The fall weather has arrived which means that I can take up homemade bread baking again. This recipe came about in a “lets throw a few ingredients into a bowl and see what happens” kind of way. Followed by a “it’s too warm and I don’t have the time to bake” period in the back of the fridge. I got around to baking the dough two week after I initially mixed it together. It could have possibly done with a little more proofing, but I was in a rush to bake it. It was proofed enough to yield a light, soft, uniform crumb, and crisp crunchy crust. Texture-wise it was a delight. The flavor-wise it was….. unique. It wasn’t bad, but you could definitely taste the fruitiness of the hard cider, and the alcohol contrasted a bit with the sourdough flavors built up throughout the dough’s prolonged life at the back of my fridge. I’m thinking this might be a good bread for an apple and sharpe cheddar grilled cheese.
- 24 fl oz Hard Cider
- 6 tsp Yeast
- 4 tsp Salt
- 5-6 cups Flour
- 1/4 cup Maple Syrup
- In a mixing bowl combine the 2 cups of flour, the yeast, and the salt.
- Pour in the hard cider and syrup.
- Mix everything together for a couple of minutes.
- Add in the remaining four, 1/2 a cup at a time, until the bread begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Knead the dough for about 5 minutes.
- Place the dough into a greased container, and store it in the refrigerator for a few days. This allows the flavors to deepen and develop, but you can also choose to skip this step and bake it on the same day.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and divide the dough into two equal halves.
- Roll each half into a large ball.
- Place each ball into a proofing basket or set on a baking sheet, cover, and let rise (~2-3 hours if you have refrigerated your dough).
- Preheat your oven to 400 F (~204 C). If you are using a baking stone, make sure it’s in the oven to preheat. If you do not have a baking stone you can use a dutch oven.
- Before you place your bread in the oven, fill a shallow oven tray with ice cubes and slide it onto the bottom shelve of your oven.
- Tip your bread onto the heated baking stone or dutch oven.
- Score your bread using a sharp knife or razor.
- Bake for about a hour.