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Maple Pecan Swirl Sourdough
I love bread. I love eating it. I love making it. If I could, I’d do nothing but eat and make bread every day for the rest of my life. Homemade sourdough has to be one of the world’s most perfect foods. Just 3 simple ingredients, with a little manipulation and time, can produce a unique microcosm of flavors and beneficial health properties. I dare you to find anything wrong with sourdough bread. There’s even evidence proving that those with certain gluten intolerances can comfortably enjoy this none-artificially yeasted, fermented bread product!
Ok, now that you know how much I love bread…
I debated about whether this should be the first sourdough recipe I introduced to my blog. Even for the seasoned brad baker, this recipe can be a little challenging. But dont let that scare you!! Even if you’ve never baked sourdough before, my hope is that this recipe will change your view of sourdough bread making and you’ll want to start baking your own today!
This recipe came from inspiration from my wife and munchkin actually! Every day, since before the munchkin was around, my wife’s breakfast consisted of my toasted sourdough bread and homemade pecan butter. And then sometime between being in utero and growing teeth, the munchkin joined in the morning ritual of sourdough toast and pecan butter breakfasts too! It’s kind of an obsession really. Its so surprise why they like it so much! The perfect mix between a tart and crusty sourdough boule and a Croatian nut swirl bread povitica. This Maple Pecan Swirl Sourdough really is the best thing since sliced bread.
Note: As I mentioned, this recipe is geared more towards the seasoned sourdough baker. However, the bread geniuses at Tartine do a great job at breaking down the process of bread making. Everything from levain to fermentation to baking in a home oven. Its a great tool for the beginning baker. And while this bread recipe may differ slightly from Tartine’s, familiarizing yourself with the technique of bread baking will ease any worries you had about jumping into this swirly recipe. Have questions about bread or this recipe?! Don’t hesitate to comment below!
(Since bread production takes days, I provided a baking schedule within the instructions that works within normal weekday work schedules.)
Tools needed for this recipe:
Maple Pecan Swirl Sourdough
The best thing since sliced bread, this Maple Pecan Swirl Sourdough is a perfect blend of tart and sweet with a nutty crunch. Its the perfect breakfast in one toasty bite.
Take starter out of fridge after work. Ferment for a few hours and refresh at night.
Refresh starter in morning before work. Build the levain, cover with shower cap, and leave on counter before bed. Refresh starter before placing back in fridge.
Saturday morning - Mixing and Autolyse
Place the 700 grams warm water to bowl and thoroughly mix in the levain. Add the flour and wheat germ. Knead dough with your hands until all of the flour is mixed in and absorbed.
Cover your bowl with a towel and autolyse for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, add 20 grams salt and the remaining 50 grams water. Knead the dough, squeezing in the salt. Rest for 30 minutes.
Saturday - Bulk Fermentation
Over the next 3 hours, turn your dough every 30 minutes (reach under your dough, grab the bottom and pull up and over the top of itself). After three hours, rest for 30 minutes.
While the dough is resting, make the filling. Place pecans and sugar in a small bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, scald the milk and butter. Pour the liquid over the nut/sugar mixture. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Cool to room temperature.
Saturday afternoon - Preshape
Take the dough out of the bowl and place on work surface. Sprinkle a little flour* on top of dough and cut in half. Flip one portion of the dough over so the floured side is on the work surface. Using wet fingers, gently stretch and push the dough out into a large square (around 16-20 inches). Spread half of the filling over the entire square. Tightly roll dough like a Swiss or jelly roll. To shape, coil the rolled dough around itself, resembling the spiral of a snail shell. The shaping process in this recipe isn't as tight as a normal boule so be mindful to roll the dough as tightly as possible from the beginning. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Cover both with a tea towel rest for 30 minutes.
Saturday afternoon - Shaping and Proofing
The dough will have relaxed over the past 30 minutes so gently bring it back together by stretching the top over the sides and bottom. Be mindful to not split the dough, exposing the filling! The dough will expand and naturally release the filling over the next few hours but limiting the exposure now will decrease the chance of sugar burning during the bake. Place dough, seam/bottom side up, in heavily floured (with 50/50 mix of rice flour and wheat flour) bannetons. (Don't be shy with flouring the bannetons- the dough wont absorb any at this point but it will prevent the bread from sticking to the bannetons in the morning.) Sprinkle with more rice/wheat flour and cover with plastic wrap (or shower cap!). Place in fridge overnight.
*Too much flour will affect the shaping, proofing, and baking so try to limit the use of flour to a minimum. Depending on the texture of your work surface, using a tiny splash of water may work just as well.
Sunday morning - Bake!
Place 2 cast iron dutch ovens in oven and preheat to 500 degrees. Set timer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the bread from the fridge. Sprinkle with a little more rice flour. Working one at a time, remove 1 dutch oven from oven and slowly drop dough into hot dutch oven. Quickly sprinkle with more rice flour, score (with either an X, square, or decorative shape) with a bread lame, and cover pot with lid. Before placing back in oven, give the inside a few sprays with the water bottle. (This mimics the fancy steam injector settings on pro bread ovens.) Cover lid and place in oven. Repeat with other dough. After second dutch oven is in oven, set timer for 15 minutes. When timer goes off, carefully open the lids of both dutch ovens a little to release any moisture built up inside. Cover again and lower temp to 460 degrees, Set second 15 minute timer. After second timer goes off, remove lids completely and continue cooking until crust is brown. Keep an eye on the browning. The final stage of baking should take 15-20 minutes but the sugar in the filling may brown (or burn) fast, causing you to remove the bread too early. If the filling is browning too quickly, place a small piece of aluminum foil on browning areas for the remainder of the bake. Once crust is toasty brown, remove the bread from the dutch ovens and place on wire rack to cool completely (could take anywhere from 3-6 hours).
Although there is nothing more tempting than freshly baked bread, wait until bread is cool before cutting into. The final resting and cooling allows the bread to finish cooking. Cutting into the bread too soon could leave you with a slightly gummy inside.