Wild in more ways than one this intriguing loaf includes the fabulous Bath Ales' "Wild Hare".
This recipe is a slow fermentation loaf for committed home bread makers looking to advance their bread-making skills and knowledge. It takes commitment to produce beautiful loaves like this!
Whilst this particular loaf is leavened with wild yeasts, the connection between baking and brewing is an ancient tradition. Traditional British bread is characterised by two things: largely it is/was raised or leavened with the top of brewers' yeast, known as "barm" and employed an overnight, long fermentation. The making of barm is one of the most difficult of the culinary arts, particularly making it with a consistency that was reliable. The master bakers of the past were also master brewers, many of them brewed their own barm and the best bakers were the also the best brewers of barm. The brewing process for beer differed in that bakers only wanted the top yeasts off the ale brew.
Bath Ales say "With its fresh citrus, hoppy aroma and a dry, bitter finish, we've crafted Wild Hare into a wonderful, wholesome, golden, organic ale. A tastefully dry, crisp and full-flavoured ale, brewed with skill and passion using the finest organically grown Pale Ale malt and organically farmed English hops. Wild Hare contains wheat and barley malt."
Julio says of this loaf "If you think that bread is so plain then you need to try this one! You can taste the ale.......the taste is slightly bitter but it's awesome with cheese and quince jelly!"
For those ale lovers amongst you, try substituting any other Bath Ale or Cider for sensational variations in taste and flavour.
Let's get baking!
You will need a mature sourdough starter for this recipe. Julio uses an active rye/spelt sourdough starter which has been allowed to develop for at least 5-6 days to begin.
Or use any sourdough starter recipe from a good baking book, for those of you who have a copy of “Crust” by Richard Bertinet, he has a recipe on p47.
Early in the day or the day before, we need to prepare the pre-ferment or the levain. Mix the ingredients below and leave them mixed in a bowl cover with a clean film at room temperature for at least 7 hours.
60 gr. organic dark rye flour
50 gr. H2O
30 gr. Starter (rye/spelt)
The preferment should be ready in about 6 - 8 hours. It depends on the room temperature, where the preferment is located.
450 gr. organic white strong flour*
50 gr. organic dark rye flour
340 gr. Bath Ales Wild Hare (widely available).
140 gr. levain (86% hydration) --> 28% of the total amount of flour.
10 gr. sea salt
20 gr. honey
Added by: Julio Hevia
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