Thursday, July 15, 2010

Walnut and Blue Cheese Sourdough


So a little while ago, I tried my hand at another batch of sourdough bread. Since I already had the barm, I was able to simply refresh it for a few days and then Saturday morning I was on my way. This bread has a starter that takes four hours to make. I again chose to spike the final dough with a tsp of yeast in order to have a simple 60-90 minute fermentation time. This time, however, I decided to try one of the variations that Peter Reinhart suggests and incorporate walnuts and blue cheese into the dough. The dough is very stiff to knead. I initially put it in my Kitchen Aid mixer and then after listening to it struggle, I pulled the dough out to knead by hand. It took a lot of kneading to become a smooth and elastic dough that passed the window pane test.

The final bread was fantastic. The blue cheese was a subtle overtone and the walnuts provided crunch as well as a crimson ribbon running through the bread. I did not know that the walnut oil turned the dough red until now. Because of the stronger flavor (both the sour flavor and the blue cheese) this bread makes a fantastic appetizer bread that pairs easily with wine. I also found some artichoke antipasto at Trader Joe's that is absolutely wonderful spread on the bread.

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