Monday 26 March 2012

Roasted Leek Bread

Since leeks are in season and some are probably wondering what can be made with them besides leek and potato soup, I wanted to share this recipe. There is a little more work involved in this loaf but it's so tasty. I haven't tried it yet but I'm sure it would make great grilled cheese. I have based this recipe off of a recipe out of Artisan Breads by Eric W. Kastel. It is a great book for beginner, intermediate and advanced. If you don't have a bread book and are looking, I recommend taking a look at this one. 


Clean whole leek, chop lightly, oil, wrap in foil and roast until tender.

water 55F  3/4 cup 
bread flour 1 1/3 cups
Whole wheat 1/2 cup
Rye  1/4 cup
yeast 1/8 tsp

Make the biga the night before you want to make the bread. Stir the yeast into the water add the flours, work dough for a couple of minutes then place in covered bowl at least over night or until ready to use it. I leave mine on the counter. our home is on the cool side so I have never had a problem. You can keep it in the fridge, take it out a couple of hours before making the bread.


Water 86F  2 cups 
Honey  1 tsp
Spelt flour 2cup
Whole wheat  2 1/3 cups
Yeast 1 1/2 tsp
Salt 1 tbsp
Plus a little extra flour

To make final dough place water  honey bowl of mixer and mix. Break the biga into pieces, add to the mixer. Mix for two minutes until well mixed,, add the yeast let sit for a minute. Then add the flours and salt mix for five minutes. Here you're going to add about 1/4 cup more flour,  any of the three flours used in this recipe, mix another 2 minutes. Place dough on working surface and fold in your roasted leeks. Take out and place in greased bowl, cover. let rest for 40 to 60 min. 

Dump dough onto lightly floured surface, cut in two, shape into rounds and place to rise on baking sheets about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 475F. In the bottom of your oven place a loaf pan with about 3 cups of water. This is going to help give the bread a crusty shell; it will be taken out part way through baking. When your oven reaches temp. slice the top of your bread, this helps moisture to escape. spray or lightly rub water on your loafs then place quickly into hot oven close door reduce heat to 450F bake for 12 minutes after 12 minutes take the water pan out of the bottom of the oven. continue to back for 12 to 16 min. Until it's nice and brown and the smoke alarm has gone off from the high heat of the oven burning whatever else was left on your cookie pans, making the dog bark, the roosters crow, waking the baby.... This is about the time your bread is done. Pull from oven, cool on rack. 

I did not go into detail about biga, science of bread making, flours etc. If you're baking bread or are going to be baking bread you should have a good bread book in your kitchen, There is so much to learn. I have been baking our bread for about 5 years and this past year I started working on some sour dough recipes. If you have any bread recipes you would like to share, I would love to hear from you.

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