21 July 2011

Dirtbag's Delight (First Pass, IPA Edition)

First off: long span without a post. It's not that I haven't been cooking or that I don't like my readers. I've just been very lazy the past few weeks. I've cooked a few meals - the most recent of which didn't even have kale in it (though I did cheat and use broccolini, but it was stir fry and not cooked in the oven). I've failed miserably - if cooking teriyaki sauce from scratch follow the directions. Yes, you do need that much sugar and soy sauce. It is disgusting and you are probably better off not knowing. I've partaken in some delicious cookies, though I didn't cook them. You should, though. Quite good. I even made some bread and didn't show you any of it. But I do return, triumphantly, with a delicious loaf.
I wanted to create some bread for climbers, hence the name and ingredients. "Dirtbag" isn't the best of words, but for climbers it means someone who may live out of their van and spend their days climbing and being cheap on food. A standard meal might be a can of beans, or a loaf of bread and a block of cheese. So - a loaf inspired by this life style. It has everything you'd need during/after some hard work: bread, cheese, beer, and nuts. You could even put peanut butter on it, if you dared. For an experiment, it was quite good. I did have some spillage, as you can see. I even poked holes in the bread to let it air some, but this was not very effective. Instead of going for a spiral, kneading in the cheese would probably be a better option, though you will be left with a much softer crust.
I used a standard bread base (Lean Bread from Artisan Breads Everyday) and built on that. I wanted to be a bit conservative, so only half the water in the recipe was replaced with beer. Taking it higher could work, but I would worry about the crumb keeping and about the yeast/salt/flour ratios being off. I added a small amount of walnuts; not because I didn't think more would work, but rather that it was all I had left. It was so small a percent, in weight, that I didn't think I needed to counteract it with wheat bran (maybe put some in if you go over 25% flour weight in nuts/seeds/non-wheat flour). The amount of cheese was a guess, just putting on enough to cover the surface area I had available before rolling up the log. As mentioned above, consider not doing a spiral or finding some other way of keeping the cheese in.
Dirtbag's Delight (IPA Edition)
Makes 1 standard loaf (feeds 8-10 people for a snack, fewer for a meal)

340g unbleached bread flour
127g cold water
127g beer (I used BrewDog's Punk IPA)
~30g walnuts, very coarsely chopped (could probably up this to ~45g without trouble)
7g salt
4g instant yeast (could probably go down to 3g and give it two nights in the fridge instead of one)
maybe 4oz finely cubed cheese that melts (I used about 2/3 of a 6oz block of sharp cheddar)
The night before baking, in a bowl combine the flour, salt, yeast, and nuts then mix. Add in the water and beer, stirring with a wet wooden spoon for 1-2 minutes, until the bread is an even consistency. It should lightly stick to your finger if you push it with a little pressure, but the finger should pull away mostly clean with little stretching of the dough. Let rest for 5-10 minutes in a covered bowl. Then stretch-and-fold the loaf 4 times, waiting 10 minutes between each iteration. Especially on the first iteration, the dough may rip - be careful to not let this happen. It should be very firm and resist the stretching quite a bit by the final iteration. Put the dough in a covered bowl in the fridge and let sit for at least a night.

The day of baking, about 2 hours before placing the bread in the oven, remove the dough from the fridge. Flour a work surface and your hands. If making a spiral, pat the dough into a rectangle that will roll up into a loaf and spread the cheese over the surface, then roll up the log, smooth the seam closed, and gently roll into the desired shape. If kneading in the cheese, gently work the cheese into the dough mass, then proceed to shape it as you see fit. Let the dough proof on a parchment-lined baking sheet, covered, for at least 1.5 hours.

Preheat your oven to ~500 degrees and place the bread in after waiting for the proofing time. Reduce heat to 450 and cook for 15 minutes before rotating, then cook for another 15-25 minutes. The internal temperature should be in the 185-195 degree range before you call it done. Let the bread cool a bit before slicing. Eat.

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