Pain Au Bacon from Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish

I’ve been making my plain, normal Sourdough for awhile now, and I feel pretty confident with it. I don’t want to remove that one from my repertoire by any means, but I do want to challenge myself and branch out a bit more.

I recently bought the book Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish because it’s stunning and I really, really, really want to make all of the beautiful bread shown in it’s pages. There may not be a ton of recipes, but the ones that are there all look worth trying. There is a lot of theory and information in this book, and I love it so much! I can’t say enough good things about it.

The first recipe I had to try was Pain Au Bacon from page 177. Who could resist the call of bacon bread? I’m pretty sure this recipe is the main reason I bought the book.

It was… hard. Not impossible, but I haven’t really worked with high hydration doughs before, and there were some challenges I hadn’t expected. I’m not sure if I did the fold and turns correctly. The dough was stickier than I was used to. When it was time for shaping, the dough did not want to hold it’s shape, even though I followed the directions in the book to the best of my ability. When it was time to bake I didn’t have much hope, but I plopped the oozey dough into the dutch oven and decided to give it a try anyway.

Oven spring is a wonderful thing. I did not get as much oven spring as I was hoping for, but I did get some. The loaves were a bit squashed looking, but the crumb was surprisingly open, and the texture of the bread was phenomenal. The crust was light and crisp, though still chewy, and the flavor was smoky and bacony and really delicious. I will be making this one again, but I definitely need more practice.



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