Add the salt and water and mix.
  2. Lift out the dough and knead for 5-10 minutes on an unfloured surface (this can be achieved with the correct kneading technique. Perhaps a future post on kneading is in order!)
  3.  When the dough is springy, form it into a ball by folding each “edge” into the centre.
  4. Cover with a damp tea-towel and leave to rise for an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
  5. “Knock back” the dough gently. Wrap in cling-film and leave to ferment for 4-6 hours, or in the fridge overnight.

For the dough:

  1. Add the ferment, all in one piece, to a large bowl. Now add the rest of the ingredients (adding the cider with the water) and mix and knead as usual.
  2. Shape into a ball, put into a lightly floured bowl, cover with a damp tea-towel and leave to rest for 45 minutes.
  3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and reshape into a ball. Place back into the bowl, cover, and leave to rest for another 45 minutes.
  4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface again, but this time divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Lightly flour a couple of tea-towels. Shape the dough into loaves and place two on top of each tea-towel (making sure there is a fold in the frabric between each loaf, to stop them touching when they rise). Cover them with another damp tea-towel and leave to prove for 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 hours, or until they have nearly doubled in volume.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 240°C. Turn the loaves over, and place on a baking tray. Make one cut lengthways along the top of the loaves with a sharp knife.
  6. Either spray the inside of your oven with water, or place a roasting tin with some water at the bottom of your oven just before you shut the door.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 200°C and bake for about 35 minutes, until well coloured. The loaves should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  8. Remove from the oven, and cool on a wire rack.

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