Friday, January 30, 2015

Meyer Lemon-Rosemary Campagne Boule

Since moving into our temporary home and using our temporary-too-small kitchen, I think I’ve spent more time reading about bread than baking bread. First, I read a review copy I received of In Search of the Perfect Loaf by Samuel Fromartz. This is a memoir of a bread baking journey. Fromartz set out to learn from other bakers in order to perfect his home bread baking, and in the process learned about different types of wheat used for flour in addition to learning new baking and dough making techniques. Time and again lately, I’ve been reading about the use of locally grown types of wheat that are fresher and more flavorful than the packaged stuff from the grocery store. Different flours present challenges and require adjustments to mixing and hydration percentages in recipes, but it’s so worth the effort to try what’s available and support the small-scale crop diversity. Fromartz visited bakers in Paris, Berlin, Cucugnan in the South of France, San Francisco, and Petaluma. Della Fattoria is located in Petaluma, California, and I first learned of this bakery from reading about it here. That led me to the next book I read recently about bread. 

I received a review copy of Della Fattoria Bread by Kathleen Weber who became a professional baker somewhat by accident. She began baking bread at home and developed a passion for it, eventually providing loaves for The Sonoma Mission Inn. Her second client was Thomas Keller of The French Laundry. Her bakery has grown substantially since then, but the artisanal process of bread making hasn’t changed. The book takes you by the hand and walks you through all the different types of bread Weber has baked at home and for the bakery over the years. The first chapters present Yeasted Breads and Enriched Bread before you get to the Pre-Fermented Breads and Naturally Leavened Breads. Last, there are Crackers, Breadsticks, Pizza Doughs, and Flatbreads. I want to make the Hot Dog Rolls because I’ve never made my own before, and the Sticky Buns look impossible to resist. I always mention that no matter how many books I read about baking bread, I always learn something new from each book. This time, I learned the technique of stuffing the dough with ingredients while shaping. There’s a Garlic Jack Campagne Boule made by spreading a garlic puree on the dough, topping that with grated Jack cheese, and then folding the dough up and around the fillings to shape the boule for proofing. Last, a hole is poked in the top of the boule and a small head of garlic is inserted into the loaf where it roasts as the loaf bakes. There’s a similar loaf made with a small bunch of grapes nestled in the top and grape leaves pressed on the surface. The loaves are beautiful and delicious-looking. I decided to attempt a loaf with a filling, and I chose the Meyer Lemon-Rosemary Campagne Boule. 

Delightfully, I had some Meyer lemons from my tree and some rosemary from our permanent home to use for this. I pop over to our property (permanent home) where our new house is being built to snip herbs when I need them. The bread was made with sourdough starter, so I needed to revive mine to get it ready to use. In the book, it’s suggested that starter be fed with a mix of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour. I used locally grown, whole grain-whole wheat flour from Richardson Farms. The dough was made with water, starter, and all-purpose flour. Weber makes a point of mentioning that water is a large percentage of all bread dough, and the water you use should be considered. If your tap water smells or tastes off, it could affect the bread. I used filtered water. After the resting or autolyse phase, salt was added to the dough, and it was left to ferment. This was a very wet dough, and I have my troubles with wet bread doughs. It was folded and turned every 30 minutes for the first hour and a half, and then it was left to rest for another two to three hours before being pre-shaped. Since it is a wet dough, the folding and turning isn’t as simple as it could be, but I did my best. Lemon zest was mixed with chopped rosemary and olive oil. The dough was pressed into a round and dimpled with a well in the center, and the lemon-rosemary mixture was poured into the well. The dough was then carefully gathered up and around the oil mixture, the seam was pressed to seal in the oil, and the dough was turned over and formed into a boule. You can see the oil mixture spread just under the surface of the boule. The boule went into a proofing basket for two to three hours before baking. Just after slashing the top, coarse sea salt was sprinkled on top. La Baleine coarse salt was recommended, and I actually had some on hand. The book includes instructions for baking on a stone or baking in a lidded cast iron pot. I wanted to bake on a stone but probably should have known better. Of course, the dough spread a bit more than I would have liked, and a cast iron pot would have given it more support. Regardless of how it was baked, the aroma of the lemon and rosemary from the oven was fantastic. 

Adding the filling of lemon, rosemary, and olive oil was a new twist in bread making for me, and when I make sourdough breads, I usually use bread flour and a mix of other whole grain flours. Using only all-purpose flour resulted in an exceptionally tender and chewy crumb. And, the crust was crispy in the best way as a result of the oil. Even though the loaf flattened out more than I would have liked, the flavor of this bread more than made up for that small disappointment. This book has made me want to spend more time baking bread. 

Meyer Lemon–Rosemary Campagne Boule 
Excerpted with publisher’s permission from Della Fattoria Bread by Kathleen Weber (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2014. Photographs by Ed Anderson. 

Makes 1 large boule 

This has become our signature bread. Lemon zest and finely chopped rosemary are mixed with olive oil to make a pesto-like slurry that appears as a bright and delicious swirl along the underside of the crust. But what really sets the bread apart is its raised crown design, studded with large salt crystals. Ed, my husband, tells everyone to eat this bread toasted with soft-boiled eggs. I love cutting thick slices of the bread and grilling them over low coals, or pulling it apart and eating it just as it is. 

1 1/2 tablespoons (8 grams/0.3 ounce) grated lemon zest, preferably from Meyer lemons 
1 1/2 tablespoons (6 grams/0.2 ounce) chopped rosemary 
About 3 tablespoons (40 grams/1.5 ounces) olive oil 
Pain de Campagne Boule, taken through the pre-shape 
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons (4 to 6 grams/1.4 to 2 ounces) coarse sea salt (see Note) 

1. Combine the lemon zest and rosemary in a small bowl. Add enough olive oil to create a pesto-like slurry. 
2. After the 10-minute rest, turn the dough over (flour side against the work surface) and gently press into a 9- to 10-inch round. Dimple the top, make a well, and add the rosemary mixture to the well. Fold the sides in, as when forming a boule, enclosing the mixture, then tighten the boule against the work surface until you just begin to see the rosemary mixture under the surface of the dough. 
3. Generously dust a 9-inch bread basket or linen-lined bowl with flour or a mixture of flour and wheat bran. Follow the remaining steps for proofing and baking the bread, and when ready to score, score it with a 4-scored asterisk. It will be because of the slurry underneath that the points raise into a crown as it bakes. Sprinkle the sea salt over the top. 

Note on coarse sea salt 
I prefer La Baleine coarse sea salt (in the red canister). The crystals are clear and shiny like diamonds, and they won’t melt. 

Pain de Campagne Dough 

Makes 1.35 kilograms/3 pounds 

A request from Thomas Keller right after he reopened The French Laundry in 1995 got me into making pain de campagne. So I asked Thomas lots of questions. (How do you envision serving this bread? Do you like lots of crust? What shape would look best on your bread and butter plate?) In the end, I created the bread he was looking for. For Thomas, I shaped the dough into batards. Here we make both a batard and a boule.  

Firm Starter 126 g -  4.4 oz - 1/2 cup 
Water at 80°F/27°C 506 g -  17.8 oz - 2 cups plus 2 1/2 Tbsp 
All-purpose flour 704 g - 24.8 oz - 5 cups 
TOTAL FLOUR 704 g - 24.8 oz -  5 cups 
Fine gray salt 19 g -  0.6 oz - 1 Tbsp 
TOTAL WEIGHT 1,355 g/1.35 kg - 47.6 oz/3 lbs 

1. Lightly oil or spray a deep 4 1/2- to 5-quart ceramic or glass bread bowl. 

2. Put the starter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the water and mix on low speed until the starter is broken up and the mixture appears frothy, about 30 seconds. Add the flour and pulse a few times on the lowest setting (to keep the flour from flying out of the bowl), then mix on low speed for 2 minutes to combine. Remove the paddle attachment, scraping any dough from the paddle back into the bowl with a plastic bowl scraper, and let sit, uncovered, for 20 minutes. 

3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with the bowl scraper and add the salt. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and mix on low speed for 6 minutes. This is a slightly sticky dough. Using the bowl scraper, turn the dough into the bread bowl. Cover tightly with a lightly oiled or sprayed piece of plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes. 

4. For the first fold, wet your hands, then loosen the dough from the sides and bottom of the bowl and fold it underneath itself from left to right and then top to bottom. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes. 

5. For the second fold, repeat as for the first fold. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes. 

6. For the third and final fold, repeat the folding as before. Cover and let proof in a warm, draft-free spot until there is bubbling on the surface of the dough, 2 to 3 hours. 

7. The dough is ready to be pre-shaped and shaped for Meyer Lemon–Rosemary Campagne Boule. 

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  1. Lemon rosemary boule sounds brilliant. Both flavors marry together in perfect harmony.

  2. Beautiful and mouthwatering! Very fragrant too.



  3. I love this book, reads like a novel, and I remember bookmarking this one to try once I get Meyer lemons around - my favorite citric fruit, by the way...

  4. This loaf looks gorgeous! Any time I bake bread, I wonder why I don't do it more often because I love every bit of it. Sounds like you've found another winning recipe.

  5. The boule looks rustic and very beautiful. Lemon and rosemary...the bread must be very fragrant.

  6. My sourdough starter has been languishing in the refrigerator. This outstanding recipe is so inspiring! I must try this fabulous recipe!

  7. What a delicious loaf, I love the lemon-rosemary flavour in it :D
    Bring on breakfast!

    Choc Chip Uru

  8. I hope you're able to move into your new home soon - living out of boxes and getting used to a much smaller kitchen can be very challenging. Your bread sounds amazing and I agree that using clean water is very important xx

  9. Hi Lisa:)
    I don't know how you do it. You are forever challenging yourself and loving each moment of it. Of course your bread looks heavenly and I swear I can whiff it from here. If you do decided to bake the Sticky Buns, remember that National Sticky Bun day is February 21st:)
    Thank you so much for sharing, Lisa...your bread looks just perfect!

  10. I think I prefer to read about making bread.. I wouldn't be able to make it :D and you made a really beautiful bread!

  11. your boules look perfect! what a great flavor combination, and how fortunate for you that you have a crop of lemons AND rosemary!!

  12. Your boule looks awesome and I can imagine how delicious with your own lemons! Wish I could just pop on over and snip a little rosemary. :-) Thanks for the recipe.

  13. When we lived in Florida we had a Meyer lemon tree -- I miss that! And our rosemary grew throughout the year -- no real freeze. I love rosemary in bread, but haven't tried lemon (Meyer or otherwise). But I will! Thanks for this.

  14. The crumb of the bread looks fantastic. And to have Thomas Keller as your second client must say a lot about the bread!

  15. Love this! We are loaded with Meyer Lemons and it has been a while since I've done some bread baking. This is going on the to-bake list!

  16. I love making bread at home! This has awesome flavors that I'd love to try!

  17. Thomas Keller? Wow. Impressive. What a fabulous cookbook, Lisa. Your boule looks the crumb. Salt on top a great finish. I do love bread...wish I was there to share!

  18. It's hard to look at this fantastic bread and think of you living in a temporary kitchen. You're my queen. :)

  19. Absolute perfection, Lisa! Looks like it came out perfectly. A boule any bakery would be proud to have in their window.

  20. This is such a pretty loaf of bread...and I am totally amazed by the addition of lemon and rosemary...sounds delicious as well...beautiful crumb!


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