Nothing says Christmas like a yucca palm with tinsel! Our palazzo has decorated for the holidays.
The neighbouring palazzo even has a Christmas tree. The patron saints live there all year, but have company from a couple Santas this month. Our entrance has the Madonna, as I recall.
I particularly liked these Christmas figurines on the other mailboxes. Anyway, with holidays imminent a little bread might be nice? I tried adding hazelnuts this time, which worked well.
Sourdough loaf with hazelnuts
110 grammes mature sourdough starter, 100% hydration
375 grammes lukewarm water
410 grammes plain white wheat flour (I used 00)
90 grammes barley flour
30 grammes of shelled walnuts
6 grammes salt
I did this last night at dinner time: Stir the sourdough starter with the water. Add the flours and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes. After this initial rest, add the salt. Fold dough with a spatula. Add more flour or water if you think the dough needs it.
Cover the bowl and let rise for about a couple hours at room temperature. Fold the dough a few times (just in the bowl, using a spoon or spatula). You will feel the dough becoming more elastic and responsive, and it will increase nicely in size. Fold in the shelled hazelnuts during the last fold.
For baking same day: move the dough to a floured banneton and cover it with plastic (a hotel shower cap works well), and let it rise 5-6 hours at room temperature. I cheat, and line the banneton with baking paper, less pretty markings but easier to lift over to the pot. I left the dough to rise overnight in the fridge. Depends when you want to eat and have time to bake, I really appreciate how flexible sourdough can be that way.
When ready to bake (in my case, this morning): heat your oven to 250C, with a cast iron pot. When it is properly hot (or after at least 20 minutes), take the pot out carefully. Invert the dough onto a piece of baking paper, slash the dough, and put the bread in the pot. Bake at 250C for thirty minutes with the lid on, then 10-15 minutes more with the lid off, until the bread looks done and the base of the bread sounds hollow if you tap it. About 45 minutes in all, depending on your oven. Cool before slicing.
Happy holidays to all!