Day 8: Chocolate Sour Cherry Bread, Roasted garlic Jack, Parmesan Bread

Our last day!

After seven days of constant, all-day bread baking marathon, my freezer is stocked for the rest of the summer and I feel like I have gotten my clogs wet with techniques. I’m so happy we were able to negotiate an independent study. I’ve always wanted to learn more about bread and doing this intensive has only made me want to bake more bread (but not at home, we can barely eat what we have!). It’ll be interesting if when I come back from Peru I seek out more of the bread world than savory land. I surprised myself about how much I love baking vegan desserts, not being much of a dessert consumer myself. But I love the science of it, the math of it, the getting covered in flour and dough stuck to my forearms for hours. The domestic arts really need to make a comeback if I have a say in what the food demand is in this country. Support your local farmer and bread baker (and sauerkraut maker, please!).

Banneton stylizing.

Well, here’s a synopsis of the last day in bakersville. On day 6 we roasted 12 bulbs of garlic, grated a hunk of dry jack cheese and made our pre-ferment for the Roasted Garlic Jack bread. Day 7 we made the dough for the same bread and let it bulk proof. When it was done bulk proofing, we heavily floured pretty bannetons and placed some sage leaves on the bottom (with more flour). We scaled out about 8 oz of dough, bouled it up, let it do a mini proof for shaping purposes, then we flattened the dough out and placed about a tablespoon of roasted garlic and a tablespoon of cheese. We folded the corners up and pinched them together, sealing the yums INSIDE the boule.

Awaiting the oven.

Poof! Into the banneton, cover with plastic and proof overnight in the refrigerator (because we really don’t have ALL day). Day 8 rolls around and we let the dough warm up at room temperature a bit, then plop onto the rug and whoosh into the oven with 1 second of steam.

Perfect bake time.

This is truly the most beautiful bread I have made thus far. Banneton rings, a little leaf of sage…to only cut into this bread and have pockets of garlic. I could live on garlic. Is that possible? I wonder if anyone has tried…I juiced one clove of garlic once into a 16 oz beets and greens juice and it burned my throat. Perhaps I won’t subsist on garlic alone.

Bulk fermentation with lots of chocolate!

The chocolate sour cherry bread sounds more exciting that it really was. No offense, it was very good, had a great proportion of chocolate and cherries to bread. My only issue was…it was bread (not a brownie). I think when I bit into it I wanted brownie gooeyness and more sugar than the doughiness that bread provides. Perhaps if I was into tea time this bread would do quite nicely, but alas, I am not much of a consumer of desserts. Haven’t I mentioned that already? But I will happily make you a wedding cake with much love, don’t be mistaken. Just don’t expect me to eat the whole thing.

Tongue technique.

The Parmesan bread was good, since Parmesan IS cheese and contains addictive components as well as salt and fat. Who doesn’t have a taste for salt and fat? Not me. This bread was yummy, didn’t need much in the way of eating: slice, toast, consume (perhaps a little earth balance is a nice touch). The bread was fun to make; we learned a tongue technique, which makes a fun crunchy flap on top when baked (see top photo). After the usual routine of pre-ferment, bulk ferment, scale and shape (into a 3 fold rectangle), we pulled a piece of the dough out, about an average human tongue size and length and heavily floured it (so it won’t stick to the bread and get soft) and rolled the dough towards the flap. We proofed in bannetons, tongue side down, then flipped them over onto the rug to bake away. I should have a prettier close up of this bread, I will search the folders.

Adieu, sweet savory bread. I will miss kneading you and stuffing garlic into your folds of glutenous love. We will meet again.

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