It’s time for a picnic! Bread Baking Day # 42 is being hosted by Palmira and she invited us to bake breads for a picnic. I’m getting my post up just under the wire because I’ve been having a little bit of trouble deciding which bread to make.
There are so many breads that would be good for a picnic. A crusty baguette goes well with wine and cheese and fruit or you can make a satisfying and healthy sandwich from a loaf of whole wheat or sourdough. We made some delicious tuna sandwiches for a picnic a couple of weeks ago using the Light Wheat Bread Buns from the Bread Baking Babes and Friends. Needless to say, the possibilities are endless for picnic breads.
As it turns out, one of the breads on the list for the HBinFive Bakers this month was Red Wine and Cheese Bread. With several of the components of a picnic integrated into the bread, I decided this would be the perfect picnic bread. I substituted spelt flour for the whole wheat and part of the all-purpose flour to give the bread more protein and a little flair.
Red Wine and Cheese Bread with Spelt
Makes: 4 small loaves or 2 large loaves
Adapted from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois
- 1/2 cup rye flour
- 2 cups whole wheat spelt flour
- 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast, or 2 packets
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 cups red wine
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, or your favorite hard cheese
- Mix together the flours, yeast, and salt in a large bowl using a whisk or a wooden spoon.
- Add the liquid ingredients and cheese to the dry ingredients and incorporate them completely using a Danish dough whisk or a wooden spoon.
- Cover the bowl (or container) and allow the dough to rest at room temperature until it rises and collapses, about 2 hours. Refrigerate the dough for at least 24 hours and up to 7 days.
- When you’re ready to bake, remove the dough from the refrigerator and pull off a 1-pound piece if you want to bake a small loaf or a 2-pound piece if you want to make a large loaf. Shape the dough into ball(s) and let the balls rest for about 5 minutes before further shaping.
- Instead of shaping the dough into a round or oval shape, I shaped it into a batard, one of my favorite shapes. My camera decided to misbehave during this part so I didn’t get photos of the whole process, however, I was able to get a photo of the batard shape.
- Place the shaped loaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can sprinkle the parchment with cornmeal if you like. I sprayed it with spray oil because the dough was a bit sticky. As you can see from this photo, the color of the dough is pink…interesting.
- Allow the dough to rest, loosely covered with plastic wrap for 90 minutes.
- Thirty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, with a baking stone placed on the middle rack and a steam pan underneath. Paint the top of the crust with water using a pastry brush and slash the dough diagonally with 1/4-inch-deep cuts, using a serrated knife.
- Slide the loaves (with the parchment) onto the baking stone. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the steam pan, and quickly close the door. I also misted the inside of the oven a few times during the first minute or so of baking to produce more steam.
- Bake the loaf for about 30 minutes, until it is brown and firm. Remove the parchment paper towards the end of the baking cycle to allow the bottom of the loaf to firm up. Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack completely before slicing or eating.
This bread is delicious! We enjoyed this loaf with fruit and chunks of cheese for a delicious and satisfying meal. It was a little too hot to have a picnic outside so we had an indoor picnic with candlelight instead.